Fantasy Football Defensive Streaming: Week 6 Edition
So here’s the real question heading into Week 6: the Eagles’ defense isn’t going to score a touchdown for the third week in a row, right?
When I recommended them in my streaming defenses piece last week, I warned owners about having lofty expectations due to Week 4’s performance. I guess I sold Philadelphia’s D short.
The Eagles finished as the third-best defense in Week 5, awarding owners who chose to chase points from the previous week.
While Philly made me look good, Cleveland and New Orleans didn’t do me any favors, finishing 22nd and 25th on the week, respectively. The Browns got bombed by a below-average Tennessee Titans’ offense, and the Saints' defensive unit continues to perform well below their pre-season expectations.
Moving on to Week 6...
Owned - ESPN: 1.2%, Yahoo: 10% Week 6 numberFire Rank: 5th
Last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ faced the Jacksonville Jaguars and finished as the fifth-best defense despite playing at a very low level so far this season, ranking 28th in Adjusted Defense Net Expected Points (NEP). I’m considering this the litmus test for streaming the Jags moving forward.
The Titans welcome Jacksonville on Sunday, favored by 6 points, in a game Vegas predicts to be relatively low scoring (43 over/under). The Jaguars have no run game to speak of (ranking 30th in Adjusted Rushing NEP), which means Blake Bortles will most likely have to chuck it a lot on Sunday in order to keep pace.
Tennessee ranks 20th in Adjusted Defensive NEP, but has excelled against the pass, allowing only 15.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season.
Look for the turnovers to continue.
Owned - ESPN: 16.3%, Yahoo: 33% Week 6 numberFire Rank: 1st
While Baltimore ranks near the middle of the league in terms of total defense this season, they rank seventh in Adjusted Defensive NEP, showing they’ve been tough considering their schedule.
Last week, they forced four turnovers in the loss against Indianapolis, including intercepting Andrew Luck twice. They did struggle to create pressure, however, only registering one sack, but their Week 6 opponent could help their pass rush.
This week they travel to Tampa Bay as a 3.5-point favorite. And even though Mike Glennon has been a clear improvement over Josh McCown, the Buccaneers still rank 30th in Adjusted Offensive NEP, and present a decent matchup for the Ravens’ defense. Through five weeks, Tampa Bay has been generous allowing 12.5 fantasy points per game to opposing defensive units.
According to our projections, Baltimore is the strongest defensive play of the week, so stream with confidence.
Green Bay Packers
Owned - ESPN: 8.1%, Yahoo: 23% Week 6 numberFire Rank: 14th
I keep telling myself this isn’t about what Green Bay did to the Christian Ponder-led Vikings last week. But in truth, it’s tough to completely forget about it.
The Packers took advantage of Ponder, finishing as the best defense in Week 5 as they registered six sacks, forced three turnovers including a defensive touchdown. Despite dominating the game, they still allowed 111 yards rushing to a one-dimensional opponent, which is something to keep an eye on moving forward.
Ryan Tannehill, the Packers' Week 6 opponent, has been pretty terrible this season (ranking 42nd out of 53 quarterbacks in Passing NEP), and if he’s forced to throw in catch-up mode, the Packers should take advantage.
Buffalo Bills (vs. New England Patriots), Indianapolis Colts (vs. Houston Texans)