Fantasy Football Defensive Streaming: Week 10 Edition

Continuing the theme of targeting the Cleveland Browns from last week, this week's list of streaming options includes a familiar AFC North rival.

Week 9 was extremely low scoring as far as defenses were concerned with just four teams notching double-digit fantasy point finishes.

I felt extremely confident in Cincinnati heading into their Thursday night game against Cleveland, especially after it was announced that Johnny Manziel would be getting the start at quarterback. Although it wasn’t the massacre that I expected, the Bengals still finished with seven fantasy points, good enough for seventh best among all defenses last week.

New Orleans was seemingly in a great spot at home against Tennessee but failed to perform finishing with just one fantasy point. And the third pick, Jacksonville, admittedly a risky proposition to begin with, also finished with just one fantasy point.

As we move towards Week 10’s action, we will once again be focusing our attention on defenses that are home favorites, hopefully facing turnover-prone quarterbacks.

Let’s get it. 

Pittsburgh Steelers

Owned – ESPN: 37.6%, Yahoo: 42%
numberFire Positional Rank: 9th

After surrendering 35 points to the Oakland Raiders last week, the Steelers defense shouldn’t be considered a great “real football” group. But what they lack in terms of real football prowess, they have made up for in fantasy related areas.

While failing to record a single sack last week was certainly disappointing, Pittsburgh forced four turnovers on the day, totaling nine over their last four games. With a matchup against Cleveland coming up next, this advantageous defensive group could be in line for even more forced turnovers.

It’s unclear at this point whether the Browns will stick with Manziel at quarterback or switch back to Josh McCown, but either way, the matchup is good for the Steelers. Cleveland has 17 turnovers and 30 sacks allowed through 9 games and ranks dead-last in offensive rushing efficiency according to our metrics here at numberFire.

As 4.5-point home favorites against a Browns team holding a 16-point implied team total, the Steelers make for an excellent streaming option in Week 10. 

Baltimore Ravens

Owned – ESPN: 24.5%, Yahoo: 33%
numberFire Positional Rank: 13th

It’s been a difficult season for the Baltimore Ravens, currently sitting at 2-6 and all but eliminated from playoff contention. Injuries have played a big part in the team’s struggles, including a defense that has played uncharacteristically sub-par football through the first half of the season.

A home matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, however, should be a nice jump-start for their underachieving defensive group.

Over his last three games, Blake Bortles has looked more like the 2014 version of himself, sporting a 7 to 6 touchdown to interception ratio while completing just 55 percent of his passes. The Jaguars’ offense as a whole has struggled this season, ranking 28th in both passing and rushing efficiency according to numberFire metrics.

The Ravens are 5.5-point home favorites with Jacksonville predicted to score just 18.5 points. While this isn’t the typically stingy Baltimore defense we’ve become accustomed to over the last decade or so, it is a defense worth considering this week as a streaming option. 

Oakland Raiders

Owned – ESPN: 4.3%, Yahoo: 5%
numberFire Positional Rank: 20th

On paper, Oakland’s doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence in those looking for a defensive streaming option. Not only did they just allow nearly 600 yards of total offense against Pittsburgh last week, but they also rank 30th in team defensive efficiency according to numberFire metrics.

But there are a few positive factors moving in Oakland’s direction this week.

The Raiders are three-point home favorites against a Minnesota Viking team that could be without its starting quarterback this week. The news regarding Teddy Bridgewater's concussion has been positive so far, but if he would miss this game, Shaun Hill would be in line for the start.

The Raiders do have the 17th ranked rush defense according to our numbers, which should help minimize the damage done by the focal point of the Vikings' offense, Adrian Peterson.

This is a fairly risky play based on the “home favorites” criteria we talk about every week in these articles but one that desperate fantasy owners can certainly consider with four teams on bye in Week 10.