Week 3 Defense Streaming

Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas

Week 2 has given us some indications as to the truly good and bad but as we look at week 3 defense streaming there are still plenty of questions left to answer. The main thing is that with how bad offences have been so far are we going to see improvements or is this what we can expect all year? My expectation is that some of the so far slightly dodgy offences will click and some of the defenses that look good right now will fade back into the pack because right now there is a ton of good defenses to choose from week to week.

Here are my main questions entering week 3:

  • Is the Cowboys D bad or have they faced two good offenses?
  • How long is Sam Bradford out for?
  • What is wrong with the Saints? Will they bounce back on O when Snead returns?

Again for what it is worth here is how I have offenses ranked right now:

  • The best: Patriots, Chiefs, Falcons, Raiders
  • Very good: Buccaneers, Lions (@home)
  • Slight questions remaining: Titans, Packers, Eagles, Broncos, Vikings (with SB), Cowboys
  • Bigger question marks: Saints, Lions (road), Chargers, Redskins, Dolphins, Ravens
  • Bad but could improve: Seahawks, Rams, Browns, Texans
  • Pretty ugly: Vikings (no SB), Giants, Jaguars, Bears, Bills, Panthers
  • Downright ugly, Bengals, Cardinals, 49ers, Jets, Colts

We are now three weeks away from the first non-hurricane bye week and the teams you need to start preparing to lose in week 5 are: Atlanta, Denver, NO, Washington.

Start multiple weeks

(teams in black remain from last week with teams in red the new additions)

Seattle Seahawks (Yahoo ownership: 99%) @ Tennessee Titans, vs. Indianapolis Colts, @ LA Rams

This week could be tough against a Titans team with an offensive that can get the ball to its playmakers but then they face the Colts in week 4 which is a must start before a solid match-up in the Rams.
playdraft

Baltimore Ravens (91%) @ Jacksonville Jaguars, vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

A must start this week against a Jaguars team that can be shut down. They always plays the Steelers tough and the Pittsburgh offense isn’t quite clicking so I think they can have success. Week 5 @ Oakland will be the test of whether this is a match-up only defense or a legit must use every week option.

Cleveland Browns (2%) @ Indianapolis Colts, vs. Cincinnati Bengals, vs. New York Jets, @ Houston Texans

This is the sleeper defense I love for the next few weeks. Keeping the Steelers and Ravens to a combined 45 points is something I am impressed by and the run of teams they have coming up is a who’s who list of the worst AFC teams right now. Starting the Browns is never going to make you happy but in at least a couple of leagues I am adding these guys this week where I streamed in week 2.

Tennessee Titans (11%) vs. Seattle Seahawks, @ Houston Texans

The Seahawks and Texans are still figuring a ton of stuff out and the Titans may be able to put up two sneaky good weeks. In weeks 5 through 7 they face Miami, Indy and Cleveland which, if Miami are bad, could be a really nice 5 week run if you don’t want to worry about streaming each week.

Green Bay Packers (44%) vs. Cincinnati Bengals, vs. Chicago Bears, @ Dallas Cowboys, @ Minnesota Vikings

Yes they didn’t look as good in week 2 as week 1 but this offense gets to face two bad offenses in the Bengals and Bears. Where their value could come is in weeks 5 and 6, if Dallas are as bad on offense as they have looked and the Vikings are without Sam Bradford this could be a really nice run of 4 games if you need a defense.

Arizona Cardinals (93%) vs. Dallas Cowboys, vs. San Francisco 49ers

Didn’t light up the Colts like I hoped but with the Cowboys and 49ers struggling so far this season I am still using them the next two weeks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (26%) @ Minnesota Vikings, vs. NY Giants

They completely shut down a Bears team that had looked competent against the Falcons and now they get the potentially Sam Bradford-less Vikings and the Giants who can’t protect Eli Manning for more than about three seconds. This is a juicy two week stretch before they face the Patriots in week 5. Longer term they also get Arizona, Buffalo and Carolina so if you can afford to bench them week 5 this could be a defense that pays off in 5 of the next 6 weeks!

Dallas Cowboys (12%) @ Arizona, vs. LA Rams

So yeah week 2 didn’t go well for this pick but with Arizona and the Rams coming up I think they are very usable especially this week. If you’re looking week 4 and beyond it may be worth carrying a second defense or pivoting to a different option because the Rams are still a question mark offensively and then they face Green Bay in week 5 which is a sit for this defense.

Indianapolis Colts (2%) vs. Cleveland Browns, @ Seattle Seahawks, vs. San Francisco

Yes the Colts got slaughtered by the Rams in week 1 but the offense put the D in a ton of bad situations. Week 2 against the Rams was a good showing from the Colts D and frankly the level of competition over the next 3 weeks isn’t great. Of all the multi week teams I’ve recommended this week the Colts rank last but in deep leagues if you desperately need something then maybe this is a route to explore?

Dolphins Cameron Wake

Rich Barnes – Getty Images

Start this week

Miami Dolphins (25%) @ NY Jets

The Jets offense is awful. Miami’s defense should have a field day.

Beware for a few weeks:

LA Chargers (8%) vs. Kansas City Chiefs, vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The Chiefs look really good right now and the Eagles don’t look shabby either. What is interesting is that the Chargers D made the sneakily impressive Broncos O look pretty ordinary. A good week this week and I may change my mind and make them a must use for the Philly and Giants match-ups. As of now I am steering clear but keeping an eye on if this defense can make the offenses of the Chiefs, Raiders (week 6), Broncos (again, week 7) and Patriots (week 8) look ordinary. If they do then coming out of their bye in week 10 they could be a must use defense down the stretch.

Houston Texans (86%) @ New England Patriots, vs. Tennessee Titans, vs. Kansas City Chiefs

This is an ugly run even for a good defense. I don’t think you can afford to drop them but I am very scared of this stretch for the Texans. With offense so bad around the league there could be some massive defense scores each week and I just can’t see the Texans getting close to double digits any of these three weeks. Starting them for these games could put you at a massive disadvantage if your opponent streams a team against a bad offense. This is why you don’t draft defenses until the last pick and you don’t get attached to your defense!

Sit this week

Atlanta Falcons (31%) @ Detroit Lions

The Falcons really impressed me against Green Bay but the loss of Nelson early for the Packers O could have had a lot to do with their success. @ Detroit could be the big shootout this season has been waiting for and when you consider the Falcons have a week 5 bye I might look elsewhere for the next few weeks. Buffalo have been bad but they haven’t really turned the ball over and that is where you find the big points on D.

Detroit Lions (7%) vs. Atlanta Falcons

You saw how good the Falcons looked against the Packers last week right? If not I suggest you go and watch and re-think starting the Lions D. They were very good against the Giants and did OK against the Cardinals but this is the week we see them found out and possibly dismantled.

Washington Redskins (2%) vs. Oakland Raiders

The Raiders spluttered early versus the Jets but this is a very good team with a ton of weapons who will attack you for 60 minutes. They can throw all over you with Crabtree and Cooper or they can grind you down with a three pronged running game. I see no way the Redskins return anything more than a handful of points from this one.

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