Week 4 Defense Streaming

A surprising week in the NFL has made it very hard to know who to trust for week 4 defense streaming. Trying to judge what is real for these teams heading into the next few weeks is going to be really tough given some of the strange twists that week 3 took. Those twists started right from the off with the best Thursday night game (that is not a season opener) that I can ever remember, Jacksonville stunning the Ravens in London and Sunday ended with the Raiders suddenly looking like a bottom 5 offense in the league. It feels like some of the defenses this season have suffered from poor field position based on offensive mistakes. Unfortunately when streaming a defense that is something you just cannot always predict for because good offenses can have bad moments (I’m looking at you Derek Carr).

Here are some of my key questions entering week 4:

  • Was it just the London effect for the Ravens in week 3? How will both of those teams manage without a bye on their return?
  • Has Jacoby Brissett turned this Indianapolis offense around?
  • What the hell happened to the Dolphins?!
  • How should we react to the offenses who surprised us this week?

One thing I can tell you for sure is that, while it is going to mean I have bitten my nails continuously all season, watching the Patriots have to score 35+ every week to have a chance of winning games is going to be a ton of fun for me personally.

Bye Weeks

Week 5: Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints, Washington Redskins

Week 6: Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks

Start multiple weeks

(New additions in red)

Seattle Seahawks (Yahoo ownership 98%) vs. Indianapolis Colts, @ LA Rams

I genuinely think last week’s performance was just simply that they ran into a really good Titans offense who have now put up 30 in back to back weeks. I was impressed with Jacoby Brissett but doing it in Cleveland is a world away from lighting up the Seahawks in Seattle. Equally the Rams feasted on a poor 49ers defense but Seahawks Rams games are nearly always low scoring and I don’t see the Rams putting up 30 points on this Seahawks defense.

Cincinnati Bengals (23%) @ Cleveland Browns, vs. Buffalo Bills

The Bengals offense has had issues but the defense has generally been good so far this season. The Browns are still going to make mistakes with their rookie QB and I think this defense can have a good day in what I expect will be a tight game. The Bills offense haven’t made a lot of mistakes so far this year but the Bengals D-line should be able to put pressure on Ty Taylor and co and produce a couple of turnovers.

San Francisco 49ers (1%) @ Arizona Cardinals, @ Indianapolis Colts

This feels bold given what happened Thursday last week but I actually think the reason for it might be that the Rams are sneakily good on offense. The Cardinals showed some signs of life on MNF but the Cowboys are hardly an elite defense and they still struggled. Whether you use the 49ers against the Colts depends on if we see Brissett continue to grow the way we have seen so far.

Cleveland Browns (3%) vs. Cincinnati Bengals, vs. New York Jets, @ Houston Texans

This is a defense who suffered for bad offense early in the game but showed as the game went on that they aren’t a walk over by any means. The Bengals were good this week but I think it was more the surprise element of a new offensive coordinator and the Packers D-line struggling because all of a sudden that O-line looked competent. I expect the Browns to test the Bengals new offense this week and then they get the 22nd ranked offense in the Jets coming to town. Week 6 against the Texans is a possible start right now depending on how Watson and that offense go the next two weeks.



Start this week

Jacksonville Jaguars (46%) @ NY Jets

Yes travelling back from London will be tough but this is a good defense facing a Jets team who have yet to score over 20 points.

Green Bay Packers (54%) vs. Chicago Bears

One Thursday night explosion doesn’t buck the trend of bad offense on a Thursday. If this is going to affect anyone this week it will be the Bears, whose offense aren’t great to start with, and should lead to a decent day for the Packers D. Generally I have concerns for this D after they made the Bengals O-line look somewhat competent early in the game last week.

Atlanta Falcons (30%) vs. Buffalo Bills

The Bills haven’t made many mistakes this season but I think they are going to have to open the taps to keep up with Atlanta which will lead to mistakes a plenty. The Falcons D is young and aggressive and should be able to take advantage of any mistake Ty and co make.

Beware for a couple of weeks

Carolina Panthers (78%) @ New England Patriots, @ Detroit Lions, vs. Philadelphia Eagles

A run of the Patriots, the Lions in Detroit and then a competent offense in the Eagles is not something I would want to start a defense against. The Panthers had looked really good the first two games but the Saints demonstrated that the first two weeks may be deceiving.

Houston Texans (76%) vs. Tennessee Titans, vs. Kansas City

Two good offenses who I think can put up a lot of points and not make many mistakes.

Sit this week

Washington Redskins (3%) @ Kansas City Chiefs

I think these might a popular pick up this week and I nearly changed my mind on them after the Redskins shut down the Raiders on Sunday night. However, the difference between having a team travel across country to face you compared to you having to fly into one of the hottest teams in the country right now is enormous. The Redskins defense looks competent but this match-up alongside a week 5 bye means it’s easier just to stay away from them for week 4.

Buffalo Bills (12%) @ Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta looked really good in week 2 at home and despite the Bills having been decent on defense this season this is a match-up I am definitely avoiding.

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