Week 8 went decent enough for those of us streaming defenses, with the Lions finishing as DST 7 and the Jets DST 12.
Though the Browns recorded a single fantasy point, it should be noted that half of the DSTs playing in Week 8 posted three or fewer points.1 Week 9 offers a nice slate of games.Nice enough, in fact, that I’ve decided to throw out a bonus recommendation as streaming against the Jets and Browns has pretty much become a given.
With half of the 2016 campaign behind us, let’s take a quick look at how DSTs have fared on a weekly basis and which offenses have been the easiest to oppose.
DST POINTS PER GAME
Average DST points per game are charted below. As can be seen, Minnesota has been superb, the Eagles early season momentum has carried and the Jaguars and Saints have been abysmal.
This graph outlines the average fantasy points earned per game by DSTs when opposing the included offenses. Clearly, the Rams and Jets have been the optimal offenses for opposing DSTs to face. Though I would have expected Arizona to be a tough matchup heading into 2016, the Cardinals are surrendering the third highest per game total in the league. It’s also surprising to see how tough of a matchup the Dak Prescott led Cowboys have been.
AVAILABLE DEFENSES FOR WEEK 9
As always, we will be using ownership percentages from ESPN fantasy leagues to identify potential streaming options. I have listed the 16 least-owned defenses below as well as their Week 9 opponent, preliminary line and over/under.
For those of you that like to plan ahead, here’s the Streaming D App filtered for the next three weeks.
Dallas Cowboys | @ Cleveland Browns, -7.5 Favorite
The Cowboys will be favored by a touchdown heading into Cleveland on Sunday. The team is averaging a weekly rank of DST 16 and finished in the top 10 against both Philadelphia and Green Bay. Dallas is holding opponents to under 19 points per game and is a top 5 DST in fumbles recovered. We’ve streamed against the Browns six times this season and the team has done little to make us think otherwise. I’m sure you’re familiar with the arguments for streaming against the Browns so I’ll just remind you that no team has finished worse than DST 18 when facing the team, six of its eight opponents have finished in the top half of weekly rankings and opposing defenses have recorded 30 QB hits in the team’s last three contests.
San Diego Chargers | vs Tennessee Titans, -4.5 Favorite
Tennessee laid the smack down on Jacksonville last Thursday but let’s not forget that the Titans are allowing over eight fantasy points per game to opposing DSTs and that six of its eight opponents have finished better than DST 15. In fact, offenses facing the team have averaged a weekly ranking of 12. Only the Rams, Jets, Browns and Texans have provided their opponents with more favorable outcomes. I could continue to make the case against Tennessee but as we’ve streamed against them a number of times that’s likely a dead horse.
What we have yet to touch upon is how good the Chargers DST has been. The team ranks ninth in points per game and is averaging a weekly ranking of 13 which is seventh best in the league. Further, San Diego has gone for over nine points in half of its games, is averaging nearly two forced turnovers and is a top 5 DST in terms of tackles for loss, interceptions and total turnovers per game. The Streaming D App also feels good about the Charger’s chances this weekend, ranking the team fourth.
Miami Dolphins | vs New York Jets, -3.5 Favorite
The Jets got the better of the Browns in Week 8. Still, the team is tied for last in fantasy points per game surrendered to opposing DSTs. As such, it should come as no surprise that opponents are averaging a weekly rank of 10 when playing New York. As we discussed last week, the team leads the league in interceptions thrown and has struggled mightily this season. The Dolphins are a bottom quadrant DST no matter how you slice it but as a home favorite facing such a favorable opponent they merit serious consideration as a Week 9 streamer. Not to mention, the Streaming D App ranks Miami third, behind only Carolina and Kansas City in Week 9 and second for the Week 9 to 11 stretch.
Los Angeles Rams | vs Carolina Panthers, +3 Underdog
The Rams are averaging over seven fantasy points per game, which is good for 11th highest in the league. Additionally, the team is hitting opposing quarterbacks five and a half times per contest and is forcing nearly a turnover per game. Though Los Angeles will be the underdog on Sunday, they will be playing at home against a Panthers offense that has surrendered nine points per game to opposing DSTs. Carolina’s competition has averaged a weekly ranking of DST 12, over two sacks and seven QB hits per contest. Only three teams have allowed their passer to be hit more often. This has surely augmented Cam Newton’s frustration and is one of the main reasons that the Rams are an attractive streamer for Week 9. It is worth noting, however, that LA has been on somewhat of a decline over it’s last three games, accruing only eight points during this stretch. Further, the Streaming D App considers the team a middle of the road option. Nonetheless, the team may be a worthwhile streaming option in deeper leagues.
I doubt that you’ll find better options than the above on your waiver wire this week and I’d feel good about all four; especially the Cowboys and Chargers. Good luck!