Streaming Defenses: Week 5 Targets
Were it not for pandemic-related closings of my state’s parks, I would have spent much more of the last two summers camping. I love getting out in nature for hikes, campfires, a tent, and sleeping under the stars and I’ve really been missing that more than anything else. Nothing beats a nice stroll in the middle of nowhere along a babbling brook without a care in the world.
But we do have cares at this point in the year, with football season already fully underway. We’ve got to keep our eyes out of the stars and on our fantasy teams, and many of us have to give up the watery streams for the waiver wire ones until next summer.
I explained in my introductory article to the concept that streaming defenses is one of the most sound ways to approach the position in fantasy football, as well as how to do it, and what to look for from a statistical perspective in a defensive streamer.
This column will combine that approach with our own Kevin Zatloukal’s analytical model for streaming defenses. KZ’s model utilizes Vegas lines for predicting points scored by the opposing defense, opposing quarterback history for interception rates, and both the offense and defense’s history of allowing sacks – the most predictive parts of defensive scoring on a weekly basis.
It may not be as soothing as fishing for trout but hooking a great fantasy defense can be just as rewarding a feeling. Here are four defenses to consider picking up ahead of Week 5.
Week 4 Review
It’s not often that we hope for limited options, but this week in defensive streaming was exactly topsy-turvy, so I hope you needed to dig deeper. I did acknowledge in last week’s column that neither the Titans and Bengals could be classified as traditionally “good” defensive units, but their matchups should have been beneficial enough for them to be more startable than this. Instead, the New York Jets got their first win of the season against Tennessee and the Jacksonville Jaguars nearly did the same against Cincinnati. When game script flips on its head, that bodes poorly for a fantasy defense. They were still good process picks, but we’re going to hopefully identify defenses with better floors than that going forward.
The Packers and Bears, on the other hand, seemed like they should’ve been in more competitive games on the surface. When Sunday rolled around, however, it was clear that they would be dominant forces to slam the door shut on their teams’ wins. Chicago forced four sacks and two turnovers, while the Packers squeaked in two sacks, an interception, and a fumble forced. This is the third week in a row the Green Bay defense has had a sack, an interception, and a fumble recovery, so maybe they’re starting to come around.
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