Streaming Defenses: Week 6 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 6.
Week 5 Review
The Dallas Cowboys took their divisional rival New York Giants apart, even forcing starting quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley from the game. With their top two offensive weapons gone, the Cowboys were able to pick off two passes and return one for a score to hit a top-five mark this week. The Minnesota Vikings joined them atop the pile, allowing just 17 points, and thrashing their rival Detroit Lions with four sacks and two forced turnovers. We couldn’t have asked for better outcomes from these units in Week 5, honestly.
The Las Vegas Raiders’ choice matchup with the Chicago Bears seemed to be disrupted a bit by the weekend’s breaking news of their head coach’s pattern of vile language. Rather than a summary trouncing of the Bears, Vegas lost by double digits, despite being able to hold the opposition to 20 points and still earn their requisite two sacks. The Atlanta Falcons fared better across the pond, holding the hapless New York Jets to 20 points while forcing an interception and racking up two sacks. That made this team a nearly startable defense in fantasy football, though they were still just out of range for standard-sized leagues.
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