Streaming Defenses: Week 1 Targets
As we discussed in the introductory article, we are rolling out a new and improved model for finding streaming defenses this season. The new model focuses primarily on the Vegas lines for predicting points scored by the opposing offense, the quarterback's history for predicting interceptions thrown, and both the offense's and defense's history of allowing sacks. Those three components (points allowed, interceptions and sacks) are the most predictable parts of defensive scoring week-to-week.
Applying the new model to the matchups in week one gives us these results.
The Ravens defense sits alone in the top tier. Playing against a Dolphins team that is probably more interested in the top draft pick than winning games, Vegas expects the Ravens to allow only 15.5 points. The Dolphins' quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, has been quite interception prone over his career, and the Dolphins also just traded away their left tackle, which increases the likely number of sacks. It's nearly a perfect scenario for a defense to score fantasy points.
Note that the projected points (8.55) look a little low here because, as described above, we are excluding the less predictable elements of scoring: fumble recoveries and defensive touchdowns. Adding those parts to each teams' projection would lift them all up by similar amounts and not change the relative ordering, so it is safe for us to leave them out. However, keep in mind, when you look at the projections, that actual points scored will be higher than this, on average.
The Seahawks and Eagles also play against bad offenses this week, in the Bengals and Redskins, respectively. Both defenses are expected to give up fewer than 20 points. The Seahawks just added Jadaveon Clowney to their team, significantly increasing their pass rush, while the Eagles already had one of the best defensive lines in the league. Both opposing quarterbacks, Andy Dalton and Case Keenum, are above average in interception rate as well, so all components of predictable scoring point to good results for the defense.
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