The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 6

I love football. As a newly employed educator, I have taken in a couple of recent high school football games in central Minnesota. I have never played the sport, but I have been indulged in it since I can remember. Saturdays used to include homemade chili and Minnesota Golden Gopher Games. Sunday’s involved church, morning brunch and rushing home for the noon kickoff of the local Vikings. Now, fall Friday nights include walking down the street from my house to the high school field. I watch as my brother’s friends who used to come over when we were younger rush onto the field in front of a few thousand screaming fans, many of them students who come together and arrive early with signs and wearing the jersey of their best friend or significant other. A local group of boys arrive a little later than the rest of the students. “The Blue Crew” as they call themselves, wait until the rest of their friends and fellow students are in their seats before they rush up the stairs. From there, they lead in cheers and chants that provide an atmosphere that make me happy to be from a small community. The players are heroes, the fans are loyal and win or lose, the community has their back. It is simple, it is beautiful, it is perfect.

As we know from our experiences though, perfection isn’t always easy to find. Last week we discussed the glass being half full or half empty. We talked about my streaming defenses for week four and how only half of them helped out. This week we take another fraction lesson (I am a teacher after all) and look at 3/4. Week 5 brought us ¾ or a 75% success rate as 3 of the top 10 defenses were brought to you here free of charge! Let’s jump into how they did and look forward to week 6 of the NFL schedule!

How did I do last week?

  • The Bears went up against Carolina, picking off Cam Newton once, recovering two fumbles, and also racking up two sacks! Total: 7 Fantasy Points
  • The Steelers didn’t have the offensive production that everyone expected but their defense picked it up in a huge way! 1 TD, 2 picks and 1 Sack can make any fantasy owner happy. Total: 16 Fantasy Points
  • The Eagles racked up a huge score for the 2nd straight week. 19.5 % owned defense has put up 41 ESPN standard scoring fantasy points in the past two weeks! Following their three TD performance, the Eagles D/ST got into the end zone two more times this week, while adding three fumble recoveries and four sacks! Total: 18 Fantasy Points
  • The Browns were the disappointing streaming option of the week. While they still scored positive fantasy points, they missed out on a huge opportunity and allowed the Titans to walk all over them before they come back in historic fashion to win. Three sacks was the highlight of the day for fantasy owners. Total: 3 Fantasy Points

Week 6 Targets:

Titans Defense
The Titans allowed 29 points in a loss to Cleveland last week but have a great matchup against the Jags in week 6.

Tennessee Titans: The sleeper pick of the week is where we will start. 1.1% of fantasy owners own the Titans D/ST, and I understand why (-6 and -3 in the last two weeks). That is until you look at their week six opponent. There doesn’t need to be more analysis than this: the Jacksonville Jaguars have allowed every defense they have played to score double-digit fantasy points. The Titans will likely be the add of the week in fantasy football.

Baltimore Ravens: Tampa Bay is hard to figure out this year. Sometimes they look like contenders, while other nights they look like they should be playing in the CFL. With Tampa giving up the third most fantasy points to opposing D/ST units this year, I am going to take a chance with the Baltimore. The Ravens have been positive in scoring every week this year, averaging about five fantasy points per game. If they can hold Vincent Jackson out of the end zone and make them run the football, I think we see a big game for the Baltimore Ravens defense in week 6.

Philadelphia Eagles: Don’t be surprised if their ownership percentage jumps to 100% after this week. Double-digit points in three of the five weeks, including 23 and 18 respectively the past two Sundays. The Eagles take on the Giants in an NFC East showdown. Eli has looked great lately, and they are coming off a 30-20 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. That being said, Eli also has a tendency to throw interceptions and will have a tough test against the red-hot Eagles Sunday night.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/QtvdFy

Jared “Minnesota Nice” Hines is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Jared_Hines27!

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The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 5

Do you associate with the glass half full or empty world view? That is, are you positive or negative by nature and in thinking? Anyone who knows me would probably describe me as a positive person, one who subscribes to the glass half full approach. Negative people often call themselves “realists” but if I have to choose between expecting the worst or expecting the best, I’m going with the latter.

Speaking of halves, half of something can mean many things depending on what it is you’re talking about. If you play football and you complete half of your passes, you aren’t a very good quarterback, but reach base half the time in baseball throughout your career and they would name the team after you. You make half your free throws? Hey there, Shaq. What about if you pick half of your defenses right in a weekly fantasy football article?

I don’t run away from being wrong. Being wrong makes you smarter, helps you learn what not to do and gives you a different perspective that you had prior. Fantasy football requires many things and many of you know by now that one of the most important things is luck. Hell, there are times when the team with the highest scoring roster misses their fantasy playoffs (rare, but it happens!). Fantasy football is a weekly game. Your only goal from week to week is to beat your opponent, whether it’s by .1 or 100. Sometimes I will hit the nail on the head and other times it won’t go over so well. Sometimes the things that aren’t supposed to happen do and the things that are supposed to happen don’t.

That is why sport is such a wonderful thing.

How did I do last week?

Colts D Week 4
Jared predicted the 12-point performance from the Colts D/ST in week 4. What does he have in store this week?

The Colts did the best, scoring 12 points in standard leagues (2 picks, 1 fumble recovery, 3 sacks). The Chargers were my pick of the week and I used them everywhere. They played the Jaguars and scored 10 fantasy points. Allowing 14 points to Jacksonville, the Bolts also had 2 interceptions and 1 fumble recovery, adding 3 sacks. Many people jumped on the Chargers bandwagon, as their ownership went from 4% to almost 79%, as of Tuesday night. The Steelers disappointed. Up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Pittsburgh allowed 27 points while only getting one sack. They added an interception to receive two fantasy points. Don’t drop them yet though! Finally, the Chicago Bears got to Aaron Rodgers once and allowed the Packers to rack up 38 points en route to a -1 fantasy showing.

Week 5 Targets:

Chicago Bears:  Let’s get back to the article theme; halves. Half of my defenses last week didn’t live up to the hype I placed on them. My first pick of this week is DA BEARS! After allowing the Packers to come home and throw all over them, Chicago is off to Carolina for this week’s matchup. Carolina’s backfield situation is a mess. No one can stay healthy, including Cam Newton. Cam’s fantasy value has come from his feet over the past two years, but he isn’t running so far in 2014. His ankle still isn’t 100%, forcing him to stay in the pocket and try to complete more throws. He has Benjamin and Olson to throw to, but that is about it (speaking of Carolina, their defense has scored -15 points combined over the past two weeks and is still 97% owned). I see the Bears getting to Cam at least 3 times, with two interceptions, which will make for a fun fantasy day if you’re going to use ’em.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Of course I try to exploit offenses when choosing streaming options. I suggested the Steelers last week because of what looked to be a favorable opponent. They didn’t net you a ton of fantasy points, but I still think it was the right call given the struggles Tampa has been going through on offense. This week the Steelers get the Jaguars, who have allowed 3, 10, 4 and 3 sacks thus far in 2014. Pittsburgh’s secondary should have no problem with the Jaguar receiving core (now minus Cecil Shorts). I like the black and yellow to score double-digit fantasy points on the heels of a pick-6. Book it.

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles unit will be a popular pickup this week after their three score performance last week against the 49ers. This week the Eagles get the Rams and should be ready to dominate. I will be the first to tell you that the Eagles defense doesn’t look the best on paper, but they have 5 scores as a unit in 4 weeks and have the ability to rack up fantasy points even if they allow opposing offenses to score.

Cleveland Browns: If you are desperate the Browns defense might have a chance to do something against the Titans. Tennesse has been prone to the interception and Cleveland is able to get to the quarterback. The Titans offensive line is nothing special, either. Proceed here with caution as this is a boom or bust play. Those of you in deep leagues could do much worse though.

There you have it! Happy streaming, and remember, that glass should always be half full.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/HoU6uQ

Jared “Minnesota Nice” Hines is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Jared_Hines27!

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 3

Chandler Jones was all over Matt Cassel like Elvis on a pound of bacon this Sunday.
Chandler Jones was on Matt Cassel like Elvis on a pound of bacon Sunday.

Week 2 was nuts, both on and off the field. There were injuries all over, reports of domestic violence and child abuse and big upsets. Hop aboard and let’s take a nice ride down the stream!

New England Patriots: New England is almost universally 100% owned in leagues but if they happen to be on your waiver wire pick them up! They play Oakland this week, and after their huge game at Minnesota, I think we will see much of the same in against the Raiders.

Indianapolis Colts:  Andrew Luck and company head to Jacksonville, who, putting it lightly, have trouble scoring. The Eagles (14) and Redskins (18) have both put up double-digit fantasy points on defense against this squad. The Colts are about to enjoy their slice of the pie. The Colt defense is widely available and has looked improved. Playing against a bad offense should get them on track, I like Indy as a streaming option this week.

Houston Texans: After two big time performances, Houston should be owned in more than 63.5% of leagues (ESPN). Houston heads to the Big Apple and are seem ready to take a bite. The Giants have given up double-digit fantasy points to both opposing defenses thus far. Injuries, inconsistency and adapting to a new offense are the perfect ingredients for a Texans blowout. Bonus: Houston has a great week 4 matchup too so if you get them, you’ll want to keep them longer than just this week.

Dallas Cowboys: I know, the only thing you’ve heard all season about the Dallas defense is that it’s well, horrid. This pick is 100% matchup based. America’s team is playing the Rams who let Minnesota’s suspect defense walk all over them in week 1, including two picks (and one for a defensive score). The purple and gold also got to the Rams 3rd string QB five times in a 34-6 route. I think Dallas has a chance to rack up the points against a poor offense.

San Diego Chargers: Remember my opening paragraph? The NFL was weird last week; let’s focus on the Chargers on this one. So far San Diego has played the Cardinals and Seahawks. Both known for defense, yes, but each team can score. The Chargers defense has done well against both of them and I expect better production against the Buffalo. Sammy Watkins will get his share, but in the end I think San Diego has the last laugh. Can you believe the Chargers beat Seattle last week?!

There you have it! I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing weekly. Good luck.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/8k7DDm

Jared “Minnesota Nice” Hines is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Jared_Hines27!

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 2

I stream defenses. This is my approach.

This is what I am here for. Each week I’ll pick 5 readily available D/ST units that have an ideal matchup. The following options are owned in less than 60% (Y! and ESPN) of leagues. Happy streaming!

Texans D
The Texans D/ST leads the way this week, behind freak of nature J.J. Watt.

Week 2 Streaming Options:

Houston Texans: Out of my teams for the week, the Texans are the team owned in the most leagues so they might not be available in yours. If they are, pick them up. Last week they allowed 6 points to Washington while sacking RG3 three times. This week they get the homely Oakland Raiders. The Texans defense were one of the handful of teams to score a defensive touchdown in week 1. I expect similar results in week 2. Another big point total looks to be on tap.

Tennessee Titans: The Titans came out in week one and dominated the depleted Kansas City offensive line. Charles had just 19 rushing yards and they picked up Alex Smith three times. Add that to the four sacks in week one and it is no wonder why I have them as a target for my fantasy teams this week. The Titans get the Dallas Cowboys and if you saw them on Sunday afternoon, you know their team is a mess. Romo is not fully healthy and their line is having a hard time protecting him as well. Look for the Titans to have a huge game on Sunday afternoon.

Miami Dolphins: Brady and his wideouts couldn’t get anything going against Miami’s secondary. New England’s run game was awful as well, as the Dolphins looked motivated in their first divisional tilt of the season. By the end of the afternoon Miami had forced and recovered two fumbles and had sacked Brady four times while pressuring snap after snap. This week they get Buffalo. While Buffalo is excited about new ownership, I believe it will be Miami who will own the Bills on Sunday. Look for them to pressure Manuel a lot and keep those talented young burners on the outside quiet.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Yes, the Jags collapsed in week one, allowing 34 points to the Eagles on their way to an 0-1 start. Jacksonville’s story was a tale of two halves. They looked great in the 1st half but apparently decided to mail it in after halftime. After all that, they still had a pick, 2 fumble recoveries and five sacks against Chip’s squad. This week they get the Redskins and will look to pressure RG3 into making some bad decisions. The Jacksonville Jaguars are my deep defensive sleeper of the week!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs didn’t really have anything to be excited about in week one. The team played poorly as Carolina came in and took care of business with Derek Anderson as their QB. Tampa Bay looks to regroup and who better to do that against than Saint Louis? The Rams scored just six points in week 1 and have no viable option at quarterback. Tampa Bay will make the most of their opportunity and lay the smack down on the lowly Rams in week 2.

There you have it, five defenses that I believe have great potential as we head into week 2! Look for this article every Wednesday throughout the season. Good luck!

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/2t0GxO

Jared “Minnesota Nice” Hines is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Jared_Hines27!