The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 15

Ravens Defense
The Ravens are a lock for double-digit fantasy points in week 15

Tuesday morning I was strolling (Editor’s note: I think he means *trolling*) through my Twitter feed and noticed a trend. There were a lot more pictures then there usually are. Not because the Victoria Secret Fashion Show was the other night, but because a ton of fantasy gamers were posting photos of their playoff matchups. Teams were winning by small margins and bragging about their lineups, or they were showing how close they were to advancing, only to have Aaron Rodgers kneel down on the last play of Monday’s game to cost them a spot in the next round. I looked through my fair share of matchups and noticed that they all had a common theme. One of the teams had a defense that went absolutely crazy.

There were a couple of teams I saw that streamed the Giants defense against Tennessee. An opponent of mine did the same thing, and while it wasn’t the deciding factor in my match, it was hilarious to watch the Giants lead fantasy in defensive scoring in week 14.

Last Week’s Results:

Last week I recommended 3 teams. They included the Texans, Rams and my hometown Vikings. If you decided to trust your playoff matchup with one of these defensive units, you were rewarded with great production. The Rams posted their 2nd-straight shutout while adding in 2 picks, a touchdown and 7 sacks en route to 24 fantasy points. Another team with a great matchup was the Houston Texans. They recorded 4 sacks on their way to a solid 11 fantasy points. The last team I recommended was the Minnesota Vikings. I thought the they had a good chance at keeping Geno and the Jets (you read that line and felt like Elton John, admit it) to a low point total. While they allowed 24 points and had to take the game into OT, the Vikings did pick off Geno once in Sunday’s chilly affair at TCF Bank Stadium. They also recovered a fumble and oh yeah, that interception was returned for  touchdown. Toss in 3 sacks and you have yourself a solid showing; 10 points for the purple people eaters.

Week 15 Targets:

Week 15 will bring along more pictures on social media of fantasy matchups that will end up coming down to the wire. If you survived last week, week 15 is all about putting yourself in the best position to win and get into your championship. Taking chances would not be my advice to you. Play your studs, and look for defenses with good matchups. Let’s not try to get too cute here with the season on the line.

  • Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs defense has not been playing as well as many expected them to coming into this season. A couple of heartbreaking losses have left them befuddled but this is their week to shine. The last time they met Oakland, the Raiders won their first game of the season. An embarrassing loss for the Chiefs to be sure. I look for Kansas City to have a big day in a revenge game.
  • Baltimore Ravens: The season is winding down which means so is my weekly segment of “stream whoever plays Jacksonville.” Let’s not look to the future though, instead, let’s get ready to celebrate a great matchup for week 15. Baltimore’s unit generates the majoroty of points from sacking the opposing quarterback. The Jaguars give up sack after sack on a weekly basis, something that should once again happen on Sunday. Put the two together and you’ve got yourself double-digit fantasy points for the Ravens. Book it!

So where do we go from here? I decided that while most fantasy playoffs end in week 16, I would continue to write this article through the end of the regular season. For the few people who have week 17 matchups, I didn’t want to leave you out in the dust. That leaves us two columns left after this one before I move onto playoff football, as well as some baseball content as well. Good luck to you as you continue your playoff push.

As always, happy streaming!

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

Check out FantasyRundown.com for all of our latest articles and other great fantasy content.

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 14

Vikings Defense
The Vikings get the Geno Smith-led Jets in week 14

As I watch the Dolphins/Jets game wind down on Monday night, I click through my fantasy football lineups. I play in a lot of different leagues, and to be honest I did not do the best this year. The injury bug hit me hard in a couple of leagues, just missed by a game in a couple others, and in one league I just could not do anything right from the beginning. I do not look as closely at those leagues anymore, but instead look at the leagues where I am into the playoffs. I start looking at roster construction for next week, and how good (or bad) my matchups might be. Week 1 of the playoffs starts for many leagues in week 14, and so this week is crucial for picking the best lineups. This includes the best streaming options on defense. Last week, three of my leagues had a playoff spot that came down to one matchup. The guys who won all had defenses that had great weeks! They do make a difference. Before we look at week 14 targets, let’s see how we did last week:

Last Week’s Results:

The Rams were the highest scoring defense of the week after their 52-0 rout of the Raiders. If you took my advice, you were rewarded with 29 standard fantasy points. The Rams had 3 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, 6 sacks and a touchdown. Oh yeah, they didn’t allow a single point either. The Rams head to Washington to face a struggling Redskins team. Their ownership jumped to 50% last week, but if other owners in your league passed it’s time to make the add. The Colts played Washington last week and although they recorded a solid 11 fantasy points, I thought they would go completely nuts. They scored a touchdown and sacked Colt McCoy 6 times but allowed 27 points. The Texans are used to giving up points on a weekly basis, but this does not stop them from continuing to put up great fantasy numbers. JJ Watt led his unit to 11 fantasy points on the back of a fumble recovery and 3 interceptions. Houston heads to Jacksonville next week, meaning I don’t have to dig any deeper here. You know what to do.

Week 14 Targets:

I mentioned a couple of the defenses that I targeted last week and how their matchups this week are just as good, if not better than last week. Besides the Rams and Texans, here is another team to look at as we reach crunch time!

  • Minnesota Vikings: Mike Zimmer is a defensive genius. He has turned the Vikings defense from absolutely horrendous to reliable on a week-to-week basis. There are still a couple problems in the secondary but overall this defense is well improved and their fantasy numbers show it. Now they come home to TCF Bank Stadium and get the New York Jets. The Jets are coming off a short week after their Monday night loss to the Dolphins. And yes, Geno Smith is still awful. I’m expecting big things out of this unit in week 14.

NOTE: As the waivers come available this week make sure you take a look at the defenses that people are dropping to make room for other players. Many owners stick with one defense during the playoffs and kick the other one to the curb. While many of the defenses with great matchups this week are owned in 75-95% of leagues, that does not mean they are not available in your league. Watch the waiver wire closely this week as we head into the fantasy playoffs.

Good luck, and as always, happy streaming!

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/i7hWtQ

Check out FantasyRundown.com for all of our latest articles and other great fantasy content.

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

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 12

The Saint Louis Rams have beaten the Seahawks, 49ers and the Broncos. Jonas Gray had 199 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns on Sunday night. A guy named Bell on the Steelers followed that up the next evening with 203 rushing yards of his own. Odell Beckham showed us that he belongs in a circus with his amazing catches. Finally, the Arizona Cardinals continue to shock the world as they moved to 9-1 with their starting quarterback sitting on the bench. All these things happened in one weekend in the NFL. “Any Given Sunday” has never been more apparent in the NFL as it has this year and as we move to week 12, we have more story lines to follow. Will Josh Gordon help fantasy owners who have held on to him all year? Will Oakland ever win a game? These are a couple of the many questions that we have as we move to week 12, but there is one question we can answer right now.

Who are we going to stream for a defense this week!

Last Week’s Results:

In week 11 we decided to take a chance on teams that were coming off the bye. All three had favorable matchups and extra rest to prepare them for their opponent. The San Diego Chargers gave us double-digit fantasy points in by only allowing 6 points to the Oakland Raiders. They also got to David Carr twice. This week they face a Rams squad coming off a huge win but that should fall right back down to earth. I’m looking for a huge week out of the Chargers defense. The Houston Texans also provided good value if you streamed them off their bye. Allowing the Browns only 7 points and sacking Hoyer twice, the Texans gave owners 8 fantasy points in a crucial week before the regular season dwindles down. The huge disappointment of the week was my hometown Minnesota Vikings. While they did pick off Jay Cutler twice, they also allowed the Bears to score 21 points and didn’t record any sacks after recording 30 in the 4 weeks prior. Now they face a Green Bay Packer team that looks like one of the best in the NFL. The Vikings defense will take a rest on the waiver wire this week before a couple of good matchups in the fantasy playoffs.

Week 12 Targets:

The Chiefs have a great week 12 matchup against the Raiders ahead
The Chiefs have a great week 12 matchup against the Raiders ahead
  • Kansas City Chiefs: While Kansas City has to travel to the West Coast to play this game on Thursday night, I love the matchup. I had to double take when I saw that the Chiefs were only 60% owned in ESPN leagues. They are the 10th best fantasy defense and have not recorded a negative point total all season. If they are not owned in your league, you should plug and play them in week 12. This is my favorite matchup of the week!
  • Indianapolis Colts: Many owners saw that the Colts were playing the Patriots last week and clicked drop. Currently, the Colts defense is only owned in 25% of leagues. Let’s look at this matchup schedule the rest of the year: Jacksonville, Washington, Cleveland, Houston, Dallas. While I love the Chiefs matchup for week 12, you also have to love the matchup for Indianapolis against the Jaguars. The Jaguars give up the most points to fantasy defenses. If you are in playoff contention and need a defense to lead you the rest of the way, the Colts are your squad. While I believe the Chiefs might do better this week, the Colts will do owners better throughout the rest of the year. Go and get them!
  • Philadelphia Eagles: This seems like a weird sentence to type. The number one fantasy defense is available in 35% of fantasy leagues. Yes, the Eagles have been a season-changer for owners lucky enough to have them. Last week they faced the Packers and they struggled like many thought they would. Now, the Eagles get the opportunity to face the Titans, Dallas (twice), Seattle and Washington from now until week 16. While the Seattle matchup will be dangerous, the Eagles have done well against good teams this year and will be able to help you out as the playoffs begin in a couple of weeks.

I feel confident in my week 12 selections. The fact that some of the top defenses are sitting on the waiver wire as we head to the playoffs is an opportunity for owners to take advantage of their opponents. Play the matchups wisely and you’ll be the one holding the trophy at the end of the year.

Happy streaming, and good luck in week 12.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/VzYz1L

Check out FantasyRundown.com for all of our latest articles and other great fantasy content.

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

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 11

We made it. Well, at least I did. I can’t speak for you.

You may be asking yourself, “what is he talking about?”

The worst of the bye weeks are over!

Over the past two weeks, there have been 12 teams on the bye. Not only does it force the offensive studs from your lineup, but your reliable defensive units as well. Although streaming your defense is a sound strategy, there are several defenses that are indeed matchup-proof. It’s nice to be able to set it and forget it, you know? The Philadelphia Eagles have surely been one of those defenses. They induce lots of sacks and strips, and have a unit that can score at any time. Whether it be on a turnover or a Darren Sproles run-back, this unit has been putting up monster numbers. Through 10 weeks, the Eagle defense has nine touchdowns. Nine!

Wait, how many touchdowns again?

How the Eagles defense is unowned in over 35% of leagues is a mystery. Although they have a tough matchup against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers this week, they have a favorable schedule throughout the remainder of the regular season.

Enough about the Eagles, how did I do last week?

Last Week’s Results:

The Cowboys took care of business in London Sunday, beating the Jags 31 to 17, en route to 11 standard fantasy points. Blake Bortles struggled once again and Dallas took full advantage. While the Cowyboys only managed one interception, they were able to record four sacks and recover two fumbles. The Cowboys are on a bye in week 11 but may be usable when they return in week 13 against Eli Manning and the G-men. Even though the Steelers were a letdown against the Jets, allowing them 20 points, they may be worth another look this week against the Titans. The black and yellow recorded four sacks on their way to a 6-point fantasy day. Not horrible, all things considered. Finally, I recommended Buffalo at the end of last week’s column, and they ended up performing well. The unit is now 75% owned in fantasy and are the 5th highest scoring defense in the fake game. They were able to get to Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith six times and rack up 11 fantasy points. It would be hard not to use them this week in Miami, as they have scored double-digit points five times this year.

Week 11 Targets:

This week, we are going to take a look at three teams that did not play in week 10. All three teams are coming off a week of rest and should be ready to face their opponent. They have had an extra week to look at film and prepare and hopefully putting them on your team will lead you to a win in week 11.

  • Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings are one of the few teams who have had positive fantasy value every single week this year. They have also produced 41 fantasy points in the past three weeks. This week, they get a Bears team that was just humiliated on Sunday Night Football against the Packers. Jay Cutler is a turnover machine right now and the Vikings should be ready to take full advantage on Sunday. The purple people eaters defense is my play of the week.
  • San Diego Chargers: This unit was brutal the two weeks before their bye. They allowed Denver and Miami to score a combined 72 points. Seventy-two, yikes. Still, both games were away and now they get to come home and see the Raiders and Rams in back-to-back weeks. Owned in just 23.6% of ESPN leagues, the Chargers are a great defensive add if you need a filler for a couple of weeks. After that, they have a date with the Ravens, followed by games against Manning and Brady. Ouch.
  • Houston Texans: Houston’s bye week came after a 12-point fantasy performance against the Eagles, who looked like one of the best teams in the NFL in week 10 with Mark Sanchez under center. Still, the Texans are owned in half of ESPN leagues and are ranked #7 at the position so far in 2014. Over the next month they face the Browns, Bengals, Titans and Jaguars before heading to Indianapolis for week 15. If available, the Texans are a big boy add considering their schedule as we head into the fantasy playoffs. I smell a Brian Hoyer pick-6 and a nice fantasy point total for Houston this week.

There you have it! Good luck and happy streaming.

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

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 10

Sundays rarely disappoint. Actually, let me rephrase that. Sundays from September to January rarely disappoint. You gather with friends, co-workers, neighbors, family, and fantasy buddies to watch the week’s football games. You might make chili, order pizza or grill burgers while it is still nice out, but once the game starts, everyone hovers around the TV.

Everyone has a different place where they watch football on Sundays. In the basement of my house we have a 70-inch TV that is great for video games, but better for NFL Sundays. Last year we would hook up Sunday Ticket from my computer to the 42-inch TV that sits next to the 70 inch. The quality was bad, if it worked, and it left me without a computer to check throughout the day. Not ideal. This year we decided to invest in another cable box. It works perfectly as the 42-inch TV handles the RedZone channel, while the 70-inch carries the Vikings game or any other game that might be on at that time. We have room to comfortably sit ten. The fridge is always stacked and the bar is always full of food and drinks. It couldn’t get any better.

Last Week’s Results: 

I recommended the Kansas City Chiefs and the hometown Minnesota Vikings. The Chiefs were a bit of a letdown given their matchup. At the end of the day they did only allow the Jets to score 10 points while sacking the carousel of Jets quarterbacks 3 times. That was good enough for 5 standard fantasy points. The Vikings took on Washington at TCF Bank Stadium, in a game that welcomed RGIII back into the fold. The Vikings gave him a nice welcome, taking him down for five sacks and knocking him all over the field. Still, RGIII and Morris lead Washington to 26 points. Overall, the Vikings grabbed 7 more fantasy points in week 9. In the last four weeks, 7 is the minimum amount of fantasy points that they have gathered. The 6th ranked Vikings defense will take this week off and look to come back strong against divisional opponents after their bye.

Week 10 Targets:

  • Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys are this week’s winner in the “who plays Jacksonville” sweepstakes The Cowboys are coming off of a 9-point performance last week against the Cardinals. This week they travel to London to take on the Jaguars. While Blake Bortles has looked better in the past couple of weeks, this trip to will be a big change for him. I expect a defensive touchdown for “America’s team” as they head across the Atlantic, leaving fantasy owners who pick them up enjoying their tea and crumpets this Sunday.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: You may have heard that the best defense is a good offense. If you have, you are probably looking no further than the Steelers for your defense this week. Have you seen Big Ben play the past two weeks? Setting the NFL Record with 12 touchdowns passes over the past two weeks, the Steeler offense has been staying on the field more often. This alleviates pressure on the defense and more time for them to rest and get ready for the upcoming drive. This week the Steelers travel to New Jersey to face the Jets. The Steelers came into week 9 as the 12th best fantasy defense, and have been playing very well of late. James Harrison has gone from retired to the spark the Steelers need in a matter of weeks. The Steelers are looking at a 2 interception game with the addition of 4 or 5 sacks as well.

A couple other defenses to consider are the Patriots and the Bills. The Pats are coming off a matchup where they played the Broncos. Many people (including me) were concerned that they wouldn’t play well against Manning, instead they had 2 interceptions and Julian Edelman found paydirt on a punt return. Check to see if they got dropped and pick them up where you can. The Bills were on the bye last week but now have a good schedule for a couple weeks. This week against the Chiefs at home might be a little tough, but the Bills have done well all year (ranked 3rd going into week 9) and should provide good value for upcoming weeks.

Week 10 should provide more fun and excitement in the NFL. No matter where you are watching, make sure that you have one of these defenses so you can cheer when they post a pick-six. Grab a cold one and enjoy, another week of football is upon us.

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

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

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 9

Everyone has that one friend. The friend who repeats everything that he or she says. Their name and face just popped into your head. If no one popped into your head, then the friend is probably you. This person isn’t wrong and depending on how close you are with them, they may or may not be really annoying. At The Sports Script, I am that person. But if you have been reading my articles every week you probably already know that. I have actually been giving you a double dose of repeating on a weekly basis, and I can’t even say I am sorry about it.

Here are the two things that I repeat on a weekly basis.

  • Stream the defense that plays the Jaguars
  • Use the Cleveland Browns because of their schedule

Last week’s results:

Before we move ahead to week 9 and look back at the two statements above, let’s look at what happened last week. I gave out three defenses that were readily available in almost all leagues. Let’s see how we did.

Dolphins Defense
The Dolphins defense dominated Jacksonville on Sunday, posting 26 fantasy points
  • Miami Dolphins: The Miami Dolphins absolutely killed it on Sunday against the struggling Blake Bortles. The 3rd overall pick in the 2014 draft threw two picks that were returned for touchdowns and was also sacked 4 times. Miami led ESPN standard scoring in week 8 with 26 fantasy points. Not a bad day at the office.
  • Buffalo Bills: The Jets are a mess. Geno can’t throw, Vick is older than dirt and Percy is just there to stir the pot a little bit. The Bills took full advantage on Sunday and sacked the QB duo 4 times while picking them off 4 times as well. An all around great day for the Bills defense (16 fantasy points) as they head into their bye week.
  • Cleveland Browns: Jacksonville, Oakland, Tampa Bay. Any coach who sees those three teams on a schedule is going to smile. Put them in a row and they might jump for joy. In week 8, Cleveland was in the middle of that stretch of “easy games” and welcomed the Oakland Raiders into town. Oakland was intercepted once, sacked three times, and they fumbled twice before the day was done. Now, the Browns have Tampa Bay coming up from Florida and should be ready for another prime matchup. Only owned in 20.2% of leagues, let’s squeeze the juice out of the orange and ride this streak out with one more great performance from a defense that has done well the past two weeks.

Week 9 Targets:

  • Kansas City Chiefs: Arrowhead Stadium is crazy; it’s one of the loudest places in the NFL to play and Kansas City welcomes the Jets into town for week 9. Rex Ryan has made the quarterback switch to Michael Vick and I think that Kansas City will have a field day with it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 3 or so interceptions with 3 or more sacks. The Chiefs defense is no walk in the park and the Jets offensive line might as well pave sidewalks for the defensive line of Kansas City this week. Kansas City is one of only a handful of fantasy defenses that has provided positive scoring in every week this year. Also, they had seven sacks last week.
  • Minnesota Vikings: The Minnesota Vikings have been an underrated defense the past few weeks. In the last two weeks alone they have 34 fantasy points in ESPN standard leagues and at least 4 sacks the past three weeks. They have three performances this year that have lead to double-digit fantasy production as well. In week 9 #TeamTeddy put the Vikings up against Washington. We currently don’t know who the QB will be in Washington but I don’t think it will make a difference to this defense that is taking down any QB in its path the past several weeks. Like Kansas City, Minnesota has had positive fantasy production every week this year.

Other to consider: San Diego Chargers (58%), Cincinnati Bengals (75%)

There you have it, three defenses to look for on your waiver wire, and a couple more that you will want to scoop up if others in your league have not been paying attention. Good luck in week 9 and as always, happy streaming!

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

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

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 8

All records are meant to be broken. On Sunday, Peyton Manning broke the record for the most passing touchdowns by any quarterback in NFL history. After the game Peyton was interviewed on NBC and gave one of the most selfless interviews I have ever seen. He spoke of his teammates and coaches that he has had over the years. He gave credit to everyone except himself. I have my own opinions on Peyton Manning that I will save for another article, but no one can deny the fact that he is great. Through neck surgery and beyond, Peyton has faced adversity and done so while succeeding on the field week after week.

Many of you probably don’t know this but something else ended in the NFL on Sunday. The Jacksonville Jaguars finally won a game. Not only that, the opposing defense failed to score double-digit fantasy points against them like it had done every week prior this season.

Overall, week 7 was crazy, but we are just getting started.

Last week’s results:

  • Cleveland Browns: 8 fantasy points. Eight. Against the Jaguars. I watched some of this game and the Browns defense actually looked pretty decent at times. Three interceptions and two sacks on Bortles made for an impressive showing. In the end though, the Jaguars racked up 24 points on the way to their first victory of the season.
  • Dallas Cowboys: America’s team played the struggling New York Giants at home and I thought for sure they would give us a better a performance. Although they only allowed 21 points, the only points they put up were two fumble recoveries. 3 fantasy points is all the Cowboys were worth. I thought they had a chance to finally hit double-digit fantasy points but while they got the win, the defense’s best weapon continues to be their explosive offense.

NOTE: The Cowboys do get Washington this upcoming week, so if you own them they may be worth another shot.

Week 8 Targets:

Denard Robinson was a big reason why an opposing defense failed to record double-digit fantasy points for the first time against the Jags in 2014
Denard Robinson was a big reason why an opposing defense failed to record double-digit fantasy points for the first time against the Jags in 2014

Cleveland Browns: If you read last week’s article you know how excited I was for the matchup against the Jaguars. Although I was a little disappointed by their performance, the matchup wasn’t the only reason that I picked up the Browns off the waiver wire. The Browns get to fly home and take on the Raiders this week. Although Oakland has kept opposing defenses away from huge point totals thus far, a home matchup still seems prime for the Browns. Pick ’em up and use them.

NOTE: Cleveland takes on Tampa Bay in week 9 to close out their trio of great matchups for streaming!

Miami Dolphins: Miami’s defense is improving from week to week. The Dolphins have played six games and have scored double-digit fantasy points in four of them. Who do the Dolphins get in week 8? You guessed it, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The battle of Florida should be a great matchup for Miami on the defensive end of the ball. I believe the Dolphins take care of business in Jacksonville.

Buffalo Bills: The Buffalo Bills are owned in more leagues than the teams I usually include in this column. Still, Buffalo is unowned in 40% of leagues and should be streamed in week 8. The Bills have been playing really well, keeping opposing tailbacks out of the end zone, and putting up good fantasy numbers along the way. This week Buffalo gets the New York Jets. The Jets are wacky, but they are almost always good for a few sacks on Geno and a pick or two. I think this Bills unit is in for a big week.

Good luck in week 8!

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/6wtO5D

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

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 7

Have you ever watched a horse race? Unless you are hardcore fan of the “Sport of Kings” you don’t watch most of the race. You wait until the horses come around the final turn and then watch for your horse to pull ahead and hopefully cross the finish line ahead of the others. You look at your ticket and depending on what you bet, you head to the cashier and collect your winnings. Over the last couple years I have met some people on Twitter who love horse racing. You might even say they obsess over it. They dedicate hours looking at past performance sheets, watch race replays, and look for anything that might get them an advantage against the other players. I have been on Twitter long enough to know that the horse racing community is maybe the nicest group of people on the internet. Some people I have barely met have become good friends, while others I enjoy following for their insight and humor that stretches beyond the track.

Why am I talking about horse races? On Twitter, the community of horse handicappers has a universal tweet that comes out when someone hits big. It might be an exacta, a trifecta, a superfecta, a big win bet, or a pick 4 or pick 6 win. The tweet is simple, the tweet is beautiful.

BOOOOOOOM!

If I see that word come up on my Twitter timeline I know something good happened to one of my horse betting buddies. Sometimes the person might have won $50, while other times, (no kidding), it might be a 50k hit on a pick 4 or pick 6 ticket. This terminology might not mean much to you, but I promise, it will all come full circle quickly.

I have been writing this article for a 6 weeks now, and I finally had my BOOOOOM moment over the weekend. Below you will find the three defenses I said were worth streaming this weekend. In horse racing, when you pick three horses and they come 1st, 2nd and 3rd, you have hit the trifecta. While my three defenses weren’t the three highest scoring defenses this weekend, they were up there. Going 3/3 for the first time is close enough to a trifecta for me, so I am going to call it a big win.

Last week’s results:

  • Tennessee Titans: The Titans were my sleeper pick of the week and showed once again why facing the Jacksonville Jaguars is fantasy gold! The Titans were owned in 1.1% of leagues when last week’s article went live. On Sunday they held the Jags to 14 points, while recording a fumble recovery and an interception. They also sacked Bortles six times, giving them 12 fantasy points in ESPN standard scoring. If you were lucky enough to grab the Titans last week, they have another great matchup ahead when they travel to Washington this weekend. I wouldn’t drop them yet.
  • Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens were unreal this weekend. One minute into the 2nd quarter and they were up 35-0 against the Buccaneers, once again proving that Tampa Bay might want to bring in more CFL competition if they want to see any wins in 2014. The Bucs did score 17 points, mostly in garbage time, as Baltimore recorded an interception and 5 sacks en route to a 7 point showing. Not bad.
  • Philadelphia Eagles: 14, 4, 1, 23, 18 and 17. No, these are not tonight’s lottery numbers. Instead, this is the number of fantasy points that the Eagles have scored from week to week in 2014. Currently ranked as the number 1 fantasy defense, the ownership of the Eagles D/ST is only 22.8%. Amazing, to be honest, especially after their primetime beating of the Giants on Sunday night. The Eagles are on bye this week, and face a much tougher schedule after the week off. That being said, it is hard to stay away from a defense that has 7 touchdowns in 6 games.

Week 7 Targets:

Joe Haden and the Browns get the lowly Jaguars this week. Stream city!
Joe Haden and the Browns get the lowly Jaguars this week. Stream city!

Cleveland Browns: I apologize if you are a Jaguars fan, I really do. Each week I feel like I am picking on you because I always recommend the defense that plays against your squad. It isn’t personal, I promise. Let’s look at the fantasy totals of the defenses that have played the Jaguars so far, shall we?

  1. Week 1: Eagles; 15 fantasy points
  2. Week 2: Washington; 18 fantasy points
  3. Week 3: Colts; 17 fantasy points
  4. Week 4: Chargers; 10 fantasy points
  5. Week 5: Steelers; 16 fantasy points
  6. Week 6: Titans; 12 fantasy points

This gives us a grand total of 88 fantasy points. That is eleven more points than the leading fantasy defense in ESPN standard scoring right now. The stats don’t need to get more complex than that. Find the defense that plays the Jaguars and start them. They allow sack after sack, and struggle to get anything going as an offense. This week the Browns are the lucky team that gets to face the Jaguars. Currently 4.8% owned on ESPN, the Browns have a prime schedule for the next three weeks. They start with Jacksonville but then get the Raiders and Buccaneers at home in back to back weeks. Picking up the Browns defense this week can keep your team set at the position for the next three weeks!

NOTE: In case you want to think ahead, the Dolphins face a tough Bears team this week but then get the Jaguars next!

Dallas Cowboys: Which Giants team are we going to see? Which Eli Manning shows up? Victor Cruz is one of my favorite players, but from the recent reports, it doesn’t look like 2014 is going to be one to remember for him. What will that do to the Giants offense? While no one can be quite sure, I do believe that the Cruz injury does help out any defense who is playing against them. This week that is the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys came into the year ranked potentially as one of worst defenses in the league. Injuries mixed with lack of depth brought about many questions. The Cowboys have proven that they deserve much more credit, currently 5-1 with a nice schedule ahead of them. After the Giants come into town, Washington and Arizona follow. Dallas then heads to Jacksonville before their bye, giving the Cowboys four straight fantasy match ups that make my mouth water. Currently 4.6% owned, I would consider them a must add with a schedule that is juicer than the first watermelon of summer.

Before we go: Two defenses that should be picked up this week (for this week and for future weeks) are listed above, but what about those defenses that are 85%+ owned? The ones that you had to waste a draft pick on early in your draft. The defenses that you picked before DeAndre Hopkins or Brian Quick? Currently on ESPN there are 6 units that are 85% owned or higher. How do they rank amongst the 32 teams in fantasy points?

  • Carolina Panthers are 85.7% owned and currently are the 7th highest scoring fantasy defense. Not bad at all!
  • Arizona Cardinals are usually hyped up and their defense usually lets people down. Currently ranked 25th in fantasy scoring.
  • Denver Broncos are currently 93.2% owned on ESPN and rank next to the Cardinals at 26th in fantasy points! Why are you starting them every week?
  • Cincinnati Bengals are 95.9% owned and currently rank 18th in the league in fantasy points. The top three fantasy defenses combined aren’t even owned in that many leagues.
  • San Francisco 49ers are 81.8% started and 98.2% owned right now in fantasy leagues. They currently rank number 15 and are a middle of the pack fantasy defense in 2014. 15th is also inflated because of their week one performance against the Cowboys. They have also scored single digit fantasy points three weeks this year as well.
  • Seattle Seahawks are still 81.8% started and 100% owned. The “Legion of Boom” currently rank 29th out of 32 teams in fantasy scoring this year. While you assume they will pick it up eventually, it is hard to start a defense that might get you single digit fantasy points and the Seahawks have helped you accomplish that 3 times. If you own them you are just holding them and hoping for their BOOOOOOM moment soon. Pick up another unit until the Seahawks prove to you that they are willing to start again.

Good luck in week 7!

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/IQOBVh

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

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!