Week 9 D/ST Streamers for Fantasy Football
When I usually set out to research this piece, I have to dig pretty deep in the hopes of unearthing some hidden gems. There are typically not many D/ST streamers that stand out right away. That is not the case this week. Several defensive units are readily available in a majority of leagues that boast favorable matchups. And that is not even counting the Green Bay Packers, who I mentioned in the “Looking Ahead” portion of last week’s column. We have two of the streamers listed below to score at least 10 fantasy points. This, of course, does not mean that all of them will pan out. But fantasy football is all about matchups and giving yourself the best chance to win each week. With that in mind, here are my favorite Week 9 D/ST streamers.
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Week 9 D/ST Streamers
Arizona Cardinals (v. Miami Dolphins, 44 percent rostered in Fantrax leagues)
Sometimes we as fantasy managers need to take what the fantasy gods give us. When we are seeking streamers, we look for defenses with a solid track record. The Arizona Cardinals defense is eighth in fantasy points per game this season. Check. We also like to target opposing quarterbacks who are inexperienced and prone to mistakes. Tua Tagovailoa will be making his second NFL start on Sunday. Check. The Cardinals are also coming off a bye as if we needed another checkmark in their favor. The week off should give them time to heal any nagging injuries and gameplan for Miami’s new-look offense.
That offense did not exactly set the world on fire last week. The Dolphins averaged just 3.0 yards per play overall, with Tagovailoa accounting for just 93 passing yards. Running back Myles Gaskin was the only skill player to surpass 20 yards from scrimmage last week, and he is now on injured reserve. There is even a chance that Matt Breida will miss this game. Miami’s offensive line ranks 30th in adjusted line yards. The Cardinals will likely force Tua to try to beat them, and I do not expect him to be up to the task. Despite losing to Miami by 11 points last week, the Rams’ D/ST finished eighth in fantasy scoring. I expect a more favorable outcome on the scoreboard for Arizona, and additional fantasy points are likely as well.
New York Giants (at Washington Football Team, 27 percent rostered)
As I speculated last week, fantasy managers looking for Week 9 D/ST streamers would be wise to grab the Washington Football Team. They did just that. Washington’s rostership has increased by over 30 percent since this time last week. If you missed out on grabbing Washington’s defense, the unit that will be patrolling the other side of FedEx Field this week is in play as well. The New York Giants defense ranks 14th in fantasy points per game this year. They only scored four fantasy points last week, but they held the potent Tampa Bay offense in check for virtually the entire ballgame. The Giants enter Week 9 tied for seventh in total sacks and have allowed a respectable 22 points per game over their last three contests.
Here comes some hard-hitting #analysis – facing Kyle Allen a week after facing Tom Brady is a good thing for opposing defenses. Allen managed to play mistake-free football in Washington’s beatdown of Dallas two weeks ago. Call me crazy, but I am attributing that more to the Cowboys nonexistent defense than I am to Allen suddenly discovering how to protect the football. I still think he is the same quarterback who turned the ball over 23 times and was sacked 46 times in just over 500 dropbacks last season. New York’s D/ST finished fourth in fantasy points when these teams squared off three short weeks ago. Both their ceiling and floor should be quite high in this matchup, making them a solid streaming option.
Houston Texans (at Jacksonville Jaguars, 43 percent rostered)
The Houston Texans have drastically underperformed this season. They enter Week 9 with a record of 1-6, and their defense is tied for 28th in fantasy points. Are you sold yet? OK, let me try again. Houston plays the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 9. The Jags are among the leaders in fantasy points allowed to opposing defenses. They are also going to start Jake Luton at quarterback. Luton will be making his NFL debut on Sunday. He is not adept at going through his progressions and is not exactly fleet of foot. In his last two seasons at Oregon State, Luton “ran” for -231 yards. Keep in mind, the NCAA counts sacks as part of quarterback rushing stats. Still, the number highlights the lack of mobility that Luton possesses. Jacksonville’s offensive line is also dead last in adjusted sack rate allowed heading into Week 9.
One thing to note is that Houston will be without three linebackers due to Covid-19 protocols. That includes Whitney Mercilus and Jacob Martin. The duo has accounted for over 30 percent of Houston’s sack total this year. Losing these linebackers may hinder Houston just a bit in this game. I originally had Houston ahead of New York in my Week 9 D/ST streamers, but the absence of these defenders has caused me to drop them just a bit. I still think they are a solid choice this week, but I am slightly less bullish on them as I was earlier in the week.
Atlanta Falcons (vs. Denver Broncos, 14 percent rostered)
One of the lasting images from Week 8 was Drew Lock leading an incredible comeback to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers as time expired, then doing that weird victory dance afterward. And while it was an impressive performance (the comeback, not the dancing), I think we have to take any passing numbers accumulated in the second half against the Chargers with a grain of salt. I believe that quarterbacks who face the Chargers in the second half should be graded on a curve. I suppose the same could be said of quarterbacks facing the Falcons, but I digress.
Before Lock’s impressive second-half showing, he had been patently awful over his previous two and a half games. In those five halves of football, Lock had completed 43-of-79 passes for 501 yards with no touchdown passes and four interceptions. The Broncos have gifted the second-most fantasy points to opposing defenses this season, with Lock being the primary culprit. The Falcons have allowed just 99.3 rushing yards per game this year, which is sixth in the NFL. If they can keep Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay in check, they should be able to force Lock into some errant throws. Atlanta has finished inside the top 12 in fantasy points in two of the last three weeks. I believe they have a decent chance to make it three out of four when they host the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
New York Jets (vs. New England Patriots, 12 percent rostered)
I know, I know. The New York Jets are terrible. I have watched pretty much every snap this year, so I am well aware. But their defense has been ok, at least for fantasy purposes. They are tied for 20th in fantasy points per game, which is better than you would expect from a team with a -144 point differential through eight games. The Jets are the lowest-scoring team in the AFC. Guess who is second? New York’s Week 9 opponent, the New England Patriots. The Jets are one of two teams without a touchdown pass in their last three games. Guess who the other one is? I think you see where I am going with this. The Jets are not a real safe pick by any means. But if you find yourself scraping the bottom of the barrel for Week 9 D/ST streamers, you could probably do worse.
Seattle Seahawks (at Los Angeles Rams, 43 percent rostered)
Seattle’s defense has forced multiple turnovers in five consecutive games. That recent stretch has taken place without Jamal Adams, Carlos Dunlap, and Damon Harrison. All should be ready to go by Week 10. Harrison may not have much left in the tank, and Dunlap underachieved while with Cincinnati, but these reinforcements should serve them well in this divisional matchup. The Rams have a good offense, but we saw Miami’s D/ST wreak havoc last week, so there is potential for a big day from Seattle’s defense here.
Miami Dolphins (vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 42 percent rostered)
Miami’s D/ST has crushed its last three matchups. I stayed away from including them in this week’s streamers because of Arizona’s potential on offense. Time will tell if that was a wise decision. If the Dolphins have another big game on the defensive end this week, they may be moving towards becoming relatively matchup-proof moving forward.
Detroit Lions (vs. Washington Football Team, 11 percent rostered)
I do not expect Seattle and Miami to qualify to be streamers by this time next week. After those two teams, the options thin out quickly. Detroit is one of the worst defenses in the NFL, both in real life and in fantasy. But a date with Washington is always one that fantasy managers must consider for fantasy purposes. The performances of Detroit’s defense and Washington’s offense in their respective games this week may dictate how willing fantasy managers may be to stream the Lions next week.
Las Vegas Raiders (vs. Denver Broncos, 9 percent rostered)
I listed the Raiders as a potential streamer last week and they did not disappoint. They totaled 12 fantasy points and finished as last week’s seventh-highest scoring defense. The elements may have assisted their impressive performance, but we will take fantasy points however we can get them. Las Vegas could be in play once again next week when they host Denver.
If you found Mick’s Week 9 D/ST Streamers helpful, make sure to check out the rest of our NFL Week 9 Slate of Analysis.
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