by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
We are through the first six weeks of the season and we are starting to get a little bit of clarity (I have to stress “little”) of how teams stack up across the NFL. With that in mind, which defenses could be worth streaming for Week 8? Let’s take a look:
Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville
Ownership: Yahoo – 19%, ESPN – 12.6%
The Dolphins are coming off an impressive performance against the Bears, holding their high-powered offense to just 14 points. Jay Cutler threw for 190 yards while he was sacked 3 times, intercepted once and lost a fumble. With the Jaguars having allowed a league high 29 sacks, as well as having thrown 11 INT, there’s a good chance Miami continues its strong defense against opposing QB.
Where Miami has struggled is against running backs who can catch the ball (257 receiving yards, 3 TD), so the emergence of Denard Robinson is a bit of a concern. That said it’s hardly enough of a reason to steer us away from utilizing the Dolphins this week. While Jacksonville is coming off a victory and they have upside, Blake Bortles has proven to be quite mistake prone with 10 INT and 2 fumbles (though he hasn’t lost one yet).
Look for the Dolphins to attack the rookie early and often, giving them a real opportunity to rack up some fantasy points.
Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh
Ownership – Yahoo – 44%, ESPN – 12.0%
Indianapolis’ defense has actually been among the best in the league, despite also being one of the most high-powered offenses. They have 21 sacks on the season, just three behind the league leaders, while also picking up 6 interceptions and 6 fumble recoveries.
The Steelers offense does have the potential to put up some points, though they are actually among the lowest scoring teams in the league. Where the Colts have thrived is limiting opposing quarterbacks, so the pressure is going to be on Le’Veon Bell to carry the load. While he could do just that, he entered Monday night with just 1 rushing TD and that came all the way back in Week 1. If that trend can continue, this is going to be an opportunity to exploit.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com, Yahoo! Sports
Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings: