by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
It’s Week 4, so we’re slowly starting to get a feel for which defenses are strong and which aren’t… Aren’t we? Unfortunately what we think we know may not quite be accurate, as we all have learned how volatile NFL teams can be from year to year (or even week to week). With that in mind, which defenses could be worth streaming this week? Let’s take a look:
Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Kansas City
Yahoo! – 24%, ESPN – 26.0%
The Chiefs have allowed 14 sacks, the most in the league, while also tying for the second most fumbles (6, while losing 3 of them). Those numbers alone would make any defense facing them an intriguing option.
The question is going to be if the Bengals can stop Jamaal Charles, though thus far they have been solid at quieting opposing running backs (200 rushing yards allowed, 0 TD). They’ve also allowed just 50 points, tied for fifth fewest in the league, adding to the appeal.
Others Worth Considering
Indianapolis Colts – vs. Jacksonville
Yahoo! – 46%, ESPN – 33.8%
The Jaguars are among the lowest scoring teams in the league, averaging just 16.3 points per game. Blake Bortles has struggled and T.J. Yeldon and the running game has failed to really get anything going (92.0 rushing yards per game and 0 TD). In other words, the matchup puts the Colts into consideration though they haven’t been impressive this season (4 sacks, 3 INT, 0 fumble recoveries).
Cleveland Browns – at San Diego
Yahoo! – 21%, ESPN –24.4%
We all know the Chargers have potential producers at the skill positions, but they’ve also allowed 10 sacks and thrown 4 interceptions over the first three weeks. Again those numbers put the Browns on the map, but before we look at the numbers Cleveland has posted through three weeks first we need to note the opponents:
- New York Jets
- Tennessee Titans
- Oakland Raiders
Those are hardly imposing offenses, so the numbers don’t really matter. There is potential in the matchup, but it’s more based on the Chargers offense than the Browns defense.
Oakland Raiders – at Chicago
Yahoo! – 5%, ESPN – 3.0%
The Chicago Bears are an offense in shambles, with both Alshon Jeffrey and Jay Cutler banged up. They have scored a meager 15.3 points per game, more than just the San Francisco 49ers (15.0). That’s what is going to put Oakland in the conversation, considering they’ve managed just 5 sacks and 2 interceptions over the first three weeks of the season.
Sources – NFL.com, Yahoo!, ESPN
Make sure to check out our other Week 4 rankings: