by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
It’s Week 6, 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:
Best Streaming Options
Minnesota Vikings – vs. Kansas City
Yahoo! – 13%, ESPN – 18.3%
Without Jamaal Charles, this is going to be an obvious matchup to try and exploit. As it is the Chiefs are just in the middle of the pack offensively (23.4 points per game) and a lot of that came courtesy of the ground game (they are currently throwing for just 233.8 yards per game and have 5 passing TD). Could the duo of Charcandrick West and Kniles Davis step up and perform? It’s possible, but it’s also not something that we’d bank on quite yet.
Kansas City has also allowed 22 sacks, tied for the most in the league, and that’s something that could get worse (we’ll have to see if West/Davis can help protect Alex Smith). While the Vikings haven’t produced much on the defensive end (8 sacks, 4 INT), the questions in both the running and passing games makes this an opportunity to try and exploit.
Cincinnati Bengals – at Buffalo
Yahoo! – 37%, ESPN – 33.3%
The hits keep coming for the Bills, who now could be forced to put E.J. Manuel back under center. Maybe Sammy Watkins is back… Maybe Karlos Williams is on the field… Would it really matter if it’s Manuel playing QB?
As it is Cincinnati has 15 sacks (seventh most in the league) while Buffalo has allowed 14. In 15 games entering the season Manuel had taken 34 sacks, so there’s definitely going to be the opportunity for some pressure if he’s in there. With the potential issues in the running game, as well as the potential lack of weapons on the outside, everything is shifting in the Bengals favor.
Other Streaming Options
Tennessee Titans – vs. Miami
Yahoo! – 5%, ESPN – 7.7%
This one is a bit of a gamble, as we wait to see how Miami is going to react to the new coaching staff. Prior to the change the team was averaging the second fewest points in the league (16.2), so it really can only go up but how many changes can the team make in two weeks? It will be interesting to see, but given the struggles over the first few weeks this could be a place to try and exploit.
Miami Dolphins – at Tennessee
Yahoo! – 20%, ESPN – 30.7%
Same game, but this could be a better opportunity. The Dolphins defense is better than it’s shown thus far, so maybe the change at the top will help to yield better results. The Titans, meanwhile, have a questionable running game and a rookie quarterback. That’s simply never a promising mix.
Miami has generated just 1 sack, 3 INT and have yet to recover a fumble. All of those numbers are going to change, eventually, and this could be the week that they get started. It’s worth the gamble if you are desperate.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com, Yahoo!
Make sure to check out all of our Week 6 rankings: