by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
It’s Week 7, 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:
Pittsburgh Steelers – at Kansas City
ESPN – 24.6%, Yahoo! – 38%
It’s interesting that the ownership is low, considering that the Steelers have actually performed like one of the better defenses in the league this season:
- Sacks – 17
- Interceptions – 5
- Fumble Recoveries – 4
The matchup also screams of an opportunity to exploit. We all know the questions in Kansas City’s running game, with Jamaal Charles lost for the season, but there’s a good chance Jeremy Maclin will also be sidelined. That’s arguably the team’s two best offensive weapons, leaving Travis Kelce to try and carry the load. Is that really something that would strike fear into anyone?
Atlanta Falcons – at Tennessee
ESPN – 37.2%, Yahoo! – 38%
This is more about the Titans offense then it is the Falcons defense. The running game is in shambles, Marcus Mariota is likely out (leaving Zach Mettenberg under center) and the team still has not fully unleashed Dorial Green-Beckham. What exactly do they have going for them? They’ve also allowed the fourth most sacks in the league (20), which could provide Atlanta an opportunity to get things going.
There’s certainly enough working against the Titans to make Atlanta look like an attractive option.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Washington
ESPN – 4.8%, Yahoo! – 3%
The ultimate flier, Tampa Bay has actually registered 15 sacks this season. The problem has been 136 points against, as well as just 3 INT.
That said Washington has been among the lowest scoring teams in the NFL this season, averaging a mere 19.5 points per game. They are also one of 10 teams who are averaging under four yards per carry (they are at 3.9) and are likely to be without Desean Jackson (though Matt Jones and Jordan Reed may both return).
This isn’t necessarily a gamble we’d want to take, but the desperate can roll the dice.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com, Yahoo!
Make sure to check out all of our Week 7 rankings: