by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
It’s Week 8, 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:
at New York Jets
Yahoo! – 3%, ESPN – 6.2%
The New York Jets saw their top two quarterbacks (Ryan Fitzpatrick & Geno Smith) suffer injuries in Week 8. At this point all signs point towards Fitzpatrick getting the start, despite ultimately needing surgery in his non-throwing hand, as what is being reported is that it’s more about pain tolerance than anything. In other words it may not take much for him to be knocked out of the game, leaving fourth round pick Bryce Petty to step in.
That potential opportunity alone would warrant our attention in deeper formats, especially with a Jacksonville defense who has generated16 sacks on the season. Of course quarterback isn’t the only question that the Jets have, with both Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker banged up. Chris Ivory has also battled injuries and has been relatively ineffective the past two weeks:
- at New England – 17 carries for 41 yards
- at Oakland – 15 carries for 17 yards
While we wouldn’t necessarily expect the Jaguars to be able to silence Ivory, assuming he’s healthy, there is enough leaning in their direction to roll the dice.
New Orleans Saints
Yahoo! – 9%, ESPN – 7.3%
After watching the New York Giants rack up 49 points a week ago, it seems absurd to view New Orleans as a potential option this week. However, overall the defense has been able to make some plays, including 19 sacks and 8 fumble recoveries. That’s going to likely come into play against a young Tennessee offense that is undergoing a coaching change.
Marcus Mariota is returning to quarterback the team, though his receiving options are in question and Antonio Andrews is expected to lead the backfield. In other words the skill players are hardly going to scare you and certainly can’t be compared to the group headed by Eli Manning and Odell Beckham.
This isn’t necessarily an ideal situation, but there’s enough of an opportunity to consider.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com, Yahoo!
Make sure to check out all of our Week 9 rankings: