by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
If you are a fantasy footballer who likes to stream his/her defense, let’s take a look at the best options as six NFL teams find themselves on byes:
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay
The Panthers rushing defense has been stout this season, allowing just 84.5 rushing yards per game as well as 2 TD. With star running back Doug Martin sidelined, it could be extremely tough sledding for the Buccaneers to get anything going on the ground.
Are they going to be able to throw the ball? The Panthers have 19 sacks and 9 interceptions, while Tampa Bay has been one of the worst passing teams in the league. It’s not that they allow sacks (14) or throw interceptions (6), but they just don’t accumulate much yardage (197.3). You also can’t just attribute the poor numbers to Josh Freeman, though Mike Glennon has been picking things up over the past two weeks (529 yards, 4 TD). Of course, he’s still a rookie and is hardly a guarantee to produce.
With Thursday night games often being sloppy, this is a perfect opportunity to roll the dice. In fact, you could argue that the Panthers defense should no longer be considered a streaming option (though their ownership indicates that they are still an option).
New Orleans Saints vs. Buffalo
The Buffalo Bills can’t seem to get either Fred Jackson or C.J. Spiller healthy. While both have shown flashes, they are clearly banged up and are not the same type of threat that they could possibly be.
The Saints, coming off their bye week, already have 20 sacks on the season. The Bills, meanwhile, have been one of the most sacked team in the league (24). That’s a very good combination.
Couple the injuries to the running backs and the potential for a significant number of sacks and you get a defense that is going to be attractive to fantasy owners in Week 8.
Atlanta Falcons at Arizona
The Cardinals are averaging 19.0 points per game, putting them in the bottom ten in the league. A lot of the problem lays squarely on the shoulders of Carson Palmer, as they have thrown 13 INT and seen their QB sacked 20 times this season.
The Falcons don’t have impressive numbers (14.0 sacks, 3 INT), but the matchup at least makes them worth considering.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings: