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 four NFL teams find themselves on byes:
Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh
The Steelers have allowed a league high 36 sacks. While that hasn’t been Detroit’s strong point this season (just 15 sacks), you do have to think there will be an opportunity for them to get some pressure.
Where they have been strong is interceptions, with 11 on the season, which once again should be a place for them to make plays. Entering the season Detroit’s defense was viewed as a potential strong option and this week they could hopefully live up to the hype.
New York Jets at Buffalo
You could argue that Buffalo’s defense should also be included on this list, but with the Jets finding a running game and Buffalo struggling in that regard (117.3 rushing yards per game) they fall just short. As for the Jets, they are generating a pass rush (27.0 sacks), including getting E.J. Manuel eight times in the first matchup between these two teams.
Buffalo has allowed 31 sacks overall this season, so you’d expect the Jets to create pressure and opportunity there once again. A healthy C.J. Spiller should help Buffalo, though it hasn’t the past two weeks. In fact, they have been at 17 points or fewer in each of their past three games (40 total points in three games).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta
The Falcons offense has been decimated by injuries, and it’s shown in recent weeks. Just look at the past three weeks:
- Week 8 at Arizona – 13 points
- Week 9 at Carolina – 10 points
- Week 10 vs. Seattle – 10 points
You can argue that the matchups have been difficult, but that’s not enough of a justification. When the Falcons faced Atlanta in Week 7, they did put up 31 points but that was also a different Tampa Bay team. Darrelle Revis is getting healthy, and we all know that’s going to make a difference on the field. The opportunity is definitely going to be there if you are in a desperate situation.