Fantasy Defense Streaming: In-Season Planning
As more owners forego buy-and-hold strategies for quarterbacks, tight ends, and defenses, it has caused increasing weekly strain on streamers’ FAAB budgets. Of course it is preferable to stay above this fray and save bullets for when a true difference maker is available.
The surest way of not getting bogged down in these costly waiver wire bloodbaths is to not wade in at all. This can be accomplished simply by looking at the upcoming schedule and getting the drop on neophyte streamers before they know their pocket was picked a week ago.
As we did three months ago when searching out good quarterback pairings for streaming purposes, we will again see what lies ahead by taking a gander at fantasy defenses’ schedules, and then chart them for easy reference. With the quarterbacks, we attempted to identify schedule pitfalls since it was more than a month before training camp, and theoretically was easier to forecast which defenses to avoid rather than to attempt predicting which offenses would take large steps forward. That was the line of thinking anyway.
Through two weeks the eight defenses mentioned in that column, along with the three honorable mentions, have performed roughly as expected. Due to that fact that a lot will change, the schedule projection chart at the bottom of the page will be framed slightly differently for one team (the Patriots), with a shorter term label that will change as the season moves along.
To start off, here are three offenses that fantasy owners will feel very comfortable starting a defense against for the rest of the season, followed by three that should be avoided at all costs:
Not only did they just deal Trent Richardson away, but they are starting Brian Hoyer behind an offensive line that has by far the lowest (-19.1) PFF pass blocking grade through two weeks. Cleveland gets Josh Gordon back for Week 3, which is no small detail, and still have breakout tight end Jordan Cameron roaming the seams – but those two have the look of a new paint job on a ‘78 Pinto when the rest of the “attack” is analyzed. They also benched Greg Little, and even though Hoyer’s completion percentage will benefit from fewer dropped passes, that move also feels like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Whoever plods forward with Hoyer’s handoffs will be running behind a line that has a -4.7 PFF grade as well.
Pat Thorman is a Lead Writer for PFF Fantasy. You can follow him on Twitter at @Pat_Thorman