Streaming IDP options for Week 4 of the fantasy season
We’re only a month into the season, and the injuries are piling up on both sides of the ball. Below are a few streaming recommendations for IDP leagues, but in the spirit of accountability, let’s first take a look at our recommendations from last week.
Just like our Week 2 streamers, our Week 3 options were led by the secondary. Andrew Sendejo had a big game with five tackles, two passes defended and an interception. Of course, those opportunities present themselves if you see a very healthy 43 snaps. Linebacker Mike Hull played every snap for the Dolphins’ depleted linebacking corps and made it count with seven tackles and a fumble recovery. On the defensive line, Bills lineman Shaq Lawson came through with a sack, while Patriots lineman Deatrich Wise was extremely efficient in his 22 pass-rushing snaps, totaling six quarterback pressures. But Wise just couldn’t finish the job, and he ended up with only a pass defended. The Bears called an audible and used a rotation of linebackers, instead of giving Nick Kwiatkoski’s linebacker job to Christian Jones. We won’t be going back to that well, and it’s time to move on to Week 4’s streamers.
When Cardinals running back David Johnson went down with a wrist injury in Week 1, little did people know the entire Arizona offense would melt down. They’ve scored only 33 combined points over the last two weeks and have become completely one-dimensional. Not only do the Cardinals have the second-lowest rushing yards per game average, but they are also second in the league in pass attempts per game with 44. Of course, the number of passing downs is music to the ears of defensive linemen, as it gives them ample opportunity for sacks. Enter the 49ers defensive line, who play them in Week 4.
The Cardinals offensive line is currently dead last in PFF’s grading and has given up 10 sacks over the last two weeks. It also doesn’t help to have an old/slow quarterback in Carson Palmer, who’s incapable of avoiding pressure. I’m zeroing in on Armstead, because he should see the most opportunities to get to Palmer. He’s sixth among all defensive linemen in snaps through three weeks and has created nine pressures on the quarterback in his 76 passing-down snaps — good for 15th most among 4-3 ends. San Francisco will also be without Tank Carradine after he suffered a high-ankle injury, which should give even more pass-rushing opportunities to Armstead. It’s a virtual certainty that Palmer is going to be sacked multiple times this weekend, and Armstead stands to lead the way.
Casey has, admittedly, gotten off to a slow start this season. He has only seven tackles and no sacks. But if you look at the numbers below the surface, Casey’s numbers are very encouraging. For starters, it’s Casey and everyone else on the Titans defensive line when it comes to snaps, where he sees an average of 45 per game. No other lineman has seen more than 25 for Tennessee so far. Casey has also been very productive in the run game, making seven stops on 41 run snaps this season. His 17.1 percent run-stop percentage is the best in the league for 3-4 ends. And when it comes to the passing game, even though Casey hasn’t recorded a sack yet, he has 10 quarterback pressures on 87 snaps, good for fourth in the league.
Casey will be taking on the Texans offensive line who, after a terrible Week 1, has settled down a tad now that rookie Deshaun Watson is under center. After giving up a mind-boggling 10 sacks to Jacksonville and being dead last in PFF’s pass-blocking grades, Houston improved to third-worst and have only given up five sacks over the last two weeks. But there’s no chance a line that gives up 10 sacks in any game can flip a switch and suddenly be good. Casey will still be going against a weak offensive line after facing two top-10 (according to PFF) pass-blocking units.
So Casey is circling the airport, and the weather is clear. He should be able to stick the landing this weekend.
If you’ve read the previous editions of this series, you’ll notice the theme of opportunity. No matter the position, it’s all about how many snaps are possible, since you can’t tackle, sack or pick a player unless you’re on the field. But sometimes there’s a player who not only has the opportunity, but also the talent to create exceptional value. Before the season, Beckwith was an afterthought in the IDP world, but due to injuries to Tampa’s top two linebackers, Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander, Beckwith has been thrust into significant playing time and appears to have the goods.
Beckwith first came on in Week 2 when Alexander hurt his hamstring and ended up totaling five tackles and a pass defended. He then started in place of Alexander last week and was on the field for the entire game, logging 74 snaps and eight tackles. Alexander is likely out again this week, which means Beckwith will draw the start. But even if Alexander makes a miraculous recovery, fellow linebacker David now has a bum ankle, opening up another spot for Beckwith.
Tampa plays the Giants in Week 4, which should not only give Beckwith plenty of tackle opportunities, but also some interception chances. The Giants have averaged 39 pass attempts this year, while Beckwith averages seven coverage snaps for every target. This could lead Beckwith to seeing at least five passes in his immediate area. But Beckwith has value in the run game, too. He has seen the third-most run plays among all inside linebackers and made four stops for an 11.8 percent run-stop percentage — good for 12th among 46 qualifying linebackers.
The combination of a high snap count and talent should make any Beckwith owners very excited this week.
Unlike Beckwith, Bostic just isn’t valuable unless he sees a lot of volume. For example, he’s given up the second-most amount of yardage while in coverage among all linebackers, allowing 11 receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown. And we’re only three games in! He doesn’t do much better in the run game either where he’s just 17th in run-stop percentage and has already allowed two missed tackles. For reference, six linebackers allowed two missed tackles or less in the entire 2016 season. Oh yeah, and Bostic is PFF’s 53rd-rated inside linebacker out of 57 qualifiers. In short, he’s not good.
But, like so many other fantasy IDP plays, he doesn’t have to be good in real life to be good on your fantasy team. He just needs to see a lot of action which Bostic does. In 77 snaps last week against Cleveland, he had 10 tackles and a pass defended. He’s currently fifth among all linebackers in snaps played with 208, and he should see plenty more this week when the Colts play the Seahawks. The Colts average the fifth-most plays per game at 66, but Seattle is sixth in the league in offensive plays per game at, you guessed it, 66.
Seattle could very well target Bostic, thanks to his deficiency in the passing game. That wouldn’t be good for the Colts, but it would be fantastic for your streaming defense.
Jaquiski Tartt, San Francisco 49ers
Tartt is the second San Francisco defender we’re streaming this week, because the matchup against the pass-happy Cardinals is just too delicious. As mentioned above, Arizona is second in the league with 44 pass attempts per game, which means Tartt will have plenty of chances for tackles or picks, since he’s filling in for the injured Eric Reid. Tartt, who also filled in when Jimmie Ward missed Week 1, has played well so far this season. He’s had seven tackles in two of three games this season, along with a pass defended in each game and a pick. But despite playing well, he’s PFF’s 10th-rated safety so far. Offenses seem to focus on Tartt quite a bit, as he sees a target for every 8.2 snaps he’s in coverage. This should put Tartt in prime position for fantasy points.
But Tartt could rack up points in the running game, too. He has lined up 39 times within eight yards of the line of scrimmage and racked up six tackles and three stops, while not allowing any missed tackles. No matter where Tartt lines up, he should be productive against an offense that has yielded a ton of IDP points.