The best defenses to stream in fantasy in Week 9
Week 8 was rough for streaming defenses, based on last week’s column. The Titans were good until Blake Bortles got to garbage time. The Jets couldn’t stop Josh McCown and the Browns. Washington was competent, relatively speaking, but all in all, the streamers weren’t a success story.
Fortunately, there are much better plays this week, and the defenses we will talk about are available on a lot of waiver wires. This is important, because there will once again be just 13 games being played.
Baltimore Ravens (vs. Steelers)
The pick of the Ravens here kind of sets the trend for Week 9, as it’s one where you want to target backup quarterbacks. Landry Jones was able to put together some solid drives against the Patriots while at home, but against the Ravens on the road will be a different story. Before the bye, the Ravens were missing quite a few of their defensive starters, but the bye week appears to have come at the perfect time. The way to beat the Ravens is through the air, as they have allowed 14 passing scores through seven games, compared to just three rushing scores. They have forced multiple turnovers in five of their seven games and have now had multiple weeks to prepare for the Steelers. Add that in with the fact that Jones threw an interception on 7.3 percent of his passes in 2015, and you have the recipe for success. Jones had also failed to throw for more than 209 yards in any game last year, so looking at his performance against a Patriots team that has allowed at least 246 yards in seven of their eight games, it may be an outlier. On top of everything, the Ravens allow running backs just 3.58 yards per carry. If the Ravens defense struggles, it will be because Jones played extremely well, and as we know, that’s unlikely.
(Note: Ben Roethlisberger has returned to practice this week and could be active for Pittsburgh Sunday, which would change this play.)