​3 Fantasy Football Defensive Streamer Options for Week 3

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares,” then you’re familiar with syllogisms.

The syllogism was first used around 350 BC. defined in European writings by the legendary philosopher Aristotle. Essentially, the idea is to present two true statements and then use logic and deductive reasoning to synthesize a larger truth from them. For example, the classic “All men are mortal, and Socrates is a man; hence Socrates is mortal” is a perfect example of a syllogism. However, syllogisms can also contain negative statements – as in our example above (that could be a contraposition? Help me here if you are a logic nerd, dear reader).

In the same vein, I think deductive reasoning and logic can help us nail some deeper truths about defensive streaming in fantasy football in week 3. For example: “A good process often leads to good results.” Makes sense, right? Well, “Good results often indicate a good process.” Makes sense too. The synthesis of that should be, “Therefore, to get good results, follow a good process,” but have you seen what it’s like out there on the waiver line right now?

I can’t always promise that my logic won’t always fall short, but I can promise that we’ll find a few “bigger truths” here and there throughout this column. Which Defenses Below 40% Rostership Should You Stream in Week 3?

Last week

Cincinnati D/ST at DAL: 4 points, t-21
Cleveland D/ST vs. NYJ: 3 points, t-24
New York Giants D/ST vs. CAR: 7 points, t-14

Things have settled down a bit better as we’ve been avoiding any real streaming options from below for the past week. Still, many upset performances pushed our averages way down (I mean, who would have expected the Atlanta D/ST of all people to force the Los Angeles Rams into another three-plus takeaway game?

The Dallas Cowboys neutralized the Cincinnati D/ST’s paper-dominant pass rush for the second straight week, despite Cincy once again conceding fewer than three touchdowns. However, they only picked up a sack and no takeaways. Tough start against easy opponents, which worries me for the rest of the season. The Cleveland D/ST looked really good for a while but never amassed enough stats to maintain their fantasy value as the New York Jets got their game-winning engine rolling.

Our only bright spot came from the New York Giants D/ST, whose two sacks and two takeaways made for a solid performance. Nothing to write home about, but that’s the kind of average performance we aim for at the very least. Now that I’ve spoken it out to the world, let’s see if we can manifest this effect for week 3.

Chicago Bears

against Houston Texans
Spread: CHI -2.5
Roster Percentage: 5%

We probably shouldn’t be excited at the prospect of starting the Chicago D/ST in this matchup. The Chicago Bears 2022 is a really tough process game considering we are trying to find home teams that are big favorites based on the betting lines as our baseline. That won’t happen often to these Bears, who most closely resemble their 1985 iteration on offense. Still, they were also solid as a defensive unit, ranking 12th for two weeks in expected net points (NEP) per game for defensive passing and the second-highest pressure rate among NFL defenses. In the past two weeks, they’ve turned 5 of those loads into sacks and forced more than one turnover per game.

Chicago should offer the ceiling potential; Their matchup with the Houston Texans provides the high-end ground. So far in 2022, the Texans have accumulated just under 15 points per game, allowing for three sacks in each contest. They have the third-worst offense pass NEP per game, and quarterback Davis Mills suffers the 13th highest allowable pressure rate among the 34 quarterbacks who rebound 20 or more times this year. For what it’s worth, Mills has a cashable play rate in the bottom seven (per PFF), so his tendency to play it safe should limit the Bears’ Week 3 expectations.

The Bears appear to be the safest D/ST streamers this week, with Houston’s Mills limiting their offense’s “boom” potential. With a 40.5 total that occupies the third-lowest on the chart and Chicago’s periphery looking stunning, we can forgive a meager field goal of favoring the range. Our model projects the bears’ defense at 8.0 fantasy points. This is the 4th most common defensive choice for week 3.

New York Giants

against Dallas Cowboys
Spread: NYG -2.5
Roster Percentage: 7%

Double-dipping hasn’t worked for us yet this year (RIP Bengals) nor streamed against the Cowboys’ Cooper Rush edition, but we’ll try again and keep the New York Giants D/ST going in week 3 .

The G-Men were our only faux hit in week 2 and the process really worked to be on them. A weak score, a home favorite and bad weather is a dream come true for context; Add that the Giants are now in the top third of the league in terms of defensive pressure rate and top half by defensive pass NEP per game and things are looking even better. With rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux and veteran Azeez Ojulari hopefully returning soon to terrorize the perimeter of the offensive line, that pressure should likely result in better sack conversions in the near future (New York is in the bottom 10 for sack count).

Despite not being bitten by the Bengals, the Cowboys’ quarterback rush was still playing fairly fast and loose in Week 2. He’s currently mid-table in terms of turnover-worthy play rate and allowable pressure rate, still without a big hit to his name this year. There’s a road to Dallas that limits pass attack to high-percentage throws and just lets the game flow back through the backfield, but I like the Giants’ potential to disrupt those plans in Monday night primetime.

Our model projects the Giants D/ST at 8.0 fantasy scores – the fifth highest among Week 3 defenses. The 39.5 total score is the second lowest on the list, with New York nearly a field goal favorite here, and Dallas still gives up a top-10 mark in points per game to defense. The Giants are a great deep streaming option with a very small cast.

Philly Eagles

at Washington Commanders
Distribution: PHI -6.5
Roster Percentage: 33%

The Philadelphia D/ST is the unit with the highest rosters in the column this week and they are actually the riskiest game in my opinion. For two weeks, the Philadelphia Eagles have displayed a Jekyll and Hyde-like vacillation between “just good enough” and “just good,” all preceded by their ability to force turnovers. They average 8.5 fantasy points per week but were only up in week 1 due to a defensive touchdown. They’ve also only forced a meager three sacks, with their 3.5% sack rate ridiculously poor even compared to the hapless Giants; The Iggles’ pressure rate of 9.0% by this point in 2022 is the second lowest in the league.

Why you’re considering starting this defense is for necessity, but also for the matchup. The Washington Commanders have averaged three sacks allowed per week so far, as well as 2.5 giveaways (including a security). The only reason they aren’t considered a better matchup for fantasy is that they have the potential to post buckets of offensive points and yards. Quarterback Carson Wentz falls behind so often that Washington’s underperforming allowable press rate shouldn’t be a big problem, and he’s also top-10 for turnover-worthy play rate.

Your fantasy hopes live and die with interception this week as you launch Philadelphia D/ST, but our model projects it as the 13th best defensive fantasy option with a 6.9 fantasy point projection. The total is a worrying 48.5 points, although they’re favorites with almost a touchdown on the road and could see plenty of passing volume in a shootout.

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