Outside of the elite fantasy defenses in Denver, Kansas City and Seattle, Week 8 was overall a down week in scoring. Three of our streaming candidates delivered solid production, though, with the Cowboys, Titans, and Jets all posting four or more fantasy points for top-12 scoring finishes on the week (pending Monday Night Football). With Part 2 of the bye-week apocalypse staring us in the face in Week 9, streaming choices are once again relatively slim. However, there are four teams owned in a low percentage of NFL.com leagues I feel could return solid fantasy value this weekend.
As always, I'll rely on the streaming D/ST qualifications previously established by Matt Harmon and Matt Franciscovich in this column: good matchups, home teams, favorites, and obviously talented defenses.
Enough dawdling, here are my defenses worth streaming in Week 9.
San Diego Chargers D/ST (7.4 percent owned) vs. Tennessee Titans
It's hard to find a defense that has received a bigger boost from a single player than the Chargers have since Joey Bosa entered the starting lineup in Week 4. In their four games sans the third overall pick, San Diego averaged just 6.75 fantasy points per game and allowed 26-plus points three times. In four games with Bosa, this stop unit averages 8.5 fantasy points per game and has only allowed one offense to cross that 26-point threshold (Oakland, both Atlanta and Denver had defensive touchdowns). Marcus Mariota and the Titans travel to San Diego in Week 9, which sets up nicely for the Chargers in fantasy. DeMarco Murray could be limited with a foot injury, which would slow the already middling Tennessee passing offense. Mariota has played better of late (one interception, five sacks allowed in his last four games), but he's cruised through a cakewalk of a schedule with matchups against the Dolphins, Browns, Colts and Jaguars in that span (three of which rank in the bottom five in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA ratings heading into Week 8). All told, Mariota's due for a bit of regression and that could come in Week 9 when he runs into the surprisingly formidable Chargers defense led by a young, talented front seven.
Baltimore Ravens D/ST (13.1 percent owned) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Somehow, some way, the banged up Ravens defense continues to perform in fantasy. Over their last three games they've scored six, seven and 15 fantasy points, and up next face a Landry Jones-led Steelers offense. Of course, Jones still has Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown to work with, but traveling into the teeth of the Baltimore defense could set him up for a less successful outing than he had in his first start against the Patriots(one touchdown, one pick, zero sacks). The Steelers offense is risky to stream against, but beggars can't be choosers with six teams on byes in Week 9. The Ravens currently rank third in the NFL with eight interceptions, so hopefully their ball-hawking secondary can go to work against Jones and co.
Miami Dolphins D/ST (3.8 percent owned) vs. New York Jets
Ryan Fitzpatrick might have avoided throwing an interception in Week 8, but he completed just 47.1 percent of his passes against a Browns secondary that had allowed a 65.1 completion percentage to opposing passers through the first seven weeks. After the team called out Mario Williams for essentially not trying, he helped spur the pass rush to six sacks in the last two weeks after they accumulated just nine in the prior five games. Rested from the bye and playing at home, the Dolphins make for a solid streaming option against the Jets.
Green Bay Packers D/ST (3.8 percent owned) vs. Indianapolis Colts
As expected, the Packers defense (down several starters) was shredded by Matt Ryan and the Falcons on Sunday. However, a rebound game (at least in fantasy) could be around the corner when they welcome Andrew Luck and the Colts to Lambeau Field in Week 9. Luck still leads the league in sacks taken with 31 and is taken down on roughly 8.5 percent of his dropbacks. T.Y. Hilton tweaked his hamstring last week, though the team did welcome back Donte Moncrief for the first time since he injured his shoulder in Week 2. The Packers could get whooped through the air once again given the injuries to their secondary, but if Clay Matthews gets right (he missed Week 8 with a hamstring injury) they should be able to pressure Luck early and often, potentially creating a big play or two off of a turnover.