Chris Ferguson from Sacramento, CA asks: First year fantasy player here.. I didn't end up getting a top defense in the draft because they all seemed to go to early. I've heard about the value of streaming defenses but was wondering if it would be better to just grab one that could be good all year. Here's my situation: I have the Jets that I picked up for their week 1 match-up against Oakland, but I could pick up Tampa Bay, Baltimore, New Orleans, Arizona, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, or Baltimore. So my question is, what would you do here in week 1 and going forward with those options?
Welcome to the drug we call fantasy football! I have to commend you on waiting on a defense in your first draft. Defensive strategy in fantasy football is a tricky thing. In my opinion you get way more value out of a positional player throughout the year so I usually follow the strategy of waiting until the last couple rounds to take my defense. Following this strategy I know going in that I am going to be playing match ups week to week with my defenses. This is going to be your best bet heading into your first year. Luckily, a lot of the work is done for you. A good source for tracking the best match ups are odds websites. I prefer the Vegas odds sites because they are incredibly good at what they do. What you're looking for when checking these odds sites is the over/under scores. Find the lowest over/under games and base your weekly defense on that game. Other factors come in to play too, but this is always a good start. Opposing QB's and play-makers, game time weather reports, and specific stat categories are all things you will want to look up to increase your odds of your defense performing well. In Week 1 you have a good defense in the Jets. They have solid linebackers and apply a lot of pressure with their 3 man front. The Jets are also going up against a rookie QB in Derek Carr. Carr is prone to make mistakes considering his inexperience and the likely pressure Rex Ryan will send. They are also one of the lowest over/under picks with 39.5 points. On a side note. Keep an eye on Tampa Bay. Lovie Smith is proven defensive coach and specializes in teaching his team takeaways which leads to big points for fantasy defenses. If you have more questions as your season continues just drop a line or log into the podcast chat room. Get to the podcast early for important questions; the advice from Dave and Jason is solid, but you want to get your question answered before the shots start being poured!
Steve312 from Chicago writes: So I just heard the news about Derek Carr starting ahead of Matt Schaub for the Raiders. Assuming that he starts for the rest of the year, which receiver on Oakland benefits the most (Rod Streater, James Jones or Denarius Moore) and could any of them be fantasy relevant as early as week 1? Thanks!
It's Oakland. WHO CARES? In all seriousness there are guys to keep an eye on, but far too much is uncertain at this point. In week 1 none of the Oakland wide receivers will be relevant. The Jets secondary may not be anything to fear, but their defensive line always finds a way to get to quarterback. Fantasy value decreases for wide receivers when their rookie QB is getting blitzed and put on his ass frequently. Keep an eye on Rod Streater this season. He is a third year wide out who broke out last season. James Jones is the new guy on the block and is going to have to make adjustments after previously being thrown to from the best QB in the league. We're going to have to see what he has before you can even think about adding him to your bench. Denarius Moore's value is seriously hampered by his spot on the depth chart. If you aren't an X or a Y it is tough to maintain consistent fantasy value.
Mike from New York asks: Somehow I wound up scooping up some late round Dolphins in one of my leagues. In my flex spot, I'm trying to decide between Mike Wallace and Lamar Miller. With the recent resurgence of Knowshon Moreno, I'm not not sure if Miller is the go to guy in my flex anymore. Should I go with Wallace instead?
I like the easy questions! Mike Wallace is your play here between those two players. Lamar Miller was disappointing in the preseason and Moreno appears to have a little left in his tank. Knowshon Moreno's health is still a concern, but not in week 1. Wallace was disappointing last year after getting the big contract, but all reports are positive this preseason and he is working overtime after practices. There is a caution in week 1 as Wallace is likely to be on Revis Island. Considering he is your flex player you shouldn't be too concerned. My bet is he gets in the end zone in week 1 and that's all you really want.