I usually wait until Friday afternoon to do this, mostly because I’m a man of routine, but also because the Thursday night games thus far haven’t presented many particularly appealing fantasy defensive streaming options. That ends tonight.
If you’re the type who rolls out a different fake defense every week and you treat that part of your roster ruthlessly with no regard for loyalty whatsoever, go ahead and pick up the Redskins defense now (currently owned in only nine percent of Yahoo leagues). I’ll wait.
They’re set to toss around Christian Ponder tonight in Minnesota, and although no one is mistaking Washington as a place where intimidating defense resides, there’s a simple unscientific equation at play here, and it goes a little something like this: the Redskins generate a lot of turnovers (at least one in 12 straight games now), and Ponder generates a lot of turnovers. Bingo bango.
The Redskins’ ability to steal the football has been especially evident over their last two games in which they defended some guy named Peyton Manning followed by Philip Rivers, and they’re currently two of the top five passers in the league (by yards per game).
The ‘Skins picked off Manning three times and Rivers twice, and combined those two have thrown only eight interceptions throughout the entire season (628 pass attempts), which also includes a combined eight pick-free games. Oh, the passing yardage allowed has certainly been present throughout the season and over the last two games, with the Redskins allowing at least 340 yards in both, which inevitably led to touchdowns too (six of them, four coming from Manning). But in the streaming defenses game there are always flaws, and you tolerate them if there’s a larger benefit to be had. And that’s what we find in both the Redskins ability to generate takeaways, and pocket pressure.
Those two tendencies are where the true fantasy cash lies, especially after a stretch against two passer leaders, and now the competition gets significantly easier against Ponder, he of the six interceptions to just three touchdown passes. Overall the Redskins are averaging nearly two takeaways per game (15 in total), and that’s led to the opportunity for more defensive touchdowns, and they’ve scored five.
Yes, as we discussed in depth yesterday while you were berated into trading away the Chiefs defense (oh and hey, that dump off has netted C.J. Spiller) defensive touchdowns are volatile, and they’re inherently the most unpredictable stat of any number associated with a defense. But you care much more about that over the long haul, and much less during a single-game one-off when the defense in question is set to tee off on Ponder, who’s turned the ball over nine times in his five starts.
Adrian Peterson will be a problem too, because he is every game for everyone. Washington has allowed 10 rushing touchdowns and they enter tonight ranked 22nd in yards given up on the ground per game, though there’s certainly hope in how much they limited Peterson last year (only 79 rushing yards during a season when he averaged 131 yards per game).
But again, defensive streaming isn’t about perfect circumstances, especially with bye weeks still rolling along and opportunities somewhat limited. Most often, it’s about maximizing and exploiting a specific opportunity which outweighs any downfalls, and Ponder is kindly handing you one tonight.
More notes, stray thoughts, and other such randomness
Just stay off Ray Rice’s lawn, and we’re all good
A week ago I went through some public therapy with a Ray Rice moaning session, saying that having him on your fake football team this year may make you hate the fantasy game forever and ever. That came before he posted a season low average of 1.5 yards per carry against the Browns, totaling 17 yards on his 11 carries. There was some mild salvation through the air with his three catches for 21 yards, but the decline in his ground game is still maddening. Last year at this time Rice had 524 rushing yards, which has fallen sharply to 259 yards now.
Earlier in the season we could blame a limiting injury which led to a one-week absence. But after a bye week to rest that’s becoming more difficult, especially on the same weekend when C.J. Spiller was able to total 155 yards despite still somewhat limited carries because of a wonky ankle. But don’t worry, guys, Rice’s spirits aren’t broken as long as you stay off his damn lawn.
“Everybody has these situations. A down year isn’t going to make or break me as a person. I’ve been through a lot worse than averaging what I’m averaging in carries. I’ve got broad shoulders. As long as you’re not jumping on my front lawn, you’re all right.”
Knowing what we now know about Rice’s impassioned lawn protection, this is how I picture him taking care of a bear problem.
Austen Lane has many reasons to be thankful
Thanksgiving is fast approaching for our American friends, meaning soon you’ll all be expressing thanks for the many wonderful things in your life on a Thursday afternoon while watching copious amounts of football, before beating each other with iPads at 5 a.m. the next morning. Right now, though, newly signed Lions defensive end Austen Lane is already showing gratitude for the recent gifts bestowed up him.
The first one is obvious: Lane is thankful for being gainfully employed as an NFL player again. He was cut by the Chiefs at the end of training camp, and now with the Lions slugging through some injuries along their defensive front, he was brought in for depth.
But he also has a very, um, unique reason to be thankful for his specific place of NFL employment. You see, Lane has a Big Boy tattoo on his arm…
…and in other NFL outposts it’s caused some confusion.
“It says ‘Doing Big Boy Things In A Big Boy World. You guys got these restaurants around here, right? We’re still in the North. I go down to Jacksonville, it’s like, ‘Who’s on your arm? Is that Jimmy Neutron?’ You know who Jimmy Neutron is, the cartoon guy? So I had to explain that wasn’t Jimmy Neutron, so it’s kind of nice being up in Detroit and you guys actually know what I’m talking about.”
I’ve made many a football bet, and possibly a few fantasy football side bets too, though none yet that end in a plunge deep into the freezing depths of water anywhere.
But this is some next level stuff. John Grant, a Packers fan, made a bet with his wife — a Bears fan — during Monday night’s game, one that quite understandably wasn’t taken too seriously at the time. They had a taser, and the loser would feel its wrath.
What Grant didn’t mention is a) he actually intended to follow through with it and taser his own wife and b) he’d do it three times.
After the Bears beat the Packers 27-20, Grant and his wife, who police say had both been drinking, went outside to an alley next to the bar to smoke cigarettes. Grant tasered his wife twice in the buttocks while she filmed it with her cellphone camera.
Mayville police chief Christopher MacNeill said the woman was laughing during the first two taserings caught on video, but when Grant tasered her a third time in the thigh, this time not on video, she apparently considered that over the line. An argument ensued that led to the woman calling the police.
It’s important to set boundaries in a marriage. Like, say, how many taserings is enough taserings.
Nick Foles is already in the Hall of Fame
Well, his jersey is, but let’s not for even a second lose sight of how remarkable it is that he’s earned such a commemoration. The Hall of Fame wanted Foles’ game jersey from this past Sunday because he threw seven touchdown passes in a single football game — a game that was just his ninth career start — and he needed only three quarters of play to do it.
It will also remain outlandish that Foles is the second quarterback this season to do such a thing, and we’re only beginning Week 10 tonight. That’s why he’s been honored alongside Peyton Manning…
Nick Foles is officially in Canton! pic.twitter.com/w7dzbnP4Q3
— Philly Eagles Fans (@PHIEagleFans) November 6, 2013