Posted: 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013
By Dan Ciarrocchi
But before I go on, a quick aside -- the Chiefs defense is the No. 1 reason owners should stream defenses from week to week and not waste a mid-round pick on one. Save that pick for a sleeper, and watch surprise teams beat-up on lesser opponents and reap the benefits in the process.
The Chiefs were owned in just 33 percent of leagues in Week 4, and now that sits at 80 percent. With them off the wire, let's take a look at another set of teams that could match their productivity.
Cleveland Browns (vs. Buffalo Bills): The Browns have already performed admirably under new defensive coordinator Ray Horton, as evidenced by allowing six points to the Bengals last week and 14 to the Ravens in Week 2. They have also shut-down elite running backs like Adrian Peterson (3.5 yards per carry) and erased top receivers like A.J. Green (51 yards on 15 targets).
Now, they will face a Bills offense that has leaned heavily on C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, who are both dealing with injuries and a short week. It will all rest on rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel, who will be tested once again after completing just 10 passes a week ago versus the Ravens. In the event he has to air it out, the opportunistic Browns could tee off, logging sacks and turnovers, and potentially a ton of fantasy points for owners savvy enough to grab them off of the waiver wire. They are only owned in just eight percent of Yahoo! leagues, but that will certainly change after this week's waiver period.
St. Louis Rams (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars): Face it - the Rams defense has had plenty of issues this season, but they ought to get a nice confidence boost this week versus Blaine Gabbert and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts defense was one of the top units in fantasy last week, and with no disrespect directed toward them, the Jaguars ineptitude had more bearing on that performance than the Colts' own merits did. Interceptions, touchdowns and sacks practically fell into their collective lap while dealing with an offense that has been clumsy at best with Gabbert under center. As long as that's the case once again, the Rams defense will make a great plug and play in Week 5 versus the only offensive unit in the league that's averaging fewer than one touchdown per game (0.8). The Rams defense is still available in 49 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Atlanta Falcons (vs. New York Jets): Not many people expected to hear this at this point of the season, but the Jets offense has shown plenty of promise with their rookie signal caller Geno Smith under center. Granted, that doesn't come without a share of growing pains in the meantime, and there have been plenty that have accompanied the flashes Smith and company have shown. Fantasy owners need not look further than the team's Week 4 debacle versus the Titans, where Smith turned the ball over four times. Days like that are going to happen for rookies, and the Falcons are more than able to make it another long day for the Jets offense. They will be a nice contingency plan to have in case owners miss out on the Rams or Browns during the waiver period, and they should be available, since they are owned in just 17 percent of Yahoo! leagues.