1. Washington Redskins vs. Cleveland Browns
Fantasy owners need to complete the following flow-chart every week: "Who is playing the Browns this week? Oh, this week it's the Redskins? They're on the streaming list." Washington's defense has been a bit of disappointment so far -- they have allowed the fourth-most points so far -- but the Browns offense have surrendered usable fantasy weeks to each defense they've face. Through three weeks, each team defense to face the Browns have scored between 5-7 points (Eagles, Ravens, and Dolphins). While Washington is just slightly above average in our treasured defensive hurries stat (15), Cleveland’s offensive line is allowing a ton of pressure. Heading into Week 4, the Browns are allowing the third-highest adjusted sack rate in the league (9.1%). The Redskins D/ST is available in 90% of NFL.com leagues and over 97% on ESPN.com.
Friday Update: With Browns’ C Cameron Erving (chest) out for Week 4, the Browns will be forced to start G John Greco at center. Granted, Erving is just one year removed from college, but the Browns’ offensive line is incredibly suspect sans LT Joe Thomas. The Redskins have not been generating a lot of heat this year, but the Browns simply don’t have many good players in the trenches. In all likelihood, Washington will be without No. 2 CB Bashaud Breeland (high ankle sprain) but it doesn’t really matter. Josh Norman will be able to shutdown any perimeter option the Browns throw at him. Terrelle Pryor is Cleveland’s entire offense.
2. Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
Without Jay Cutler, the Bears' offense goes from functionally mediocre to a pure disaster. Brian Hoyer was decent in Week 3 vs. Dallas (61% completion rate, 317 yards, 2 touchdowns), but we know he has multiple-turnover potential. In fact, Hoyer has thrown an interception in 71.4% of his career starts. This goes without mentioning that Chicago has surrendered eight sacks through three games so far (tied for fifth-most) and Detroit’s front-seven has generated the fifth-most hurries (16) so far. In fact, Detroit is tied for sixth in total sacks (7) on the year but they have only generated one turnover (one fumble). With a solid pressure rate, we expect the Lions to have turnover upside in this matchup. Detroit’s D/ST is widely available across all platforms (ESPN, Yahoo, and NFL.com).
Friday Update: Lions’ DE Ezekiel Ansah (ankle) was out of practice on both Wednesday and Thursday, meaning Detroit will likely be without their top pass rusher in Week 4. Chicago is allowing a ton of pressure on their quarterback (their 7.5% adjusted sack rate is 5th-highest), but Ansah’s loss may diminish the Lions’ sack upside in Week 4. Even with all of the Bears injuries on both sides of the ball, it’s hard to trust Detroit’s defense here this week. Washington is by far the better streaming option. Detroit’s D/ST is more of a 12- or 14-team league play instead of a 10-team league target.
3. Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers
Week 4 looks like a tough week for streamers, thus Dallas makes our streaming target list again. The Cowboys' have not generated any pressure on defense so far -- they have just four sacks through three games (third-fewest) -- but the 'Niners have been far from an offensive juggernaut to-date. Their 4.55 yards per play in Week 1-3 is second-to-last in the league. While Dallas may not have any tangible sack upside -- the ‘Niners actually have the lowest adjusted sack rate (1.9%) so far -- Dallas can provide a decent floor of at least 2-3 points if you’re truly in need of baseline production in 14- and 16-team leagues. Dallas has held their opponents to 17-23 points and generated at least one turnover in each of their first three games. The Cowboys’ are widely available across all fantasy platforms.
Friday Update: Outside of TE Vance McDonald (hip) the ‘Niners are one of the most healthy teams in the league at this early stage. Dallas, too, is fairly healthy on the defensive side of the ball with only CB Orlando Scandrick (hamstrings) questionable for the ‘Boys 4:25 p.m. (EST) date with San Francisco. Dallas’ defense hasn’t been able to dial up a ton of pressure this year – their defensive line’s adjusted sack rate is 7th-worst (3.7%) – but they should provide a usable floor in a potentially low-scoring affair. San Francisco is middle of the pack in points per offensive play (15th). Dallas’ D/ST is a decent target in deeper 12- and 14-team leagues, but probably shouldn’t be trusted in shallow 10-teamers.