Week 1 Defense Streaming

Kyle Williams led all DTs in fantasy last season

Whether you spent a relatively high pick on the position or not week 1 defense streaming is an important thing to consider especially this season. If you did invest a high pick then some good teams start with tough matchups and you should perhaps consider a one week stream to get you started and avoid those bad matchups. Of course you aren’t dropping your prized defense here but maybe trying to roster two this week would be a good idea. On the contrast if you didn’t spend anything more than a last round or two pick (if you spent one at all?!) then streaming is going to be a huge part of your season potentially.

Week 1 is kind of a throwaway because we don’t know how good teams are so looking further ahead may be foolish and we should just focus one week at a time at this stage. Starting next week I will be looking ahead and trying to prime people to beat the rush by picking up defenses with a good stretch or even rostering two defenses some weeks with an eye on the future (I know it sounds stupid but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Sometimes that strategy has been more important to win a league than storing that lottery ticket in my last bench spot).

Start

LA Rams vs. Indianapolis Colts (52%)

Scott Tolzien: 3 starts, 0-2-1, 1 TD 5 INTs. The stats speak for themselves. This is my top defense this week.

Buffalo Bills vs. NY Jets (Yahoo Ownership: 36%)

When the two best skill position players on a team are both running backs well then that tends to be a good indications that you should start the opposing defense. Josh McCown has had plenty of opportunities to prove he can play QB and he hasn’t really succeeded anywhere. His top WRs entering this season are Robby Anderson, ArDarius Stewart and Jermaine Kerse which is a problem because a below average QB throwing to below average WRs is never a recipe for success. This week the tight end headliner is currently Eric Tomlinson with Jordan Leggett the other main option both of whom I have never heard of. Will Tye will feature but he needs time to learn this offense so shouldn’t make an impact. All of this means that the Bills are a team to stream this week if they are available in your leagues.

Atlanta Falcons @ Chicago Bears (48%)

The Bears are among the top 5 worst teams in football entering the season with question marks at QB and WR. Jordan Howard is solid but I expect the Falcons to pack the box early to shut him down and then come chasing the big points from sacks and interceptions when Glennon opens it up in the second half. Glennon has the arm to do damage but we saw what the Falcons defence did the Patriots in the first half of last year Superbowl and I can’t see any reason why this young group wont squeeze the life out of this offense early before destroying them late as the Bears play catch up.

Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (99%)

The 1% of leagues where the Texans are available need to scramble and pick them up right now because Blake Bortles confidence is shot entering the season and facing a dominant pass rush isn’t going to make him feel better. The Jaguars have added Leonard Fournette and still have some nice pieces out wide but until Bortles shows me that he can command this offense like he started to a couple of season ago count me out. This is also the first real game for the Texans since Hurricane Harvey and I expect the atmosphere to be insane and the defense is going to feed off that and cause carnage for the Jags.

Streeter Lecka - Getty Images)

Streeter Lecka – Getty Images)

Carolina Panthers @ San Francisco 49ers (87%)

I think the 49ers will resemble something respectable by the end of the season but right now we have Brian Hoyer, Carlos Hyde, Pierre Garcon and a big bunch of nothing. Now Kyle Shanahan is an offensive genius but it’s a tough ask for him to have this offense clicking to a point where they can cause damage to a good Carolina defense. This isn’t my favorite pick of the week but if I own the Panthers already this definitely isn’t a week for picking up a second deference to stream.

LA Chargers @ Denver Broncos (7%)

The Broncos have 3 QB who aren’t very good while the Chargers have Joey Bosa leading an under rated defense. Even in mile high where the Broncos should have the advantage I cannot see this offense having a good day against this defense. Would a low scoring slug fest be a surprise here? If it isn’t then it’s because Philip Rivers, Keenan Allen and co decided to score points not because the Broncos did.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns (84%)

Every year I look at the Browns and say ‘well they could be good’ only for them to disappoint and this year while there will be fun points ultimately there will be the same usual disappointment. DeShone Kizer is good but he is still a rookie who will make mistakes against an experienced defense. Isaiah Crowell is going to have to do good work against heavy boxes early and Sammie Coates is going to have to have the revenge game of his life for Cleveland to make the Steelers sweat. However, despite it being Cleveland this is probably the start I feel least confident about because I think the C team of Crowell and Corey Coleman can give this offense enough life to at least make this game interesting for a little while. Watch this be a disaster for Cleveland now.

Sit

Brady and Gronkowski are crucial players in this year's auction drafts (AJ Mast/AP Images)

AJ Mast – AP Images

Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots (98%)

I like the Chiefs in general and you aren’t dropping them but I always like to stay clear of the team travelling to the defending champs in week 1. I’m not expecting a steam rolling by the Patriots but I feel like if KC are going to win they are going to have to score 30+ points to give themselves an opportunity (Yes I am well aware scoring 30+ points gives you a better chance of winning than scoring less does but you get my point).

Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints (96%)

Much like above you can’t drop the Vikings D but if you make space for a second team on your roster then I would this week. The Saints generally love playing in domes and as good as the Vikings defense is slowing down Brees and co. could be tricky. If you can’t make the space then I would still gamble starting them and I certainly wouldn’t drop anyone with the potential to be useful later in the season to cover it. Just be prepared for this not to be as good as you hoped when you drafted them.

Tennessee Titans vs. Oakland Raiders (12%)

I like the Raiders this year and think this could be really fun offense. Given the low ownership of the Titans this isn’t exactly an insightful pick but in deeper leagues just stay away if you can.

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