Streaming defense is one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding parts of fantasy football. Last week, I lost my matchup in my home league because I had started the Carolina Panthers DST. They got me a whopping -4 points, which contributed to my loss by 11. Had I started another defense that had provided just eight points or more, I would have won my week.
Just another week of fantasy football.
Fortunately, this week isn’t too bye heavy. Unfortunately for streamers, one of the teams that will be on a bye is the Oakland Raiders, whom allowed owners of the Miami DST to celebrate. That being said, there are still plenty of juicy matchups for defenses that are owned in 50% or less of Yahoo! Fantasy Football leagues, and the stream of the week are the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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Pittsburgh Steelers (@ JAC, owned in 49% of Yahoo! leagues)
The Steelers just came off a rough loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but now have the perfect remedy: the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars have been the friendliest team to play defenses against, as they lead the NFL in fantasy points allowed to opposing defenses. Even with rookie QB Blake Bortles at the helm, the offensive line is still very weak. They gave up three sacks to the San Diego Chargers in Week 3, which gives them 20 on the year. While Bortles looks the part of the future QB of the Jaguars, he still had to force the ball multiple times due to his team being down big, which led to two interceptions. Expect the Steelers to pressure Bortles early and often, and force him to make quick decisions. If their DST is available, scoop them up and plug them in.
Philadelphia Eagles (vs. STL, owned in 21% of Yahoo! leagues)
The Eagles were the surprise DST of the week in Week 4, as they posted 26 fantasy points, even while giving up 26 points to the San Francisco 49ers. With two special teams touchdowns and one defensive touchdown, the Eagles were the top scoring fantasy defense in Week 4. This week, they get to host a poor offense unit that is the St. Louis Rams, which has given up the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing defenses. With the Rams still struggling to find their way offensively, look for the Eagles to play hard and fast in front of their home crowd. I wouldn’t expect multiple touchdowns from this DST for a second straight week, but multiple sacks and a turnover will allow this surprise DST to be a top 12 option this week.
New York Giants (vs. ATL, owned in 8% of Yahoo! leagues)
It seems like just yesterday that the Atlanta Falcons put up 56 spot on Tampa Bay on Thursday night, which may cause you to doubt this selection. The truth is, a lot has changed between Week 3 and Week 5. First off, the Falcons have lost two of their starting offensive lineman, C Joe Hawley and RT Lamar Holmes. Secondly, the Falcons aren’t playing at home (or indoors) this weekend, as they travel up to New Jersey to face the Giants outdoors. The Falcons have historically struggled outdoors, and will now be down two offensive lineman. Couple that with an improving New York Giants team that is gaining more confidence each week, and you’ve got a deep streaming option at defense that will reward owners who are confident enough to take the chance.
Sit ‘Em, Defenses
Even though the New Orleans Saints play the Bucs, who give up the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing defenses, the Saints just cannot stop anyone on the ground. This is not a recipe for success for a fantasy DST…The aforementioned Panthers have just 20 fantasy points in four games, and a total of -4 in the past two weeks. They aren’t even worth a roster spot at this point in ten to twelve team leagues…The Kansas City Chiefs put up 16 fantasy points against the Patriots on Monday Night Football, but face a completely different animal that is the San Francisco 49ers. Yes the 49ers have given up the 5th most fantasy points to opposing defenses thus far, but more than 75% of those points have come in two weeks. This isn’t a week where I recommend the Chiefs…