NFL 2021: Week 1 Fantasy Football Streaming Defenses

It is week one for fantasy football.  Is that too early to stream defenses…oh no.  So let’s do this.


Carolina Panthers v New York Jets    44.5 o/u

This has nothing to do with the Sam Darnold’s revenge narrative that keeps making the rounds.  This has more to do with last season’s 18th ranked defense versus rookie New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson.

The Panthers’ defense recorded 22 takeaways last season.  While they were second to last in interceptions (7), they led the league in fumble recoveries (15). 

The defense was 21st in team pressure rate, and their 1.8 sacks a game was 23rd in the NFL in 2020.

So why the Panthers? First, the over/under for the game is low enough that you aren’t worried about losing points to points.  And second, the off-season acquisitions scream defensive upgrade.

The secondary is bolstered by the free agents signing of AJ Bouye and Rashaan Melvin.  They also drafted cornerback Jaycee Horn who you should expect to have at least one interception this game.

The defensive line is immediately upgraded with the signing of Haason Reddick.  Reddick finished 2020 with 12.5 sacks and 16 quarterback hits. 

And the moving of Jeremy Chinn from linebacker to safety allows Chinn to roam the field, causing chaos. 

All this, and in their first game, they get to tee off on rookie quarterback Wilson working with the new head coach. 

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Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots 43.5 o/u

Why are people sleeping on the Miami Dolphins? 

2020 stats:

  • Ranked 6th in point allowed per game (21.1)
  • Ranked 2nd in pass touchdowns allowed (21)
  • Ranked 1st in takeaways (29)
  • Ranked 10th in sacks (41)
  • Ranked 10th in defensive touchdowns (3)

Yes, they loss Kyle Van Noy, Bobby McCain, and Shaq Lawson, but they still have one of the top ten quarterback duos in the NFL, according to Cynthia Frelund. 

Byron Jones doubled his career interceptions last season (2), and Xavien Howard’s 10 interceptions led the league.  And, of course, Brian Flores is still their coach. 

Now in the second-lowest predicted scoring game, the Dolphins will also go up against a rookie quarterback.


Cleveland Browns @ KC Chiefs 54.5

This stream is an “approach with caution” streaming suggestion.  If your league awards points for sacks over points scored, this may be the game for you.  But if you are going to be severely penalized for touchdowns, stay away from the 54.5 predicted outcome.

The Browns have Myles Garrett.  They acquired defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, linebacker Anthony Walker, drafted linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, and added safety John Johnson and defensive back Troy Hill during free agency.

But the pairing of Clowney and Myles Garrett should cause the most problems for quarterback Patrick Mahomes.  Mahomes’ offensive line has improved, but it is the first game.  Visualize Mahomes in the Super Bowl game.

The acquisition of Clowney gives the Browns one of the more formidable quarterback-attacking duos.  Per NFL Next Gen Stats, Clowney has been double-teamed as an edge rusher at a higher rate (30%) than any other player. 

So who do the Chiefs cover to protect Mahomes?


Remember to view how your league is scoring the defense/defensive players. This is week one have some fun. And for all those streaming defenses and IDP players I got you.

Come talk at me on Twitter @gladysLtyler!


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