3 Fantasy Football Defensive Streaming Options for Week 7
Week 6 saw good results for this column with the Denver Broncos shutting out the Tennessee Titans, who made a mid-game quarterback change, and Washington having a solid outing against the Miami Dolphins in the Tank Bowl. The Dolphins didn't make much noise defensively, but they managed not to get steamrolled this week.
Time to look ahead to Week 7 for streaming defenses. All recommendations are available in over 60% of ESPN fantasy leagues. The San Francisco 49ers are the top option if they are available in your league, but they are owned in over half of ESPN leagues, so they don't qualify for this column.
ESPN Ownership: 37.6%
The Green Bay Packers remain a strong option after a good start to the season, and they sit ninth in the league in fewest points allowed per game. The Packers also rank sixth-best in quarterback pressure percentage but just 10th in sack rate, so they may even be under-performing in sacks.
The Packers are healthy 6.5-point home favorites over the Oakland Raiders in a game with a moderate 46.5.-point total. The Raiders have been uninspiring thus far offensively in 2019, averaging just over 20 points per game and just under 350 yards per game of total offense. The Raiders score on just 32.0% of their offensive drives, which ranks them 23rd in the league, while their 12.0% rate of drives ending in a turnover is just above average (in the bad way). Oakland has been good at limiting sacks (ninth-lowest sack rate through their five games), but they haven't done much damage with the passing game, either.
The Packers should win this game comfortably, putting the pressure on an understaffed Oakland passing game to throw the ball more than they want to in this contest. That bodes well for the Green Bay D/ST.
Kansas City Chiefs
ESPN Ownership: 15.1%
This gives the Broncos 22.75 implied points, which is a high total for a team averaging just 17.67 points per game through six contests this season. The Broncos rank below league-average in both scoring and offensive yardage gained. More importantly, they are barely above (worse than) average with 12.1% of their offensive drives ending in a turnover. Denver also slots in just above average with 7.1% of dropbacks to pass resulting in a sack.
The Chiefs aren't a great defense, allowing 24 points per game (just above average) and just over 400 yards per game (fourth-most). However, they are racking up turnovers at a high rate, with 16.1% of their opponents' drives ending in a giveaway thus far, the seventh-highest rate in the league. The downside is that KC is not mustering much in terms of quarterback pressures and sacks, as they rank near the bottom of the league in all relevant categories there. But, in a risky streaming defense, the Chiefs have what you want, which is turnover potential (and thus scoring potential).
It also doesn't hurt that they got Tyreek Hill back from injury last week to return punts, giving them one more avenue for a score. If the Chiefs can jump out to a lead and for Joe Flacco to throw often, they could have a big day.
ESPN Ownership: 1.1%
If you need to scrape the bottom of the barrel, you could do worse than the Cincinnati Bengals, who are coming off of a decent game against a strong Baltimore Ravens team (thanks to a special teams score) and get to face a Jacksonville Jaguars offense that looked very shaky in Week 6. The Bengals come into the game as 3.0-point underdogs at home, which is not ideal, but the low 43.5-point total is helpful.
The Bengals are allowing the seventh-most points and the most yards to opposing offenses through six weeks, which should not come as a surprise. They're not doing a great job of getting turnovers, either, with just 8.7% of opponents' drives ending in a takeaway for Cincinnati, ranking just 26th in the league. They're also fifth-worst at generating pressure on the quarterback and fourth-worst in terms of sack rate, so it's bad all around.
The only saving grace is that Jacksonville is an average offense, at best, and a disaster on their worst days. The Jags are near-enough to league average in terms of giving up sacks and turnovers as well as yards and points. However, they are coming off a game in which they generated just six points and 226 yards of offense with one turnover. If you use the Bengals, you're not likely to get turnovers and sacks, but you could well get a solid day if the Jaguars prove to be incapable of moving the ball for the second straight week.