NFL

3 Fantasy Football Defensive Streaming Options for Week 2

Friendly neighborhood D/ST streaming specialist here again, giving you weekly streaming recommendations. Reminder that lines are courtesy of the FanDuel Sportsbook, and roster percentages are according to ESPN's fantasy platform.

Last week saw the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, and Detroit Lions all fail to produce in meaningful ways. It happens, but I still believe strongly that this is the correct process. That said, let's look at week 2 defensive streaming options. Assume that the listed order is the order of preference.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

vs. Panthers
Spread: Buccaneers -9.5
Implied Points Allowed: 20
ESPN Roster Percentage: 42%

Generally, 40% is the max roster percentage that this column targets, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are tantalizingly close and hit the two major notes required of most streaming defenses. Most notably they are a heavy favorite, so there should be lots of passing for the Carolina Panthers, the Bucs' opposition.

While Teddy Bridgewater is a reasonably good quarterback, he does do a few things that help out opposing D/STs. For one, he has a high 8.2% career sack rate, and while that's dipped of late, the post-Minnesota portion of Bridgewater's career is still a small sample size.

It's also worth noting that Tampa's defense may be good. The 34 points surrendered in Week 1 were deceptive as seven of those points were the direct result of a Tom Brady turnover and another seven were set up by a Brady turnover. On a per-play basis, the Bucs held the New Orleans Saints to poor per-play efficiency, as seen in Drew Brees putting up a 0.05 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back, well below his season-long 0.30 mark from 2019 and even below last year's 0.10 league average mark.

The Bucs also appear to have retained their strong run defense from a year ago (-0.12 Rushing NEP per play) with a mark of -0.26 Rushing NEP per play in Week 1.

Tennessee Titans

vs. Jaguars
Spread: Titans -10.5
Implied Points Allowed: 16.25
ESPN Roster Percentage: 22.2%

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew was indisputably great in week 1 with 0.43 Passing NEP per drop back, behind only Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, and Aaron Rodgers.

One area he struggled in, however, was his league-high 16.7% sack rate. The Jags pulled an upset as heavy underdogs last week, but heading on the road against the Tennessee Titans presents a different challenge. If Minshew is forced to pass more, those sacks could prove fantasy gold. That could well happen with the Titans being the heaviest favorites on the docket for Week 2.

Arizona Cardinals

vs. Washington Football Team
Spread: Cardinals -6.5
Implied Points Allowed: Over/Under not yet available
ESPN Roster Percentage: 1%

The Arizona Cardinals stunned many with their Week 1 upset of the San Francisco 49ers. A surprising defensive performance played no small role in that upset. Week 2 gives the Cards a much better matchup against the Washington Football Team. Dwayne Haskins played relatively well in Week 1, but he's still someone we can feel good about targeting -- especially with Washington expected to see a negative game script.

Rostered in only 1% of ESPN leagues, the Cardinals are a great D/ST to scoop up for Week 2.

Bonus: Cleveland Browns

With the Buccaneers being borderline as a streamer in terms of their availability, the Cleveland Browns are a more widely available option. Cleveland's Week 1 performance inspired no confidence, but facing the Baltimore Ravens on the road -- when Baltimore had an offseason to plan -- is a much different animal than seeing the Cincinnati Bengals and a rookie quarterback on only four days of preparation. If Joe Burrow showed any flaws a season ago at LSU, it was being sacked at a higher rate than expected. He was sacked at a 7.7% rate on Sunday in his NFL debut in addition to throwing an interception. This makes the Browns startable in a pinch.