Fantasy Football Defensive Streaming: Week 7 Edition

After getting crushed by New England, don't be afraid to use the Buffalo Bills in Week 7.

If you took my advice last week and used one of the streaming defensive options, you were probably satisfied with the results. Not overjoyed, but satisfied. Such is life when you dive head first into the waiver wire on a weekly basis.

Tennessee, Baltimore, and Green Bay all finished as top-12 options last week, but none finished higher than 8th. Singles and doubles, but no home runs (forgive the baseball reference).

But when you consider that the top seven scoring defensive units from Week 6 were unavailable in the majority of leagues prior to last Sunday, playing small-ball (forgiveness needed, again) doesn’t seem all that bad after all.

Let’s build off of last week’s positive results, and keep the momentum going.

Buffalo Bills

Owned - ESPN: 37.6%, Yahoo: 70%
Week 6 numberFire Rank: 3rd

Amidst all the turmoil in Buffalo surrounding the starting quarterback position, what’s gotten lost in the fact that the Bills are playing very good defensive football. Buffalo currently ranks seventh in overall Adjusted Defensive Net Expected Points (NEP), and fifth against the run.

Despite getting run off the field last week against New England, this week’s matchup against Minnesota should be a perfect opportunity to bounce back.

Returning from injury last week, Teddy Bridgewater struggled mightily against Detroit, as he tossed three interceptions and was sacked eight times. Without Adrian Peterson or any consistent offense weapon to speak of, it’s difficult to see Bridgewater not hitting peaks and valleys for the rest of the season.

The Bills’ rush defense should bottle up Jerick McKinnon, which should force Bridgewater into low-percentage throwing situations.

The Bills are five-point favorites at home in a game Vegas predicts to be low scoring (42.5 over/under). Start them.

Chicago Bears

Owned - ESPN: 16.7%, Yahoo: 60%
Week 6 numberFire Rank: 12th

For as bad as Chicago was on defense last season, it’s really amazing to see the turnaround they’ve made through the first six weeks of 2014. Make no mistake; they aren’t the '85 Bears. But for Chicago to be sitting at 16th in overall defensively would have seemed laughable if suggested at any point last season.

Rookie Kyle Fuller has been a welcome addition, especially in the absence of Charles Tillman, who is out for the remainder of the season.

Last week on the road against Atlanta, the Bears’ defense allowed only 287 yards of total offense, including just 42 on the ground. They largely stifled Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ passing attack, which is usually deadly at home.

This week they face Miami, who just recently placed Knowshon Moreno on season-ending IR. And while Moreno probably wouldn’t have made a tremendous difference anyways, it places more pressure on Ryan Tannehill (currently 29th in Passing NEP) to move the offense.

Cleveland Browns

Owned - ESPN: 4.8%, Yahoo: 19%
Week 6 numberFire Rank: 7th

Cleveland completely shelled Pittsburgh last week, and the defense feasted on a struggling Steelers’ offense that looks totally lost. What do they get as a going away prize? An offense that continually gives away points in bunches to opposing defenses, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Browns’ finished last week as the 19th-best fantasy defense, due largely to the Steelers’ gaining some ground in garbage time.

They rank near the bottom as a unit according to our metrics (27th), but going along with the theme of playing whoever faces Jacksonville, they become a strong option this week. The Browns are also the second-most run-heavy team in the league, which limits opportunities for opposing offenses (see Dallas).

Cleveland is a 5.5-point favorite in a game that figures to be relatively low scoring (45 over/under). Take it and run.

Deeper Streamers

Dallas Cowboys (vs. New York Giants), Washington Redskins (vs. Tennessee Titans)