3 Fantasy Football Defensive Streaming Options for Week 2
I'm one of the 10 or so weirdos on the planet who has a passion for D/STs. In truth, it's a difficult passion to explain to people. Fantasy football is already a niche within a niche, and defensive streaming adds a couple of layers of obscure on top of that. Indeed, even a certain chunk of the fantasy football community is vehemently opposed to defensive streaming.
Whether you share my passion for the D/ST position or you're gritting your teeth and bearing with your league's decision to keep the spot in spite of your repeated requests to the contrary, I'm here to help.
A few housekeeping matters: lines are courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook, and roster percentages and scores are according to Yahoo's fantasy platform. Assume that the listed order is the preferred order. I'll try for defenses on 40% or fewer of Yahoo rosters.
Green Bay Packers
Vs. Detroit Lions
Spread: Packers -11.5
Roster Percentage: 22%
Even with the Green Bay Packers struggling out of the gate and the Detroit Lions showing a little more life than anticipated, this is a premium defensive streaming matchup. Any time you have a chance to pick up a double-digit home favorite, you should take it, and in 78% of Yahooo leagues, the Pack D/ST is on the wire.
I know the Packers looked like a trainwreck against the New Orleans Saints, but we should never put that much stock in single-week outcomes. The Packers are the process play this week, and if you're streaming, you should be elated to grab them. If nothing else, the low implied total for Detroit (18.5) gives Green Bay a respectable floor, and if the Packers get a sizable lead, they'll have a chance to rack up sacks and turnovers.
Green Bay is our fourth-ranked D/ST of the week as we project them for 8.03 fantasy points.
New Orleans Saints
At Carolina Panthers
Spread: Saints -3.5
Roster Percentage: 32%
Speaking of the Saints, they figure to be worth a pickup, as well. The Saints were exceptional on defense last week, holding the reigning MVP to just three points.
Of course, we should never expect a huge amount of consistency from a defensive unit on a week-to-week basis, but I'm inclined to believe that if you can give Rodgers fits, you can give Sam Darnold problems -- though Darnold did post a pretty good clip of 0.18 NEP per drop back in his debut for the Carolina Panthers.
Nonetheless, it will take more to make a Darnold believer out of me. We rank New Orleans sixth among D/ST this week.
Vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Spread: Bears -3.0
Roster Percentage: 22%
First, Burrow has always taken a lot of sacks, even during his Heisman season with LSU. That was the case last week as Burrow was sacked 5 times on just 27 pass attempts for a 15.6% sack rate. Getting to the passer is always the first part of a recipe for defensive streaming goodness.
The next factor is that the Bears are a small favorite in this clash. They're far from heavy favorites -- 3.0 points is traditionally taken as the value of home-field advantage -- but Chicago's favored all the same.
I don't love the Bears as a play, but as a desperation pick that isn't likely to be as highly sought after as the prior two teams, the Chicago D/ST is a nice option. We rank them 10th for the week.