NFL

3 Fantasy Football Defensive Streaming Options for Week 5

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.

Look Out For

The New England Patriots are too highly rostered to make the list, but at 60% rostership, it's not a given they're taken in your league. Plus, defensive roster percentages are always weird and platform-dependent. The Pats are near double-digit favorites this week versus a Davis Mills-led team with an implied point total of 15.25. Get them if possible.

Dallas Cowboys

vs. New York Giants
Spread: Cowboys -7.0
Roster Percentage: 22%

The Dallas Cowboys are the biggest favorite of the week among defenses that are widely available, though an over/under of 52.5 points pegs this game as something of a shootout. Still, it's a shootout the New York Giants are likely to lose, and Big Blue could be in catch-up mode for a lot of this game. Daniel Jones is actually playing well with a mark of 0.11 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back on the season, but the thought of him dropping back a lot behind a poor offensive line is still something that should excite us.

Las Vegas Raiders

vs. Chicago Bears
Spread: Raiders -5.5
Roster Percentage: 12%

Justin Fields holds an unsightly 18.8% sack rate on the year. I've mentioned both of these things in previous articles, but to reiterate: sacks are generally a quarterback stat, and they're fantasy gold as they grant a point and are the likeliest play to result in a fumble. Quarterbacks also universally play much worse when under pressure, even if they're inviting the pressure on themselves.

All this is to say that you should be very interested in playing any defense that's facing a quarterback being sacked as much as Fields is. The Las Vegas Raiders should entice you for three reasons: they're widely available, they've played well enough to be 5.5-point favorites, and they check in as a slightly above-average D, per our numbers. Andy Dalton returning would dampen Vegas' outlook a bit.

Atlanta Falcons

vs. New York Jets
Spread: Falcons -3.5
Roster Percentage: 2%

Our firewall this week is the virtually un-rostered Atlanta Falcons, a defense that is facing Zach Wilson and the New York Jets.

Maybe last week was the beginning of the Wilson rebound, but until that's proven, I'm willing to keep targeting the Jets' offense. FanDuel Sportsbook seems to believe in the Jets enough to have them as only a slight underdog.

In the Week 1 iteration of this article, I mentioned that Wilson hadn't taken many sacks in college. That trend hasn't held true thus far in the NFL as Wilson has a 10.3% sack rate. Fire up the Falcons with a relative amount of confidence.