Streaming Defenses: Week 1 Targets

Sep 06, 2016
Streaming Defenses: Week 1 Targets

When it comes to drafting a defense, I’m not someone to start the run. I’d rather wait until the end of the draft and play the defense with the great matchup. This practice is commonly known as streaming defenses. Every week, you target a mediocre defense with a great matchup against a weak QB or offensive line.

We have been writing this streaming feature for seven years -- offering readers several defenses who are available on the waiver wire each week -- and they averaged D/ST5, D/ST6, D/ST7, D/ST10, D/ST8 and D/ST7 numbers from 2009 to 2015. Generating top-10 D/ST numbers off the waiver wire allows fantasy owners to basically ignore the position on draft day, instead focusing on more important areas.

Last season, our defensive streaming suggestions averaged over nine fantasy points per week, on par with D/ST10 numbers.

Generally, defenses have to be available on the waiver wire in at least 40 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues to be eligible. This ensures we are talking about defenses that are readily available.

A good strategy is to target a defense with a home matchup or facing a below-average (or rookie) QB. Week 1 is finally here, so let's look the suggestions for Kickoff Week:

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys

Targeting the Giants against future first ballot HOF'er Dak Prescott? Let's pump the brakes on Dak's induction. The bottom line is this is his first regular season start, and he will be facing more complex defenses going forward.

The Giants bolstered their pass rush in the offseason by acquiring Olivier Vernon. In 2015, Vernon finished with 7.5 sacks and 38 QB hits. He was also solid in stopping the run, notching 18 tackles for loss. Jason Pierre-Paul was still dealing with a hand injury suffered from a fireworks incident last season, but all indications are he's ready to go. He appeared in 81 snaps, and though he didn't get a sack, he did register a forced fumble and three tackles.

Landon Collins led the Giants in tackles with 108, while also producing an INT, nine defended passes and a forced fumble. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie led the team in INTs, and the additions of Janoris Jenkins in free agency and Eli Apple in the draft will help bolster the secondary.

The Cowboys ranked 12th-worst in aFPA in 2015, allowing nearly nine fantasy points per game to opposing defenses. I think the Giants are going to be able to generate some fantasy points in this game, by the way of sacks and turnovers.

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