Streaming Defenses: Week 8 Targets
Last week, the Indianapolis Colts finished with 19 fantasy points fantasy points and were the DEF3 in most scoring formats. Through seven weeks, our streaming targets are averaging 9.0 fantasy points per game.
This week, you will want to continue targeting defenses with home matchups who are favorited and facing teams with low implied team totals. We also want to target offenses with a below-average or rookie QB.
Generally, defenses have to be available on the waiver wire in at least 40 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues to be eligible as a streaming option. This ensures we are talking about defenses that are readily available. Week 8 is in our sights, so let's look at the defensive options we're targeting this week.
Top Streaming Picks
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns
Cameron Heyward has been solid on the defensive line, producing an 8.4 percent pressure rate and converting four of his pressures into sacks. Tuitt's numbers have been down this season, however, he should line up on the right side of Cleveland's line and if he gets a one-on-one matchup with Chris Hubbard, he could get into the offensive backfield.
T.J. Watt has stepped right in as Pittsburgh's top edge LB. He's generating a 10 percent pressure and has multi-sack upside—his six sacks have come in two games. Bud Dupree is also producing a 10 percent pressure rate, converting three of his pressures into sacks.
The Steelers have had issues producing INTs, as they have four guys with one INT each. Joe Haden leads the secondary with seven defended passes. Safety Terrell Edmunds has played better as of late and is playing near the line of scrimmage, putting him in position to make plays.
Pittsburgh is available in 59 percent of leagues.
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills
The Patriots have talented pass rushers—Trey Flowers, Adrian Clayborn and Deatrich Wise. Clayborn leads the Pats line in pressures generate, and he recorded his first sack of the year in Week 7. Wise produced his fourth sack of the season in Week 7 and is generating a near 10 percent pressure rate.
The Pats linebackers are a bit suspect. Kyle Van Noy hasn't been able to produce the type of success he had in 2017, but is capable of getting to the QB from the edge.
Devin McCourty leads the defense in tackles and has been responsible for a forced fumble and recovery. Patrick Chung is another playmaking safety.
The Bills don't score, they allow sacks and turn the ball over. It's a recipe for fantasy success. The Patriots are early 10.5-point favorites and Buffalo is allowing the most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing defenses.
New England is available in 47 percent of leagues.
Washington Redskins @ New York Giants
I'm going back to Washington. It's an NFC rivarly game where anything can happen and Washington hits the road to take on the Giants.
I really like the duo of Jonathan Allen and Da'Ron Payne up front. They are part of the reason why Washington has been stout against the run. Allen recorded another sack in Week 7 and is generating an eight percent pressure rate from the nose tackle position.
Ryan Kerrigan should line up on Chad Wheeler's side of the offensive line, so there's multi-sack upside for this defense this week.
D.J. Swearinger leads the secondary in INTs and has also produced a sack and forced fumble.
The Giants are sticking with Eli Manning, so you never know what you're going to get. The days of Eli's big games are long in the rearview, so I'm expecting a good game out of the Wasington defense. This one is shaping up to be a pick 'em and the Giants are 28th in aFPA to opposing defenses.
Washington is available in 82 percent of leagues.
Deep League Target
Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49'ers
There's no doubt, the Cardinals are a mess. It's the offensive side of the ball, however. The defense has been productive throughout the year.
Chandler Jones is generating a near nine percent pressure rate and has coverted six of his pressures into sacks. Jones should be matched up on Joe Staley, who has been responsible for allowing pressure. In just 62 pass rush snaps, Markus Golden is producing a 17.7-percent pressure rate. Benson Mayowa has also been consisently producing pressure up front, as well.
Josh Bynes leads the linebackers in tackles and he's also been responsible for a fumble recovery and sack. Haason Reddick has been sent in on 35 pass rush snaps and has notched two sacks.
Budda Baker and Antoine Bethea have been their high volume tacklers. Baker has 1.5 sacks and has recovered a fumble. Tre Boston has been their big play safety—he's making a play on the ball 59 percent of the time he's thrown at, which has allowed him to produced three INTs.
The Cardinals defense will make some big plays and are a boom or bust option this week. They've had three games where they've produced eight or more fantasy points. San Francisco comes into Week 8 ranked 29th in aFPA to opposing defenses.
Arizona is available in 70 percent of leagues.
Defense To Bench
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints
This game could end up being a shootout. The Saints don't give up pressure, as the offensive line has only given up eight sacks on the year. Drew Brees is also very smart with the football and has yet to throw an INT this season. If you're a Minnesota owner, you might want to look to other defenses this week. The Saints are seventh in aFPA to defenses, allowing fewer than five schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game.
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images.