Streaming Defenses (DTBWW): Week 1
For those new to Streaming Defenses (also called Defensive Team By Waiver Wire, or DTBWW), the strategy goes like this: Each week, you target a mediocre defense on the waiver wire, looking for a good matchup (i.e. bad quarterback, suspect offensive line, etc.), preferably at home. You will typically get good defensive production without having to burn a semi-valuable pick on draft day. Or if you do draft a defense and they start to disappoint, you can stream the rest of the way.
Note: For more on selecting a defense each week, read Chris Raybon’s excellent piece about what factors go into an attractive defensive matchup. I have come to some of the same conclusions over the years, but he added a few new factors to consider.
I have been writing a streaming feature for four years -- offering readers several available-on-the-waiver-wire defense picks each week -- and they averaged DT5, DT6, DT7, DT10 and DT8 numbers from 2009 to 2013. Generating top 10 DT numbers off the waiver wire allows fantasy owners to basically ignore the position on draft day, instead focusing on more important areas.
Generally, defenses have to be available on the waiver wire in at least 40% of ESPN fantasy leagues to be eligible. This ensures that we are talking about defenses that are readily available.
Steelers (vs. CLE)
The Browns’ offense is still reeling from the news that Josh Gordon will be suspended for the entire season, but they knew they weren’t likely to have him for Week 1, so it doesn’t play much of a factor here. What is concerning is how impotent the pass offense looked for most of the preseason. Brian Hoyer is under center for now, and Raybon mentioned that his career completion percentage is a low 59.4%, which is a good indicator for interceptions. It doesn’t help that Miles Austin and Andrew Hawkins are likely starting at receiver, either.