Streaming Defenses: Week 3 Targets

Streaming Defenses: Week 3 Targets

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last update Sep 17, 2014

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John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, finished as runner-up in 2011 and 4th in both 2012 and 2015 for a total of five Top 5 seasons in the last six years. Cumulatively, John was the most accurate expert from 2010-15 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate draft rankings. 

Follow John Paulsen on Twitter: @4for4_John.

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 this streaming feature for five 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 Yahoo fantasy leagues to be eligible. This ensures that we are talking about defenses that are readily available.

Last week, the Bills (19 FP, DT2), Redskins (17, DT4) and Texans (12, DT8) were hits, while the Titans (6, DT13), Buccaneers (4.5, DT15) were only mediocre. The Dolphins (0, DT32) flopped in Buffalo after a good outing against the Patriots in Week 1. It was another low week of defensive scoring, 7.1 FP on average. Last year, defenses averaged 8.5 FP per game over the course of the season.

So far this season, our streaming picks are averaging 9.3 FP per game, which currently equate to DT11 numbers.

Note: Check our defensive team rankings before cutting a team like the Texans that has an ownership level of 89% but was picked up before the season or after Week 1 by owners using a streaming strategy.

Let's take a look at the top plays for Week 3:

Saints (vs. MIN)
The Vikings will once again be without Adrian Peterson, which makes them an attractive streaming opponent. They gave up 27 points to the Patriots at home in Week 2.

Dolphins (vs. KC)
Miami was bad against the Bills in Week 2, but they’re back home against a Chiefs team that just lost Jamaal Charles and has given up the 9th-most fantasy points to opposing defenses through two weeks. (The Dolphins have another good matchup next week against the Raiders.)

Colts (@ JAX)
Even the pass-rush-deprived Colts should be able to get to Chad Henne, who took 10 sacks against the Redskins last week. Jacksonville has given up the most fantasy points to opposing defenses so far this season.

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