Streaming Defenses: Week 6 Targets

Streaming Defenses: Week 6 Targets

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last update Oct 7, 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, our top three picks were the Eagles (22 FP, DT2), Steelers (16.5, DT4) and the Packers (23, DT1), so hopefully streamers managed to get one of those three in their lineups for Week 5. The other three picks – Saints (5, DT16), Cowboys (3.5, DT22) and the Giants (3, DT24) – did not fare so well.

On the season, our streaming picks are averaging 9.3 fantasy points, which equates to DT9 numbers.

I recommended last week that owners hold onto the Chargers (16, DT5) and the Lions (11.5, DT10) and that worked out pretty well. This week, San Diego faces the Raiders (!!!), while Detroit gets Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings, so both will be solid-to-great plays in Week 6.

I’d definitely hold onto the Chargers given their opponent this week. The Lions have the Saints at home in Week 7 (#20 in DT aFPA), which isn’t a bad matchup. Detroit is the #4 fantasy defense thus far, and they have the Buccaneers and the Vikings at home in Week 14 and Week 15, so I would try to hold onto them as long as they continue to play well.

Owners who picked up the Eagles last week may want to stand pat given their home date with Eli Manning and the Giants in Week 6. Philadelphia has a Week 7 bye, so it’s a tough call whether to hold the Eagles – they are the #1 fantasy defense through five weeks.

Let’s take a look at the top streaming plays for Week 6:

Titans (vs. JAX)
The Jaguars have given up an average of 15.1 FP to defenses on the season, and have yet to yield less than 12 FP in any week. Even the #25 Tennessee defense should be able to produce at home.

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