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 grab a defense that has a great matchup in Week 1, repeating the process through the season. In some instances, I won't take a defense at all and drop one of my last picks to make room for a defense as Week 1 approaches.
This practice is commonly known as streaming defenses. Every week, you target a mediocre defense that has a great matchup against a weak QB or offensive line. We have been writing this streaming feature for six years -- offering readers several available-on-the-waiver-wire defense picks each week -- and they averaged DT5, DT6, DT7, DT10, DT8 and DT7 numbers from 2009 to 2014. 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 during the draft.
Generally, defenses have to be available on the waiver wire in at least 40% of Yahoo fantasy leagues to be eligible. This ensures we are talking about defenses that are readily available.
Now, on to your defensive targets for Week 1:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. TEN)
A few boxes are checked here in this matchup, as the Bucs are playing at home against a rookie QB in the first game of his NFL career. The Titans had one of the worst pass blocking offensive lines last season. They have made some changes, however, and I like the young Bucs defense up front. They have a few up and coming pass rushers in George Johnson and Jacquies Smith, and you have to like a defense featuring Gerald McCoy.
LaVonte David is a big play linebacker, and Alterraun Verner can make plays on the football, as he had nine defended passes and two forced fumbles last year. Although the Bucs allowed nearly 26 PPG in 2014, the Titans’ offense averaged just under 16 PPG.