Streaming Defenses: Week 5 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 play the defense that has the great match-up.
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.
This early in the season, you want to see which defense has the best matchup. Is that defense playing a below average QB and are they at home? As the season rolls on, hopefully one of these defenses can emerge to become an every week play.
In Week 4, the Green Bay Packers finished as DT4 with 15 fantasy points. Through four weeks, our defensive streaming suggestions are averaging nine fantasy points per week, on par with DT10 numbers, which isn't bad considering Week 1's targets performed horribly.
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, let’s take a look at the defensive targets for Week 5:
Atlanta Falcons (vs. Washington Redskins)
The Falcons defense has been revamped thanks to Dan Quinn and are looking like a viable streaming option through four weeks of play. I always like a home matchup against a turnover prone QB like Kirk Cousins, who may be without two of his top weapons in Jordan Reed and Pierre Garcon.
Vic Beasley was the top pick to help improve the pass rush, and he’s done that so far, as he’s been responsible for two of the Falcons five sacks and has provided consistent pressure on his rush snaps. Adrian Clayborn sees limited snaps, but does have a sack and multiple QB hits.
Paul Worrilow is a tackle machine and Brooks Reed is capable of generating a pass rush from the LB position. Justin Durant’s status will be up in the air, but Joplo Bartu is a capable fill in at LB.
The secondary is led by William Moore, who already has two INTs and a forced fumble, so Moore can generate turnovers all by himself. Desmond Trufant is a playmaking corner, who has four defended passes and two fumble recoveries.
The Falcons are averaging nearly nine fantasy points and the Redskins are 15th in aFPA, allowing 7.6 adjusted fantasy points per game to opposing defenses. The match-up will be better if Garcon and Reed are out.