Streaming Defenses: Week 9 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 with the great matchup. This practice is commonly known as streaming defenses. Every week, you target a mediocre defense with a great matchup against a weak QB or offensive line.
We have been writing this streaming feature for seven 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 2015. 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.
Last week, the San Diego Chargers finished with 13 fantasy points against the Broncos, putting them on the board as the DST3. Through eight weeks, our suggestions are averaging nearly 10 fantasy points per game.
As always, continue to target a defense with a home matchup or facing a below average or rookie QB. Week 9 is here, so let’s take at who we’re targeting this week:
Pittsburgh Steelers @ BAL
The Steelers are coming off their bye week and face an average, at best, Baltimore offense. Even in a road matchup, I like how Pittsburgh’s defense matches up.
Pittsburgh had the chance to get some rest and get some of their linemen healthy, so let’s hope Cameron Heyward is recovered from a hamstring injury. Heyward leads the Steelers in sacks and his presence in the pass rush would be a boost. Though Stephon Tuitt doesn’t have a sack, he’s a lineman that can get pressure.
Ryan Shazier is another defender that was happy to see the bye, as he’s able to get on the mend. He’s appeared in four games this season, recording an INT and forcing a fumble, so he can make big plays when in position. Lawrence Timmons and Vince Williams are two linebackers that can get to the QB, as well.
More big plays do need to be made by the secondary. Ross Cockrell leads the team with seven defended passes. Michael Mitchell is capable of making plays from the safety position.
The Steelers seem to pick their play up during divisional rivalry games, especially Baltimore, and the Ravens come into Week 9 allowing the 7th most aFPA to opposing defenses. The Steelers defense is available in 64 percent of leagues heading into Week 9.