Squeezing the Defense: Top Streaming Options for NFL Week 2
Whether it’s your college re-draft league, your intense dynasty team or daily tournaments, the golden rule in fantasy football is to never break the bank for a defense.
As the most volatile position in fantasy football, nearly every defense in the league is a viable starting option for a given week. In daily fantasy, creating new rosters and therefore selecting new defenses is the name of the game. But in other formats, overdrafting a defense or sticking with the same unit for an entire season is more like shooting yourself in the foot. With that approach, you’re simply not squeezing the position for all it’s worth.
Take these fun numbers from last season for example:
- Every one of the league’s 32 defenses posted at least two top-12 finishes
- 28 of the league’s 32 defenses posted at least one top-five finish
- 22 defenses recorded at least two top-5 finishes
There’s value to be had with every defense. Knowing who to play and when to play ‘em is the key.
Using a rough criteria consisting of everything from turnover opportunities to betting lines, GX will help you manage fantasy football’s most volatile position by bringing you the top streaming defensive options each week for the entire season.
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Underdogs, late game heroics, last-minute defensive scores, touchdown burglars, Derek Anderson — NFL Week 1 was a hoot.
Having the Vikings defense last week would’ve been a nice ride, but the Eagles ended up with a respectable double-digit performance thanks to a required rally over the Jaguars and a last-minute defensive touchdown. We’ll take it.
But enough about last week. We’re only but hours away from kicking off Week 2 in Baltimore and we’re in urgent need of streaming options.
at Oakland Raiders Week 2
Were the Redskins terrible last Sunday? Absolutely. But don’t take anything away from defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel and the Houston defense.
Following last week’s game, many were critical of Robert Griffin III and the Redskins offense for not taking shots down field. But it wasn’t necessarily a matter of choice for the Redskins. Instead, it was Crennel and his defense that blanketed the field and refused Washington anything more than a handful of deep looks.
Meanwhile, centaur J.J. Watt and linebacker Brooks Reed focused on wreaking havoc near the line of scrimmage, and 2nd year safety D.J. Swearinger did his best impression of a heat-seeking missile.
It’s impossible to ignore Houston’s timely turnovers last week — and they’re far from a flawless unit. But the Raiders don’t tote the same offensive firepower as Washington, nor do they have a ground attack capable of ripping off big runs throughout the game. Parlay that with Oakland’s rookie starting quarterback Derek Carr and a projected game total of just 39.5, and the Texans shape up as a nice streaming option.
Unless fellow league members were that quick to jump, Houston should be hanging around the waiver wire without much competition. In a daily format like DraftKings, however, Houston will set you back about seven percent of your salary cap as the second-highest priced defense of Week 2.
at Buffalo Bills Week 2
It’s going to take more than an overtime win in Chicago before climbing aboard the Buffalo bandwagon and saddling up alongside E.J. Manuel.
The Dolphins, on the other hand, have a defense strong enough to stump Tom Brady (56 attempts, less than 250 yards, and only one touchdown toss last week), in turn making them plenty deserving of experiencing the E.J. Manuel fallout (a very unscientific theory consisting of opposing defenses benefiting when E.J. Manuel plays football).
DraftKings currently has the Dolphins defense going for an easy $3,000.
at New York Giants Week 2
Generally I wouldn’t side with the team traveling cross country on a short week. But that goes to show just how terrible Eli Manning and the Giants offense looked last Monday night.
The Cardinals — who are coming off a game against the Chargers in which they held a potent offense to just 15 first downs — have more than enough athleticism and ball skills in the secondary to take advantage of Manning’s ever-so-frequent terrible passes.
It feels weird talking about Eli as if he’s one of the regulars being factored into your streaming criteria (like maybe E.J., Shaun Hill, and shy rookies), but at this point he has to be. Manning loves bonehead throws so much that the $3,330 list price over at DraftKings is well worth the potential for the Cardinals to generate some turnovers.
New Orleans Saints
at Cleveland Browns Week 2[ad id=”Ad1″]
As was the case with streaming the Broncos last week, we’re going with a high-powered offense that has a good shot at hanging points early and controlling the rest of game.
While the Cleveland Browns are gritty enough on defense, the Saints have far too many weapons to contain and Drew Brees leads an orchestrated carving of the opposition.
What makes the Saints defense a stronger play than last week’s Broncos, however, is the fact that Cleveland’s offense is nowhere near as dangerous as what we saw out of Andrew Luck and the Colts on Sunday night. Sure Peyton Manning and the Broncos cruised to a foreseen early lead, but Luck ended up posting good numbers in a strong comeback effort, thus helping to erase Denver’s fantasy power.
Don’t expect the same from Brian Hoyer and the Browns. A solid effort? Fine. But that’s where it stops. The Browns don’t have a T.Y. Hilton or a Reggie Wayne. They have Andrew Hawkins and tight end Jordan Cameron (who’s questionable at this point with a sprained AC joint).
The Saints will get to work early, extend an early lead, and the Browns will have to try everything in their power to try and make a game out of it. The New Orleans defense benefits as a result.
Like the Dolphins, New Orleans is available for just $3,000 at DraftKings, and you shouldn’t have any trouble picking ’em up on your local waiver wire.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
vs. St. Louis Rams week 2
Chances are, if you played with Tampa Bay last weekend and received the swift kick dished out by none other than Derek Anderson, there’s relatively no shot at convincing you to roll with the Bucs again this week.
But what if I told you Tampa Bay was hosting the Rams?
What if I told you Rams starting quarterback Shaun Hill is injured (and is still Shaun Hill anyway, even when healthy)?
What if I told you Austin Davis would be the next man up in St. Louis, and that 37 is the lowest game total on the card this week?
Give ’em another shot. Tampa Bay isn’t a bad defense, and on the flip side, the Rams offense is showing early signs of a dumpster fire.
Poor Zac Stacy.
Shae hails from Maryland, graduated from Towson University, serves as a Redskins correspondent at Bleacher Report, leads his own circus at Bet Big DC, yells at the television from the couch, is a devout food enthusiast, takes pride in fantasy sports bargain shopping, is a sucker for the arts and is brimming with useless pop culture knowledge. When he’s not drudging away behind his outdated laptop, Shae enjoys eating, traveling and rooting for teams that usually don’t win.