There is little upside when drafting a defense in the top 120. Last year Houston was the 2nd to 4th defense taken in drafts and they finished 28th in fantasy points. Chicago was the 3rd to 5th defense taken last year and they finished 27th. Denver was taken 5th to 7th last year and finished 13th.
Analysis: The thing these three defenses have in common was that their ADP last year was 120 or less. It just isn’t worth taking a defense that early. One injury or one suspension and the pick can quickly become a pile of hot garbage. Keep in mind that Michael Floyd, Emmanuel Sanders and Alshon Jeffery had an ADP between 112 and 118 last year.
One of the most interesting defenses this year is the Bucs. The Bucs had the 10th best fantasy defense last year with little field position support due to their awful offense and the injury of Doug Martin. Lovie Smith is a good coach and Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David are elite at their positions. They have brought in playmakers Alterraun Verner(Ten) and Michael Johnson(Cin). The Bucs D/ST is the 13th to 17th defense being taken in the 146-164 pick range.
It’s about that time to start thinking about your week one lineup… so let’s get it started.
Analysis: If you didn’t grab an elite defense it’s not the end of the world. While other guys drafted the Niners and Hawks way too early hopefully you stashed away some running backs.
Our week one “best team to stream” has to go to the Tampa Bay Bucs. Streaming isn’t about great defenses it’s about decent ones playing awful quarterbacks. Tampa has the New York Jets in week one and this match up is a tasty one. Rookie Geno Smith should get the start for the Jets and he is expected to struggle mightily. The Jets have one proven offensive threat in the oft-injured Santonio Holmes. Even if the Jets do manage to score thirty points do we really expect Geno not to throw multiple picks/get sacked/fumble? This is where drafting fantasy defenses too high will cost you. For example- the Packers are the 9th defense being taken in drafts this year and they have an unfavorable week one match up with the Niners on the road who lit them up with 45 points in the playoffs last year.
So… the Bucs D is looking like a better choice and you didn’t have to burn a more valuable pick to get them. The Bucs D/ST are available in 70% of fantasy leagues.
There are a few solid options to stream in week four and of course the obvious choice is the Arizona Cardinals.
Analysis: The Arizona defense is available in two-thirds of fantasy leagues but the defense should be picked up for long term usage. They face Miami in week four who start rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill is sporting a 58.3 passer rating this year with only one passing touchdown on 102 attempts. Arizona’s next four games look like this- vs. Miami/@ St. Louis/vs. Buffalo/@ Minnesota. None of the next four match ups strike fear when it comes to offensive potential. But let’s get away from the obvious choice here and focus on another D to use if the Arizona defense is unavailable.
The Tampa D has been impressive two of the three weeks this season. Even when giving up 41 points in New York to the Giants they still picked off Eli three times. The Tampa D is first against the run in the NFL only giving up 47 yards on the ground per game and a ridiculous 2.3 yards per carry average against. Tampa is also tenth in the NFL in sacks while their week four opponent Washington is seventh in sacks allowed, giving up nine sacks in three games this year.