Streaming defenses can definitely work as a high-level strategy. The one caveat to making it work–picking the right defense. Here are the top 5 pickups for this week who are available in 50 % or leagues and make good plays this week based on matchup and current form. They’re listed in the rough order that I would pick them up in most formats. The Percentages in parentheses are the ESPN ownership as of Tuesday night. If you have a team-specific question drop it in the comments at the bottom of the page or find me @ZT_Sports on twitter, and I’ll do my best to help you out with your roster calls.
1. Miami Dolphins Defense (14.0%)
Coming off their bye-week, the Dolphins defense is very widely available despite some strong performances in the early going this season. This week they’ll welcome in the ailing Buffalo Bills who will probably start Thad Lewis at QB if he’s healthy enough. If he isn’t, Jeff Tuel may get a look, but either way, the Dolphins defense should end up with a solid day.
2. San Diego Chargers Defense (2.3%)
The Chargers are on a short week coming off a powder-blue inspired Monday Night victory over the Colts. This week they’ll face the Jags who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing D’s, but are under better management with Chad Henne under center. Still, the Chargers D has made playes the last couple weeks, so they make a decent play this week in such a nice matchup.
3. Minnesota Vikings Defense (7.6%)
The Vikings face the Giants who have given up more points to opposing defenses than any other team in the league this season. New York will be coming off an extended break since they played last Thursday, and will be looking for their first win of the season Monday Night. The Vikings D has underwhelmed this year, but still can pressure the QB which could lead to another long night for Eli Manning and the patchwork offensive line of the Giants.
4. Atlanta Falcons Defense (11.1%)
The Falcons defense comes off its bye to face rookie Mike Glennon and the Bucs offense which has given up the tenth-most points to opposing defenses. The Falcons should be charged up after struggling to a 1-4 start and at home I think their defense will turn in an inspired effort. Until last week against Philadelphia, the Bucs had given up at least eight points (ESPN Standard scoring) in every game to the defense they faced, and I think the Falcons have a good shot to get to double digits this week at home in the dome against their division rivals.
5. Buffalo Bills Defense (6.1%)
The Bills D has been inconsistent this season, but they face the Dolphins who have struggled to protect Ryan Tannehill this season. I expect some sacks and a solid week for the Bills since the Dolphins allow the eighth most points to opposing D/ST’s.
This list of defenses is part of my weekly waiver wire focus. If you need further help constructing your team, check out my top ten waiver wire picks of the week as well as my top waiver targets at each of the following positions: QB, RB, WR, TE.