Streaming defenses can be an effective strategy, but there’s definitely risk involved. Each week, we try to highlight the best widely available options who are facing good matchups for the coming week. All picks are available in 50% or more of ESPN leagues and ownership percentages are included in parentheses.
1. Raiders D/ST (1.4%)
The Raiders host the Steelers this week coming off their bye and make a good play against Pittsburgh who have given up the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing defenses. Oakland’s D has been excellent this year with their only ugly game coming in Denver against Peyton’s crew. Their last two home games they’ve dominated the Chargers and Redskins offenses and should be able to have another solid week against Big Ben and the Steelers.
2. Falcons D/ST (10.5%)
The Falcons defense turned in a solid performance last week scoring a TD, recovering a fumble, and allowing 23 points. This week they go on the road to Arizona, where the Cardinals have struggled allowing sacks and turning the ball over which could lead to a solid day for the Atlanta D.
3. Eagles D/ST (3.1%)
The Eagles D has been inconsistent this year, but they did play well against the Giants in New York week 5. They face Eli and the G-men again this week this time at home. The Giants offense has given up more fantasy points than any other team in the NFL to opposing D/ST’s so the Eagles are a sleeper play this week based solely on matchup.
4. Panthers D/ST (41.1%)
Carolina’s D is one of the few units available that have elite capabilities. They’ve allowed more than 15 points just twice this season and have put up double-digit points in four weeks in a row. This week they visit Tampa who is in the top ten in most fantasy points allowed to opposing D/ST. If you’re looking for a more long-term solution at defense, Carolina has some nice matchups and are past their bye week.
5. Saints D/ST (20.9%)
The Saints D has been opportunistic and created turnover under Rob Ryan who is never afraid to take risk. This week they host Thad Lewis and the Bills who have given up seven fantasy points or more to opposing D’s in their last five games.
This list of D/STs 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.