Streaming Defenses: Week 2

Mike Miklius breaks down the best defenses to stream in week 2.

(Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)


So, week 1 finished and everything went exactly as expected. We all knew the Jaguars would win, we all knew Tom Brady would commit three turnovers, we all knew Corey Davis was going to kill it, and of course the Washington Football Club would be leading the NFC East. Clearly we have some figuring out to do. That’s why we at QBList are here: to help you wade through the noise and figure out what matters VS what is truly just static. Week one saw some huge performances from some surprising groups:

  • Washington totalled 8 sacks on their way to 15 fantasy points.
  • The Chargers had 3 sacks, an interception, and a fumble recovery for 11 points.
  • The Jets, Cardinals, and Jaguars–all owned in less than 10% of leagues–finished as top-12 options.

Like every other year, it’s not hard to find good matchups and teams we can take advantage of. So, what should we look for? In the case of Washington, we saw a vastly underrated pass rush dominate their opponent. The Chargers had the luxury of playing a rookie QB, along with a little luck in a rare Joe Mixon fumble. Outside of that, we generally want to target quarterbacks who are prone to making mistakes. I’m not just saying bad quarterbacks. We specifically want guys who create turnovers. So who are those guys? Let’s take a look at last year’s list:

Quarterback Interceptions Fumbles Turnovers/ game Sacks
Jameis Winston 30 12 2.63 47
Baker Mayfield 21 0 1.31 40
Phillip Rivers 20 8 1.75 34
Jared Goff 16 10 1.63 22
Kyle Allen* 16 13 2.42 46
Matt Ryan 14 9 1.44 48
Andy Dalton* 14 8 1.69 47
Ryan Fitzpatrick* 13 9 1.69 40
Jimmy Garoppolo 13 10 1.44 36
Sam Darnold* 13 11 1.85 33
Daniel Jones* 12 18 2.50 38
Josh Allen 9 16 1.56 38

* QBs with an asterisk did not start 16 games last season.


We lost a couple of beautiful names from our list. Jameis Winston and Kyle Allen were fantasy God-sends in the streaming world. Both averaged close to 2.5 turnovers per game as well as 3 sacks on top of that. That is a huge baseline of points and one we will sorely miss. That being said, some new heroes clearly look ready to emerge. Daniel Jones has a propensity to cough the ball up, and he is no stranger to a sack. I love targetting him given what I saw last night against Pittsburgh. Sam Darnold just lost his starting running back and most of his weapons are out. He was famously ‘seeing ghosts’ last season and Adam Gase is doing all he can to make sure he fails. Ryan Fitzpatrick is another great choice to go after–as long as he stays behind center. Fitzpatrick may have lost his top receiver and he loves to chuck the ball and pray for a good outcome. Throw in a lot of sacks and some fumbles, and that’s another good option. Lastly, I feel compelled to mention Josh Allen. I think Buffalo knows they should avoid passing as much as possible, despite the big output from week one. That being said, Allen still makes enough bad decisions where he could give us some big weeks against solid defenses. Keep an eye on him.


Alright, let’s jump into our teams to watch for week one. As always, we start with the ‘Should be Owned’ list. These are defenses currently being rostered in 50% or more of Yahoo leagues. They are good defenses or have good matchups and are worth checking for first. After that, we look at the true Streamers. These are the teams highly unowned (sub-50%) that we like for the coming week. It finishes with the Stream of the Week: my top Streaming option for you. Unfortunately, we were unable to target Daniel Jones (vs Chi, 91%), Sam Darnold (vs SF, 100%), or Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs Buff, 99%) this week. That being said, we still have plenty of great options.


Should be Owned


New Orleans Saints (@ Las Vegas, 83%)


That Saints defense looked pretty legit against the Buccaneers in week one. Maybe Tampa Bay isn’t as good as we thought they would be, or maybe it will just take time. Either way, the Saints made Tom Brady look bad. How often does a team do that? This could be a defense you ride with for the season, and they are still available in 17% of leagues. Most likely, they are already gone. Still, they are worth a check just in case you are one of the lucky ones. Just beware the Raiders’ offense looked strong in week one and could be better than we thought.


Tennessee Titans (vs Jacksonville, 51%) 


The Tennessee Titans took care of business last night, despite 37 missed field goals. They move on to a team that looked to be a complete punching bag in Jacksonville. The Titans defense was quiet last night, though they had a tough draw playing in Denver. I’m expecting them to come out big in their home opener, especially knowing 2-0 and the early division lead are on the line. Gardner Minshew is also a great QB to target. In 12 games last season, he threw six interceptions, fumbled 13 times, and was sacked almost three times per game. With how the Jacksonville offense looked, I’m not too worried about this one breaking bad. It’s a safe choice.


Week 2 Streamers


Los Angeles Rams (@ Philadelphia, 48%)


It would be crazy not to at least list the Eagles here as a soft opponent after they allowed eight sacks to the Washington Football Club. The Rams looked good against a strong Dallas team in week one, totaling three sacks with Aaron Donald as the driving force. They also held Dallas and its glut of weapons to just 17 points. Let’s say the Rams defense is in fact good. Then this looks like a great option. Let’s say that the Eagles offensive line is in fact bad. This would be an amazing matchup. This is a great streamer for week 2 if you believe the week one results.


Seattle Seahawks (vs New England, 30%)


I generally like west coast teams playing at home against east coast teams. I live betting on any team with Russell Wilson. The Seahawks played a good game against the Falcons, though the final score looked closer than it really was thanks to some garbage time work by Calvin Ridley. I expect the Seahawks to be a high-flying offense this year, and I don’t really see how New England keeps up this week. If Russ and company can jump out fast, Cam Newton will be forced to throw. Given his weapons, I like that possibility. Consider the Seahawks if none of the previous three teams were available.


Washington Football Team (@ Arizona, 5%)

We finish up our streamer list with the ‘lowly’ Washington Football Team. Two highlights of my first weekend were seeing the team nickname Football Team–as though that meant anything–and seeing the Washington pass-rush run wild on the Eagles. Chase Young debuted in a big way, and the expectations have to be sky-high now. While I don’t love the week 2 matchup or the whole traveling across the country thing, Washington was too good to ignore. If you aren’t happy with your defense heading into week 2, this is a great substitute and one you might be able to ride for the rest of the way. This was a close second for my stream of the week, and I am strongly considering ‘Football Team’ on waivers this week.


STREAM of the WEEK: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs Carolina, 25%)


Tampa Bay was embarrassed against the Saints. They made mistakes, they lost, and the coach threw his QB under the bus. I think things will be different in week 2. Tom Brady is a fiery leader, and I imagine him getting the team back on track today. This team either starts 0-2 or comes out swinging hard. For the Buccaneers’ sake, they played well on defense. They held Alvin Kamara to fewer than 20 rushing yards, Michael Thomas to fewer than 20 receiving yards, and Drew Brees didn’t hit 200 passing yards. They just didn’t make any big-money plays for us. That should change in week 2. I expect the Buccaneers to come out hot, and they are my stream of the week for week 2.

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