Streaming Defenses: Week 7

Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire

It feels like this football season is just flying by, and there are still plenty of teams I’d like clarity on. Are the Dolphins as good as their record suggests? Will the Patriots fix their weaknesses like they do every other season? Are the Redskins the class of the NFC East, or will the Eagles “wake up”? Can the Bears hold on to the NFC North lead for even one more week? There is plenty I want to see in week 7 and 8 to fill me in further. Defensively, it is becoming clear who we can trust and who we cannot. In week 6, we saw plenty of surprises on our top-12 list. We also saw the end to our streamer run…the Ravens finished the week at #1 and they were 87% owned. Still, we did pick the #3 team in the Seattle Seahawks. I’ll take that as a consolation prize. Let’s take a look at the top squads from week 6:

Team Opponent Fantasy Points Percent Owned Interceptions Sacks
Baltimore Ravens Tennessee Titans 21 87 0 11
Houston Texans Buffalo Bills 20 95 2 2
Seattle Seahawks Oakland Raiders 17 38 0 6
Arizona Cardinals Minnesota Vikings 14 13 1 4
Buffalo Bills Houston Texans 14 3 2 7
New York Jets Indianapolis Colts 13 32 3 0
Minnesota Vikings Arizona Cardinals 12 97 1 4
Dallas Cowboys Jacksonville 11 23 1 3
Philadelphia Eagles New York Giants 10 93 1 4
Los Angeles Chargers Cleveland Browns 10 72 2 5
Washington Redskins Carolina Panthers 8 6 1 1
Miami Dolphins Chicago Bears 7 12 1 2

We can see that our top-12 list was actually loaded with streamer possibilities, even if we missed most of them. It might be time to seriously look at the Cardinals defense…they have now put up two good weeks in a row with stats to back them up (4 sacks, 1+ int in each game). The same can be said with Buffalo, who has 3 good showings in the last 4 weeks. They are changing quarterbacks after Josh Allen was hurt, so beware that the offense might not be any help to keeping the D off the field. I am also still interested in the Jets as they have only put up less than 7 points one time…in week 3. The Cowboys have been a bit more feast-famine with four weeks under 7 points and two weeks over 10 points. Finally, let’s look at the Dolphins. Miami has averaged almost 9 points per week, and that number jumps to nearly 11 if we ignore one bad game against the Patriots. These are the kind of squads we should be watching as the season continues. They all still have the look and feel of garbage, but they are the secret weapon that might just win us the week. So, which teams should we focus on for week 7? Let’s find out.

Los Angeles Chargers (90%)

The Los Angeles Chargers have not been the defense I thought they would before the start of the season. Joey Bosa is still sitting out, and he isn’t expected back yet. They average less than 6 points per week in fantasy scoring. However, they put up 10 and 11 points in the last 2 weeks. They accrue plenty of sacks and interceptions to be viable, and most importantly they have a great matchup coming this week: the Chargers are taking on the hapless Tennessee Titans offense that was held scoreless last week. Check for this defense on the waivers and start it if you get lucky enough to find it.

Indianapolis Colts (59%)

We have one more under-owned streamer before we get to our proper list for week 7. The Indianapolis Colts have not been a great defense, and we look no further than the last 3 weeks. In each of those games, they gave up 37+ points en route to big losses. So, there must be something good in week 7 for me to be looking here. There is: Derek Anderson. The Bills have finally figured out that Nathan Peterman is worthless as a fantasy quarterback, and they instead signed Mr. Anderson off the streets. This means a short week to prepare before the Bills travel to Indy for the week 7 tilt. I expect Indianapolis to cause problems for Anderson, and for the Colts to get their second win of the season. Grab this one if it’s out there.

New York Jets (33%)

The Jets have been a useful defense in 5 of the first 6 weeks. Even in their worst week, they still managed 4 points and didn’t “kill” your team. At their best, they put up 26 and dominated week 1. This is a capable team more than worth looking at in good matchups. That’s the downside here, though. This is not exactly what I’d call a good matchup. Sure, the Jets are at home. However, they face a high-powered Vikings offense that has put up an average of 29 points per game for the last 3 weeks. Still, all the Jets need is a turnover or two to make this work out. The worst way this one goes is if Minnesota jumps ahead early and doesn’t have to throw much. Still, I have faith in the Jets D to stay in it.

Miami Dolphins (15%) 

The Dolphins defense has been downright impressive thus far. They have multiple interceptions in 4 different games and 4 players with multiple interceptions, led by Xavien Howard with 3. They are capable of handling good teams and they have only looked bad once against the Patriots. I imagine the Dolphins will hang with the Lions while playing at home, and I expect a safe floor in this one. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, Matthew Stafford has thrown only 1 interception since week 1. If they cannot create turnovers, this one could get ugly with Brock Osweiller behind center. I am willing to take my chances though.

Detroit Lions (10%, stream of the week)

The Lions defense has given up plenty of points and they are not a defense that stands on its own merits. Nevertheless, they have something important in week 7: the coveted excellent matchup. The Lions get to take on Brock Osweiller and the Dolphins offense. Say what you will about last week and Osweiller somehow shredding the Bears vaunted defense, but I refuse to believe it. I have seen how bad Brock can be, and I’m counting on it in week 7. If we get bad Brock, I could see this turning into a blowout and the Lions pinning their ears back to rush the QB. Let’s hope.

Arizona Cardinals (28%)

Despite their 1-5 record, the Cardinals have been in a lot of games right until the end. They nearly beat the Bears in week 3 and they can back to lose a close one to the Seahawks. They even held tough against the Vikings last week before eventually falling. I am willing to buy into Arizona’s defense, and I think they are a decent option at home against a mediocre Broncos offense. I like that Case Keenum has more interceptions than touchdowns, I like that Denver gives up 2.5 sacks per game, and I like that the Broncos put up only 20 points per game. I could see this one being a defensive tilt and Arizona is the available option.

Michael Miklius

Mike is a lifelong Bears fan just waiting for the rise of his team's first ever stud quarterback. He's hoping Mitch Trubisky is that guy.

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