Streaming a D/ST (Defense/Special Teams) unit is more important than ever in Week 9 with some of the top defenses either on bye or saddled with tough matchups. Last week, we went 2 for 3 with the Los Angeles Chargers and New York Giants rewarding us with double-digit performances. However, the Atlanta Falcons (along with most of us) were shocked by rookie quarterback Will Levis and the Tennessee Titans’ offensive attack. Our bonus pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars, also returned double-digit fantasy points against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Let’s look at a few of our streaming options this week as we look for teams that are rostered in around 50 percent of leagues or lower.
Please note: there’s a decent chance that better teams above this 50 percent threshold are out there in your league, but we can’t assume they’re out there for everyone. We have to draw the proverbial line somewhere, so stay active and monitor the league home page; someone might drop a desirable defense after waivers clear.
Green Bay Packers
Opponent: vs. Los Angeles Rams
ESPN % Rostered: 29%
Yahoo % Rostered: 18%
The Green Bay Packers, coming off a solid performance against the Vikings, host the Los Angeles Rams this week. The Pack now has two special teams blocks in three games and faces a Rams team that just had a punt blocked for a safety last week. Green Bay has been a bit up and down defensively this season; they look to build on their three-sack performance last week by taking on a Los Angeles Rams squad that gave up double-digit quarterback pressures in a single half in their last game. The Rams are on a six-game streak of surrendering multiple sacks and have turned the ball over in each of their last three games. The big focal point of this matchup is that Matthew Stafford is questionable with a sprained UCL in his throwing-hand thumb. If he can’t go, the Packers will draw backup QB Brett Rypien. Expectations could vary by a large margin depending on who starts at quarterback.
Los Angeles Chargers
Opponent: @ New York Jets
ESPN % Rostered: 7%
Yahoo % Rostered: 26%
After crushing the Chicago Bears at home last week, the Chargers hit the road to face the New York Jets, who took almost five quarters to beat a Giants team playing their third backup at quarterback. This is the night game, so I’m not worried about the West Coast team traveling to the East Coast. Los Angeles held their opponent last week to 13 points scored, the same amount New York finished with in their previous game. The Jets gave up four sacks and turned the ball over twice in that game; their opponents are averaging about nine fantasy points to D/STs. The Jets rank in the league’s bottom 10 in points scored and they’re second-worst in passing yards per game in the NFL this season. Those worried about running back Breece Hall can take a bit of solace from the Chargers being a Top 10 defense in rushing yards allowed. Khalil Mack has the fifth-most sacks in the league and will look to add even more on Monday night.
New England Patriots
Opponent: vs. Washington Commanders
ESPN % Rostered: 31%
Yahoo % Rostered: 28%
The New England Patriots are starting to level out from their free-fall and now host the Washington Commanders. Washington just traded away two key starters on defense, Montez Sweat and Chase Young, and that downgrade could lead to a higher time of possession for New England’s offense benefitting their D/ST. Last week, the Patriots D/ST created two turnovers and two sacks on the road against a powerful Dolphins offense. They are now on a three-game interception streak and look to host a team that is giving out sacks to opponents faster than a ticket game back in the old arcades. Sam Howell is on pace to break David Carr’s sack record of 76…by a significant amount! I’m all about this Washington matchup, more so than the Patriots’ defense itself. They are averaging over five sacks allowed per game. I’m not too concerned about last week: the Commanders are an enigma against their division rival Eagles and have a recent history of taking them down to the final drive, regardless of how they are faring on the season overall.
The Arizona Cardinals (ESPN:1% Y!: 1%) If you find yourself in a deep league with a thin wire, consider the Cardinals D/ST against a Cleveland Browns team that is throwing picks around like hot potatoes. The Browns are currently on a streak of four multi-interception games, adding up to NINE interceptions over that stretch.
These teams did not meet the consideration threshold for the main highlight section, but you should check to see if they’re available in your league:
Cleveland Browns – ESPN: 77% Y!: 72% vs. Arizona Cardinals
Pittsburgh Steelers – ESPN: 63% Y!: 61% vs. Tennessee Titans
If you see something I don’t leave a comment or hit me up with feedback @MikeoftheFF on Twitter!
Photos by Zach Bolinger & Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire | Design by Michael Packard (@designsbypack on Twitter @ IG)