If you read my article on playing the waiver wire game, you know that it is an essential part of winning your fantasy football league. If you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for? I just told you it’s an essential part of winning your fantasy football league! Why do you hate winning? One of the best ways to maximize your weekly scoring is to stream defenses. This strategy is simple – we aren’t as concerned about good defenses, so much as finding defenses that are playing terrible offenses. Bad offenses are more likely to keep playing bad because if they knew how to be good, they would already be good. Because of this flawless logic, I will be pointing out the best options each week for those of us who are streaming defenses.
Streaming Defenses Option #1: Indianapolis Defense (65% owned) @ Jacksonville
The Colts defense is available in one-third of fantasy football leagues, but they are one of my favorite week one defensive plays. Without a preseason, it is hard to know who is going to be good and who will be bad. Except for the Jacksonville Jaguars. I know they will be bad. How do I know they will be bad? Because they took a play out of the 2019 Miami Dolphins’ playbook and ditched of all their top talent. They cut Leonard Fournette and traded Yannick Ngakoue to the Vikings, which are not moves teams make when they plan to win. And if Jacksonville doesn’t want to win in 2020, that makes the Indianapolis Colts defense a win in week one.
Streaming Defenses Option #2: Los Angeles Chargers Defense (46% owned) @ Cincinnati
If you plan on streaming a week one defense, then the Los Angeles Chargers check some boxes. One, they have a young defense with high-end talent. Second, in 2019, they gave up the sixth-fewest yards per game of any defense. And most importantly, they play the Bengals in week one. While past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance, it is hard to have watched football over the past decade and really think the Cincinnati Bengals will be good.
Last year, the Bengals gave up the fourth-most points to opposing fantasy defenses. Cincinnati took home the #1 pick and will be starting him (Joe Burrow) at quarterback behind a questionable offensive line. And that offensive line needs to stop Joey Bosa, a tall task that falls on the shoulders of seventh-round right tackle Bobby Hart. If I have to pick a winner in that matchup, I’m going with the guy I didn’t have to Google.
Streaming Defenses Option #3: Tennessee Defense (38% owned) @ Denver
If my top two streaming defenses are not available, the Tennessee Titans are your best available option. However, they are also the riskiest of the three, and I have a few concerns with their production in week one. First, they are playing at Denver with no real preseason, so there is a good chance they aren’t in football shape, which is a recipe for disaster. Second, even though last year Denver struggled on offense, they also finished the year showing flashes of not being completely terrible.
Drew Lock, when he finally took over as the starter, showed signs that Denver may have found their quarterback of the future. Toss in the additions of Melvin Gordon and Jerry Jeudy in the offseason, and the Broncos offense looks like it has talent at depth across all its skill positions. So the Titans are a risky play to stream defense, but the Broncos inexperience coupled with the addition of Jadeveon Clowney to an already strong Titans defense could lead to an explosive fantasy defensive performance in week one.