One of the biggest strategies in fantasy football is streaming defenses. Each week owners will look at matchups and make waiver wire acquisitions almost every week to find their starting defense. Here are fantasy football defenses to stream in week 3. (Note: All defense mentioned are owned in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues)
1. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are the 22nd ranked fantasy defense through two weeks. They haven’t allowed a ton of points, but have failed to register big plays. Luckily for them, they will get the opportunity to change that against the Dolphins, who are tanking.
Miami has had a tough time scoring and moving the football, so the Cowboys should look to shut them out. Because the offensive line for Miami is so bad, the Cowboys should also be able to force some turnovers and get some sacks. The Cowboys defense is owned in under 40 percent of ESPN leagues and is worth adding for this matchup.
2. San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco doesn’t have a defense that was projected to be fantasy relevant, but they rank second in the league for fantasy points so far. This is likely more due to their matchups more than anything else, as they played turnover-prone Jameis Winston and the Cincinnati Bengals in the first two weeks of the season. The favorable matchups continue for the 49ers as they play the Pittsburgh Steelers this week.
Pittsburgh will be starting Mason Rudolph, a second-year player who saw his first NFL action last week relieving Ben Roethlisberger. Running back James Conner is also banged up, but expected to play in this game. Either way, the 49ers defense is hot right now and facing a backup quarterback makes them a quality start this week. They are owned in 14.2 percent of ESPN leagues.
3. Green Bay Packers
The Packers have a much-improved defense over past years and it has shown up in fantasy as well. They are the fourth-ranked fantasy defense through two weeks. This week they should have another successful game as they take on the Denver Broncos.
The Broncos have averaged just 15 points per game through two weeks. Their offensive line has also struggled through the first two weeks of the season. Green Bay should be able build off of their past two performances. The defense is owned in just 7.1 percent of ESPN leagues.
4. Seattle Seahawks
Seattle’s defense isn’t the same as it once was, but they have allowed only 23 points per game this season. They are the 12th ranked fantasy defense this season. The Seahawks have taken advantage of playing the Bengals and the Steelers, who played a lot of the game with Mason Rudolph at quarterback. This week they face another backup quarterback when they play the New Orleans Saints.
Drew Brees is going to miss some time and Teddy Bridgewater still has some rust to knock off. The Seahawks can stack the box against Alvin Kamara and hope that Bridgewater can’t beat them. Their defense is owned in 13.5 percent of ESPN leagues.
5. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers have an average fantasy defense so far, as they rank 15th in the league. They average 5.5 fantasy points per week, with one of their games being on short rest, as they played the Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football in week 2. Now they will take on Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals.
Carolina will have a few extra days to prepare for the Cardinals, which gives them an advantage. Murray and the Cardinals have gotten off to slow starts, so the Panthers could take advantage in what is a must-win game for them. The defense is owned in 37 percent of leagues.