One of the biggest strategies in fantasy football is streaming defenses. Each week owners will look at matchups and make waiver wire acquisitions to find their starting defense. Here are fantasy football defenses to stream in week 1. (Note: All defense mentioned are owned in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues)
1. Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles lost Malcolm Jenkins, but added corner Darius Slay to their secondary. They have talented players on the defensive line still, which is led by Fletcher Cox. Their defense is one to watch in fantasy this season, especially in the division they are in.
Their week 1 game is against the Washington Football Team. They are going to have a patchwork offensive line, a new running back and they still have a young quarterback in Dwayne Haskins. Philadelphia’s defense is available in just over 50 percent of ESPN leagues.
2. Detroit Lions
Matt Patricia is known for his defensive mind and this offseason, he added some former Patriots to his squad. Trey Flowers, Danny Shelton, Jamie Collins and Duron Harmon will all help improve the defense. The loss of Darius Slay hurts, but they did add Desmond Trufant and Jeffrey Okudah. Overall, the defense looks like it will be improved and if it isn’t Patricia may be out of a job.
Detroit will take on Chicago in week 1. The Bears have named Mitchell Trubisky their starter, who has struggled over the last few years. Running back David Montgomery is questionable for the game as well. Chicago doesn’t have a great offense and with Detroit’s improvements, they should be able to score some fantasy points. The Lions are available in over 90 percent of ESPN leagues.
3. Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers took a huge blow when Derwin James got injured again, but they still have a great defense. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are a great pass-rush duo, while their secondary is talented even without James suiting up.
Overall, the Chargers will have a solid defense, but their matchup in week 1 really makes them a good candidate to stream. They play the Cincinnati Bengals. Even though Joe Burrow is a great prospect, he is still a rookie quarterback on a team with a below-par offensive line. The Chargers have a clear advantage on that front. They are owned in 38.8 percent of ESPN leagues.
4. Tennessee Titans
Mike Vrabel has molded a great defense in Tennessee, as the team even signed Jadeveon Clowney just days before the season. The offense also runs the ball well, which limits the amount of time their defense is on the field. It should be another good season for the Titans.
In week 1, the Titans play the Broncos on Monday Night Football. The Broncos added a lot to their offense this offseason including Jerry Jeudy, K.J. Hamler and Melvin Gordon. Tennessee should still be able to slow them and quarterback Drew Lock down. The defense is owned in under 20 percent of ESPN leagues.
5. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals were one of the NFL’s worst defenses last year, but they have added to it. D.J. Reader, Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander and Vonn Bell were all brought in to get significant snaps (Waynes is out). They also have a great defensive line that can generate pressure on quarterbacks.
As previously mentioned, the Bengals are taking on the Chargers in week 1. They are another team that has had changes. Tyrod Taylor will be starting at quarterback, which will likely mean that they will take a step backwards. The Bengals should only be used in a worst-case scenario, but are owned in less than three percent of leagues.
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