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 2. (Note: All defense mentioned are owned in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues)
1. New Orleans Saints
In the first week of the season, the Saints had a dominating performance against the Packers. They had two interceptions, one fumble recovery, two sacks and just three points allowed. The defense scored 14 fantasy points, which was no small feat, considering it came against Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay. It looks like the Saints’ defense can be one of the best in the league this season.
For week 2, the Saints have a favorable matchup. They are going up against the Carolina Panthers. In week 1, the Panthers were only able to score 19 points against the Jets, who have their defensive issues. The Saints should be able to get to the quarterback and force turnovers, as Sam Darnold will be at quarterback for the Panthers. The New Orleans defense is available in nearly 75 percent of ESPN leagues.
2. Arizona Cardinals
No defense looked like they improved more than the Cardinals in week 1. The additions of J.J. Watt and Zaven Collins seem to have paid off, as they held Tennessee to just 13 points scored. Arizona’s defense scored 17 fantasy points, had six sacks (five of which were from Chandler Jones), two fumble recoveries and one interception. They may have something cooking in Arizona.
This week presents an opportunity for another big performance from the Cardinals, as they are playing the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota only put up 21 points against Cincinnati and their offensive line played terribly by both picking up penalties and letting rushers through. The Bengals were able to get three sacks and a fumble recovery off the Vikings. Arizona should be able to do much better than Cincinnati’s defense against the Vikings. The defense is rostered in just five percent of ESPN leagues, but that will change very quickly.
3. Green Bay Packers
Green Bay had an awful week 1 performance. Their defense scored -3 points in fantasy and allowed 38 points. The fault for the loss or all the fantasy points allowed doesn’t solely fall on the defense though. With the Packers turning over the ball and not sustaining drives, the defense was put in a bad position. Things should improve as the weeks go on.
The second game of the season provides a good opportunity for the Packers to show improvement, as they play the Lions. It looked like the Lions were going to be put away easily in week 1, but the 49ers allowed them to creep back into things. The 49ers were able to get three sacks and an interception and the Packers should be able to replicate that without giving up as many points. Green Bay’s defense is available in over 75 percent of ESPN leagues.
4. New York Giants
The Giants scored just one fantasy point as a defense in week 1. They registered two sacks and one fumble recovery, but allowed 27 points to the Broncos. The Broncos are projected to be a solid team, but many feel their quarterback play could hold them back this season. It wasn’t a great performance for the Giants, but there are some opportunities up ahead.
New York plays Washington in their second game of the season. Washington only managed to score 16 points against the Chargers in their season-opener. The Chargers had one fumble recovery and one sack. What will make things tough for Washington is that Ryan Fitzpatrick went down with a hip subluxation and now Taylor Heinicke is starting. The Giants don’t have the best defense, but they should be able to limit Heinicke. Their defense is available in over 92 percent of ESPN leagues.
5. Chicago Bears
The Bears had a tough week 1 matchup in going up against the Rams with Sean Mcvay calling the plays and Matthew Stafford under center. Their defense scored -1 fantasy points and registered just one sack. Luckily, the defense won’t have to go up against the Rams every week. The defense still has some quality players and they’ll have better performances in better matchups.
Chicago plays Cincinnati in week 2. The Bengals only scored 24 points in their first game against the Vikings and they needed overtime to get to that total. Joe Burrow looks like he can do some damage, along with Joe Mixon and the running game, but the team did allow five sacks. If Khalil Mack can help generate pressure, the Bears can be a defense to play if a fantasy manager is desperate. The Bears are available in over 90 percent of ESPN leagues.
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