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 4. (Note: All defense mentioned are owned in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues)
1. Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati’s defense looks a lot different this year. They rank ninth for fantasy defenses so far and are a huge reason the Bengals have a winning record. The Bengals have produced 10 sacks, three interceptions and a fumble recovery. After only scoring two points against Minnesota, they scored eight against the Bears and 11 against the Steelers.
There are a few things going in Cincinnati’s favor in week 4. They are at home on a short week against a bad Jaguars’ team. The Jags have a rookie quarterback who won’t have much time to prepare. While the long-term validity of the Bengals’ defense remains up in the air, they have played well so far and have a favorable matchup. They are available in 95 percent of ESPN leagues.
2. Tennessee Titans
The Titans haven’t had a great defense this year in fantasy terms. They rank 26th in the league and average 1.3 fantasy points per game. Tennessee has registered seven sacks and one interception, which shows their limitations in creating big plays. They have progressed as the season has gone on, as they scored -2 points in week 1 and five points in week 3 against the Colts.
In week 4, the Titans will have a favorable matchup with the New York Jets. The Jets have Zach Wilson at quarterback, who has thrown seven interceptions in three games. He also hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since week 1 and the Jets have struggled to put points on the board. The Titans should be able to limit them and come away with some turnovers. Their defense is rostered in just 8.1 percent of ESPN leagues.
3. Green Bay Packers
The Packers have had an average fantasy defense this season, ranking 19th in the league. They had an awful game against the Saints, scoring -3 points, but have since rebounded to score six and eight points in their next two games. With two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and four sacks, the Packers don’t create a lot of impact plays, but have limited effectiveness by opponents.
It isn’t often that the Steelers present a favorable matchup, but their offense has been bad this year. Teams are stacking the box against Najee Harris and Ben Roethlisberger no longer has the ability to throw it down the field consistently. The offensive line was also largely ignored this offseason. Green Bay should be able to take advantage. The Packers’ defense is rostered in 16.2 percent of ESPN leagues.
4. Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis was expected to have a solid fantasy defense and they have delivered. They rank 10th and there are plenty of reasons to believe their ranking could improve in the future. The Colts scored 10 fantasy points on defense against the Rams, who have had some success on offense this year. With five sacks, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions, the Colts still need to make more impact plays.
They will be given the opportunity to make some plays against Miami. The Dolphins will be without Tua Tagovailoa, their starting quarterback, with an injury. Jacoby Brissett is a solid backup quarterback, but the Colts’ defense should be able to get the better of the Dolphins. They are available in over 56 percent of ESPN leagues.
5. Chicago Bears
The Bears haven’t looked great to start the season, but that isn’t the defense’s fault. They rank seventh as a fantasy defense and are bolstered by a 22-point performance against the Cincinnati Bengals. Their other games have netted them just one fantasy point, but they have some big-play capability with 11 sacks, one touchdown, three interceptions and a fumble recovery in three games.
In week 4, the Bears play the Lions. Detroit has been better than many thought they would be coming into the season, but they still lack weapons. The Lions will likely keep the game close, but neither team is set up well to score a lot of points. Chicago’s defense will keep it low-scoring and can make some big plays. They are available in 14.1 percent of ESPN leagues.
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