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 5. (Note: All defense mentioned are owned in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues)
1. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have been a surprising team this season and their defense has looked much improved. They rank 10th as a fantasy defense, averaging 6.8 points per game. Dallas has had a knack for the big play with two interceptions in each game so far this season. Their low score for the season is four points, which they did in the first two weeks. They scored 12 against the Eagles and seven against the Panthers in week 4.
In week 5, the Cowboys play the Giants. While the Giants are coming off a good performance against the Saints, their offense scores just 20.8 points. Daniel Jones has turnover problems in his career and Dallas will want to continue their impressive job of forcing them so far this season. The Cowboys are rostered in just 22.5 percent of ESPN leagues.
2. Carolina Panthers
Carolina has been one of the best defenses in the league, but some dropped them before their game against the Cowboys. They rank second in scoring for a fantasy defense with 7.3 points per game. That’s including their -6 point performance against the Cowboys. Before that, they had scored double-digit points in each game.
The Panthers will prepare for the Eagles this week. They’ll have to be alert for Jalen Hurts quarterback runs, but the Eagles’ offense hasn’t shown a ton of consistency yet. Philadelphia averages 23.5 points per game and if Carolina’s defense is for real, they should hold them to under 20 points, while forcing some turnovers. Carolina is rostered in 49.1 percent of ESPN leagues.
3. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings may not have the defense they had a few years ago, but they rank 16th in fantasy scoring this season. They have 13 sacks, two interceptions and a touchdown this year. Their season-high in points is seven against Arizona, while their low came against Seattle, when they scored two.
Minnesota will play an NFC North rival in the Detroit Lions this week. The winless Lions have scored just 20.3 points per game. They don’t have many offensive weapons for Jared Goff to utilize, and while they’ve played hard they haven’t scored more than 17 points in a game since week 1. Minnesota should be able to limit them in this game. The Vikings are available in nearly 84 percent of ESPN leagues.
4. Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta is not known for their defense, as they rank 26th in fantasy at 0.3 points per game. They were able to score five fantasy points against the Giants in week 3. The Falcons have two -3 point performances already though. They have seven sacks and two fumble recoveries on the season.
Picking up and starting the Falcons should only be done because of their matchup. They play the New York Jets, who have a quarterback in Zach Wilson who has thrown eight interceptions. On top of that, the Jets score a league-low 11.8 points per game. Atlanta has a great opportunity this week to score some fantasy points. They are rostered in 1.4 percent of ESPN leagues.
5. New York Jets
The Jets have now won a game and their defense deserves a lot of credit. They are the 22nd-ranked fantasy defense so far this season, averaging 3.8 points per game. For the season, they have 13 sacks and two fumble recoveries. Seven of those sacks came in week 4 against the Titans. They have scored within the two to five point range in all four weeks of the season.
Both defenses in the Jets-Falcons games can be streamed for fantasy managers who are desperate. The Falcons score just 19.5 points per game, which is near the bottom of the league. They rank in the bottom half of the league in both passing and rushing, which gives the Jets a good chance to play well. The Jets are available in over 98 percent of ESPN leagues.
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