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 worst-ranked fantasy defense tops this list? That’s how it goes sometimes. The Cowboys average -3.5 points per game. They have eight sacks and just one turnover forced on the season. Fortunately for them they get a favorable matchup this week.
Dallas gets to play the Giants this week who are a very turnover prone team. They also won’t have Saquon Barkley and their offensive line has really struggled this season. The Cowboys have to turn it around if they want to be competitive this year and this is the game to do it. Dallas’ defense is owned in just 21.3 percent of ESPN leagues.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
While the Chiefs are known for their offense, their defense has stepped up this season. They rank sixth as a fantasy defense this season. The Chiefs are coming off of an 18-point performance against the Patriots and also have good performances against the Ravens and Texans.
The Raiders are traveling to Kansas City to play the Chiefs this week. They do decently against opposing defenses, but the Chiefs should be able to limit what they can do. With seven turnovers forced and 12 sacks on the season, they are worth playing this week. They are owned in 34 percent of ESPN leagues.
3. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have the second-worst fantasy defense and also show up on this list. They average -1.3 points per game. A lot of that has to do with the schedule, as they have negative performances against the Seahawks, Cowboys and Packers, who all have talented offenses.
This week, the Falcons play the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have battled tough and won some games, but they will still likely be without Christian McCaffrey. Atlanta is a risky play, but they could pay off, as they need a win. They are owned in 2.5 percent of ESPN leagues.
4. Cleveland Browns
A lot of their good play this season came against Washington in week 3, when they scored 13 points. The Browns do average 3.8 fantasy points per game, but they have a negative performance against the Cowboys and no points scored against the Ravens.
They are a boom or bust play, but this week they get a decent matchup. The Browns are playing the Colts, who aren’t a threat to score a lot of points. They have scored under 30 points in three out of four contests this year. If the game is close, Philip Rivers may throw a few interceptions their way as well. Cleveland’s defense is only owned in 15.9 percent of ESPN leagues.
5. Houston Texans
The Texans have just fired their head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien after an 0-4 start. Their defense averages -0.3 points per game, but maybe the firing will inject some life into the team. They have had a brutal schedule and have only scored positive fantasy points once this season, against Baltimore.
Houston has a divisional matchup on their hands this week when they suit up against the Jaguars. Jacksonville ranks 20th against opposing defenses this season, which with the Texans’ poor play this year means that they should only be played in desperate situations. They are owned in under 10 percent of ESPN leagues.
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