By Ray Kuhn
For those of you looking to stream defenses this week, here are five options that could potentially be available in your league. These might not necessarily be the best defensive options (to be eligible a defense must be owned in less than 60% of both Yahoo and ESPN leagues), but it could provide a viable alternative for those of you that do not have one of the top defenses.
- Indianapolis Colts (3% Yahoo, 9% ESPN) – Things are looking a little different for the Colts this season. They already have a win and their defense has actually looked pretty good from a fantasy perspective, despite low expectations. After playing well against the Vikings, they face the Jaguars who are an even worse offense. Blaine Gabbert has not looked good when he was healthy, and his status is in doubt. Justin Blackmon so far has not shown any of the talent he possesses and the Jaguars are an easy target for the Colts. They should be available in just about all your leagues and are worth a flier based on their opponent.
- New Orleans Saints (9% Yahoo, 3% ESPN) – In general the Saints have not looked great this season, and their defense has given up a lot of points. They might not be the best option, but they do have a few things going for them. First, eventually you would think that the Saints will get it in sync, dominate a game and be in control from the outset. Based on how the Chiefs have looked so far this season they could be the perfect opponent for the Saints at this time. Second, the Saints usually, even if they give up a lot of points, have the propensity to create turnovers (which they have not done yet this season). Starting with this game, their season could go in either direction, and at least for their defense it might be worth betting on a turnaround.
- Buffalo Bills (50% Yahoo, 50% ESPN) – I would not be entirely concerned by either the Bills Week 1 performance, or Brandon Weeden’s performance last week. The Browns were playing from behind the entire game and, in turn, the Bengals allowed Weeden to have a complete reversal from his debut. This week I would expect something in the middle and he should be good for a few interceptions. The Bills defense did cause 3 turnovers last week, but more importantly showed improvement by registering 5 sacks.
- Dallas Cowboys (37% Yahoo, 43% ESPN) – The Cowboys have not been a bad defense so far this season. Their two new cornerbacks seem to be acclimating well from a points standpoint, but you would like to see them generate some turnovers. They did not do this last week as they allowed rookie quarterback Russell Wilson to have a mistake free day. You would think that this week will be different and that Tampa quarterback Josh Freeman should be pressured into at least a turnover or two. I can’t see Dallas giving up a ton of points, so at the very least they are an option that should not really hurt you much, and with Demarcus Ware there is also the potential for some sacks.
- Miami Dolphins (7% Yahoo, 3% ESPN) – The Jets seemed to be a non-threatening offense this past week against the Steelers. Aside from one drive and momentary flashes, Mark Sanchez looked lost most of the times and did not receive much help from Santonio Holmes or any of his other receiving options. Sanchez is good for making at least one or two mistakes each week, which is helpful to Miami’s value. There is always the threat of Tim Tebow, but even if the Jets do decide to unleash him, most likely it will not have a drastic effect on the scoreboard.
Make sure to check out the rest of our Week 3 rankings: