Streaming Defense Week 1 Options for Fantasy Football

Jason Schandl
AFC Championship - New England Patriots v Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Championship - New England Patriots v Kansas City Chiefs / Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Defenses are a bit of a strange animal in fantasy football. More than any other position, their production is tied very closely to the quality of their matchup. Even the most productive fantasy defense is going to struggle to post big numbers against a great offense, while poor defenses can provide solid fantasy returns against terrible offenses.

This leaves a ton of value in streaming the position — taking advantage of the depth available on the waiver wire and choosing a new starter on a weekly basis, instead of investing heavily in a top defense that you may have to bench or drop anyway.

With that being said, here are three top streaming defenses for fantasy football in Week 1.

3. New York Jets (14% Owned) vs Buffalo Bills

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Going undrafted in most leagues because of their shaky season-long outlook, the New York Jets defense lands in the top 10 in our Week 1 fantasy football rankings. They made some upgrades for 2019 by adding C.J. Mosley, Brian Poole and Quinnen Williams to a group that got to opponents for the third-most QB hits (114) and scored the sixth most pass breakups (76) in the NFL last year. They are favorites (all betting lines courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook) at home against a Buffalo Bills team that will be led by Josh Allen, whose 3.8 percent interception rate was the second highest and 8.0 percent sack rate was the eighth highest among qualifying passers in 2018.

2. Dallas Cowboys (63% Owned) vs New York Giants

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Kept out of the first-place spot only by a relatively high ownership number, the Dallas Cowboys defense is still available in over one third of leagues. The Cowboys are favored by a touchdown at home against a New York Giants offense that projects to be one of the worst in the NFL after losing Odell Beckham. This Dallas unit ranked top 10 in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA rankings last season, and they return all of their key pieces in 2019.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (34% Owned) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

A defense doesn't need to be great for real football to generate big fantasy scoring, and we saw that with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018. They finished sixth in fantasy points despite allowing opponents the league's ninth most points and second most yards per game. The Jacksonville Jaguars were one of only seven teams to allow a sack rate of at least 9 percent, while the KC defense ranked eighth in sack rate and first with 52 sacks, as playing with leads thanks to their elite offense forced their opponents to take more shots down field. It's also worth noting that over the last five years (since his 2013 explosion) Nick Foles has a 2.6 percent interception rate, identical to Blake Bortles' mark from his final three seasons with the Jags.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.