Fantasy Football 2020: Week 3 D/ST Streamers
All in all, last week was a successful one for streaming defenses. Eight teams scored at least 12 fantasy points in Week 2. Half were ineligible to be considered streamers based on already being rostered in at least 50 percent of all leagues. Of the other four, three were in this space a week ago. I do not say that to toot my own horn. By nature, streamers are a risky proposition. Throughout the season, I will probably be “wrong” more often than I will be “right”. That is the nature of the beast. After all, there is a reason most of these D/ST units are readily available on the waiver wire. My Week 3 D/ST streamers are no different and are not exactly failsafe.
But I do point out last week’s success rate to illustrate why drafting a D/ST too early can be a costly mistake. I would bet fantasy managers who drafted the Dallas Cowboys at an ADP of 238.19 are probably wishing they had Jerick McKinnon (ADP: 275.96) instead. That probably goes double for those who drafted the Miami Dolphins defense at 350.54 over a young running back by the name of James Robinson, whose preseason ADP was 412.19. The upside of drafting a defense too early is minimal compared to a skill position player who can alter the balance of your entire fantasy football league. OK, enough of my preaching about draft strategy. That is in the past and cannot be changed. Let us focus on the future, which starts now as we look towards Week 3. Here are a few of my favorite streaming options this week.
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Week 3 D/ST Streamers
Cleveland Browns (vs. Washington Football Team, 48 percent rostered in Fantrax leagues)
The Cleveland Browns have allowed 68 points through two games and have forced just two turnovers. Those numbers are not exactly awe-inspiring. But they do have a solid Week 3 matchup against the Football Team. The Browns should be able to dominate this matchup at the line of scrimmage and in the trenches. Washington’s adjusted sack rate allowed is 10 percent, good for third-highest in the NFL. They will have a tough time defending Myles Garrett and company on the edge. Cleveland will also have the added benefit of a few extra days of rest after playing on Thursday night in Week 2. I am expecting the Browns to generate a handful of sacks in this matchup, and their pressure should lead to multiple turnovers.
New York Giants (vs. San Francisco 49ers, 9 percent rostered)
The New York Football Giants were the other widely available D/ST that registered at least a dozen fantasy points in Week 2. I do not believe Big Blue is a strong defensive unit solely off the strength of one game. However, they will essentially be facing San Francisco’s B-squad in Week 3. The 49ers will likely be without starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, which would thrust Nick Mullens into action. Mullens is serviceable but did throw 10 interceptions in eight games back in 2018. He also took at least three sacks in five of those eight games. San Francisco will also be without Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, and Deebo Samuel, while George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk will be at less than 100 percent if they play at all. The Giants have considerable upside for a D/ST that is available in over 90 percent of leagues.
Washington Football Team (at Cleveland Browns, 36 percent rostered)
I am recommending both the Washington Football Team and their opponent as Week 3 D/ST streamers. I employed the same strategy last week and noted that I preferred their opponent (the Arizona Cardinals) if given the option. That is how I feel this week as well. Do not worry – this will not be an option for me to utilize next week when Washington faces the Baltimore Ravens.
Though I prefer Cleveland to their Week 3 counterpart this week if I have the choice, fantasy managers may have to settle on Washington given their respective rostership. That is not the worst idea as it is. Yes, the Browns offense was clicking on all cylinders last week. However, I attribute that more to them facing the hapless Cincinnati Bengals defense than Cleveland suddenly getting into a sustainable offensive rhythm. Washington leads the league in sacks and is tied for second with four turnovers. They should be able to rattle Baker Mayfield and force some mistakes on Sunday. Only Dwayne Haskins and Mitchell Trubisky have a lower percentage of on-target throws than Mayfield’s 67.9 percent mark through two games. Washington should be able to keep this game close on the strength of their defense.
Denver Broncos (45 percent rostered)
The Denver Broncos defense is available in 55 percent leagues, and I suspect that number will rise a bit as we approach game time this week. Fantasy managers will fear Tampa Bay, and Denver is a defense that some may drop for a Week 3 streamer. However, the Broncos host the New York Jets next Thursday night. The Jets offense is anemic, and I cannot imagine that a short week will do them any favors. You will likely not find a better matchup on the board next week. Fantasy managers who can afford to keep Denver’s D/ST on their roster this week are likely to be rewarded next week.
Arizona Cardinals (47 percent rostered)
I thought about using Arizona as a Week 3 streamer, but I have enough faith in Detroit’s offense to leave Arizona off this week’s list. However, I do not have that same faith in their Week 4 opponent. The Carolina Panthers were swarmed by Tampa Bay’s defense last week. The Bucs recorded five sacks and forced four turnovers. Carolina’s struggles are likely to continue with Christian McCaffrey sidelined for the foreseeable future. Arizona has allowed the second-fewest points in the NFL through two weeks, and their seven sacks are tied for third-best in the league. This should be a plus matchup for Vance Joseph’s group.
Check out the rest of our Week 3 Fantasy Football lineup!
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