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Week 4 D/ST Streamers for Fantasy Football

The postponement of this week’s scheduled Steelers-Titans contest removes two of the more popular defenses in fantasy football. Pittsburgh is the only defense in the NFL that is rostered in 100 percent of Fantrax leagues. The unexpected bye week for Pittsburgh and Tennessee means that fantasy managers who rostered their defenses will now have to scour the waiver wire to pick up a last-minute replacement. Luckily, several teams qualify as solid Week 4 D/ST streamers.

Unfortunately, the scenario involving Pittsburgh and Tennessee is one that can pop up at any time due to the pandemic, so managers need to remain flexible. Official bye weeks also begin next week, so streaming options may be harder to come by moving forward. Here are some of my favorite defense/special team streaming options for Week 4. As always, these are teams that have good matchups and are available in at least 50 percent of Fantrax leagues.

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Week 4 D/ST Streamers

Seattle (at Miami, 46 percent rostered in Fantrax leagues)

It seems strange to see Seattle’s defense available in over half of all leagues. That seems to be a byproduct of a rough early schedule that featured games against Atlanta, New England, and Dallas. Seattle’s defense has allowed 79 points through three games, so perhaps fantasy managers made the right call avoiding them early on. But now is the time to pounce on the Seahawks.

Seattle will face the Miami Dolphins in Week 4. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been held under 200 yards passing in two of his three games this season. He has also thrown an interception or two in his day. Miami is one of just seven teams who have been held below 1,000 total yards through three games. Despite facing three high-octane offenses, Seattle is tied for second in the NFL with six forced turnovers. This may not be the “Legion Of Boom” unit we have grown accustomed to seeing in recent years, but they should be well equipped to limit the Dolphins subpar offensive attack.

Dallas (vs. Cleveland, 30 percent rostered)

The Dallas Cowboys have allowed 95 points through three games. But they are another team that has faced three explosive offenses right out of the gate. I would not put the Cleveland Browns among that group. The Browns did put up 34 points against a solid Washington defense last week, but that had more to do with being gifted five turnovers than a sudden offensive explosion. Dallas will not turn the ball over five times and give the Browns a bunch of short fields.

If the Cowboys can ride their potent offense to an early lead, they will force the Browns to go off script and throw the football more than they would like. That is when Cleveland tends to get itself into trouble. The Cowboys are not in a smash-spot here, but they will make for a decent streaming option this week. I suppose if you do not trust Dallas, you could pick one of the teams in the Cincinnati-Jacksonville affair instead. But do you want to root against Joe Burrow or Gardner Minshew?

Houston (vs. Minnesota, 14 percent rostered)

The Houston Texans are the lone team in the league yet to force a turnover. So why am I recommending them among Week 4 D/ST streamers? The recurring theme of the week seems to be teams that have faced difficult opponents early on in the season. Houston is no exception. The Texans have faced the Chiefs, Ravens, and Steelers offenses so far. That puts their lack of turnovers in a bit of perspective. My guess is they find a way to earn a little positive regression in that department when they face Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings.

Cousins is tied for the NFL lead with six interceptions. Even though they have yet to force a turnover on the season, the Texans have been able to generate seven sacks. The Vikings offensive line has not been much to write home about in the early going. They rank in the bottom-10 in adjusted sack rate allowed. Houston should be able to generate some pressure and make things difficult for Cousins on Sunday. I would not be surprised to see multiple turnovers created by the Texans in this matchup.

Arizona (at Carolina, 48 percent rostered)

Listing the Arizona Cardinals here feels a bit redundant because I mentioned them in last week’s “Looking Ahead” portion of the show. At the risk of repeating myself, the Cardinals are fifth in the league in sacks, while the Panthers are in the bottom half of the NFL in terms of adjusted sack rate allowed. The turnover upside is a bit low compared to the elite defenses this week. That is because Teddy Bridgewater does not force a lot of throws down the field. However, if you are in a league where you get additional fantasy points for different yards allowed and points allowed thresholds, Arizona should have a steady floor as a Week 4 D/ST streamer.

Looking Ahead

It so happens that all four of the D/ST options I have mentioned here have solid Week 5 matchups also. This should provide even more reason for fantasy managers to invest while interest is relatively low. That is especially true when you consider that beyond these four teams, the pickings for Week 5 are quite slim. I suppose fantasy managers can consider Atlanta (12 percent rostered) against Carolina, but it is hard to get excited about their defense considering their propensity for blowing huge leads. The rest of the teams who would be considered streamers based on rostership requirements have unfavorable matchups next week. Fantasy managers would probably be better off to leave most of them on the wire. 

If you found Mick’s Week 4 D/ST Streamers helpful, you’ll definitely want to check out all of our Week 4 Fantasy Football lineup!

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