Week 5 D/ST Streamers to Help Steal a Win
I mentioned in last week’s Looking Ahead section of this column that the pickings for Week 5 D/ST streamers were looking a bit, shall we say, substandard. Unfortunately, that is still the case as we approach the weekend. Hopefully, some of you took my advice and jumped on one of the recommended options from a week ago.
Denver, Seattle, and Arizona are no longer streamer-eligible, so the herd is even thinner than usual. In all honesty, this week’s streamers are more about the generosity of their opponents rather than their prowess. Only one top-ten scoring defense qualifies as a Week 5 streamer, so fantasy managers will have to do some dumpster diving to find viable options.
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Week 5 D/ST Streamers
Cleveland Browns (v. Indianapolis, 39 percent rostered in Fantrax leagues)
Cleveland is the only defense inside the top 10 in fantasy scoring that fantasy managers have rostered in less than 50 percent of leagues. I cannot blame fantasy managers for their lack of faith. The Browns have allowed 30 points in three of four contests, and the Colts offense is not one that fantasy managers should feel compelled to attack.
But the Browns lead the NFL with 10 turnovers and are in the top 10 with 11 sacks as well. Their ceiling is a bit lower this week against Philip Rivers and company. Rivers has been sacked on just 2.4 percent of his dropbacks, and the Colts have turned the ball over just three times through four games. Though Cleveland’s upside may be capped in this game, they are a relatively safe option if you are simply looking to avoid getting burned by a defense this week.
Houston Texans (v. Jacksonville, 21 percent rostered)
The Houston Texans do not have the most tenacious defense in the NFL. Their unit ranks 31st in fantasy scoring and is the only team yet to force a turnover. I know what you’re thinking – “I don’t like that. Off to a bad start.” Fair enough. But the Texans rank sixth in adjusted sack rate, while Jacksonville’s offensive line has allowed the fourth-highest such rate.
If you are now thinking, “better, closer, warmer”, keep reading. Now consider that Romeo Crennel is Houston’s new interim head coach after the dismissal of Bill O’Brien. O’Brien allegedly clashed with and was called out by star defensive end J.J. Watt. Watt will be extra motivated to prove that the defense was not the team’s albatross during O’Brien’s tenure. I expect a big day from Watt and the rest of the defensive line. “And that’s it!”
Dallas Cowboys (v. New York Giants, 39 percent rostered)
If you thought me recommending the Texans as a Week 5 D/ST streamer was a stretch, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The Dallas Cowboys might have the worst defense in the entire National Football League. Their ineptitude was on full display last week when they allowed three different Cleveland Browns, none of whom are named Nick Chubb, to exceed 70 rushing yards in a 49-38 loss.
Chubb was well on his way to a monster game before going down with an MCL injury in the first quarter. The Browns still totaled 307 yards and three scores on the ground. It looked at various points on Sunday as though the Dallas defense had switched places with a local flag football rec league. And yet, they are worth considering as a desperation streaming option this week.
They will take on the New York Giants on Sunday. New York has just scored three touchdowns on the season. Two of the three have come in the fourth quarters of games while New York was trailing by at least 14 points. The Giants have done almost nothing offensively when opposing defenses have tried to play defense against them.
Daniel Jones has just two touchdowns and six turnovers on the year while absorbing 14 sacks and averaging a meager 6.0 yards per pass attempt. New York has averaged just 76.5 rushing yards per game, 45 percent of which has been accounted for by Jones. There are only a handful of teams I would even think about starting the Dallas defense against, and one of them is the Giants.
If you have an extra roster spot and your D/ST has a tough Week 6 matchup, here are a few teams that you may want to stash before the next waiver or FAAB period begins.
Washington Football Team (at New York Giants, 25 percent rostered)
If I would even tacitly recommend the terrible Cowboys defense against the Giants, it stands to reason that I would also recommend a competent Washington defense in the same matchup. Washington ranks in the top 12 in fantasy points, sacks, and turnovers through four weeks. Even if the Giants offense manages to solve the Dallas defense, I would not expect them to overpower Washington’s unit.
The Football Team has struggled against the run, but the Giants do not have the horses in the backfield to exploit Washington’s deficiency in that area. As long as Washington does not face an early deficit, they should be able to pressure Daniel Jones and force him to make mistakes.
New York Giants (v. Washington, 7 percent rostered)
Fantasy managers currently roster the New York Giants in a league-worst seven percent of Fantrax leagues. But their defense has not been that bad. They rank in the top half of the NFL in fantasy points, sacks, and points allowed. New York figures to build on those numbers next week when they take on the now Kyle Allen-led Washington Football Team.
Washington has made the switch to Allen after some uninspiring play from incumbent Dwayne Haskins. As inconsistent as Haskins was at times, I cannot see the move to Allen helping much. Allen was dreadful in his stint as Carolina’s starter last year. He turned the ball over 20 times in 13 games and absorbed 46 sacks. While the Giants don’t make my list of Week 5 D/ST Streamers, they should make for a popular streamer next week.
If you found Mick’s Week 5 D/ST Streamers helpful, you’ll definitely want to check out all of our Week 5 Fantasy Football lineup!
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