Week 7 D/ST Streamers for Fantasy Football
Last week I mentioned that all four NFC East teams were potential Week 7 D/ST Streamers. I still feel that way, as I begin this article before Thursday night’s game. Since that game is off the table for this piece, the options are a bit more limited. Baltimore (99 percent rostered) and Indianapolis (84 percent) are among the most popular defenses with a Week 7 bye.
While carrying two D/ST units is never ideal in the long term, I would not drop them for any of the defenses listed below if I could help it. There is also a chance that Tampa Bay (89 percent) does not play their scheduled game against the Las Vegas Raiders. If that game does take place, the Bucs are a must-start, especially in the Raiders are without their offensive line.
There is only one game on the Week 7 docket that features two potential D/ST streamers (less than 50 percent rostered in Fantrax leagues) and a Vegas total of fewer than 50 points. Not surprisingly, the two teams facing each other are featured below, as are two other teams that are laying a bit deeper in the weeds. Without further ado, here are my favorite defenses to stream in Week 7.
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Week 7 D/ST Streamers for Fantasy Football
Dallas Cowboys (at Washington Football Team, 40 percent rostered)
I cannot even pretend that the Cowboys defense is even a little bit good. Dallas has allowed at least 34 points in five straight games, and they were just embarrassed at home on Monday Night Football against the Arizona Cardinals. This recommendation is based solely on their Week 7 opponent, the Washington Football Team. Washington has allowed opposing defenses to finish inside the top 10 in fantasy points in each of the last five weeks. Their quarterbacks have absorbed at least three sacks in every game this year.
And while the Cowboys 5.9 percent adjusted sack rate is not great, it is merely slightly below average, which is more than I can say for most of their defensive metrics. Kyle Allen had two more turnovers last week, and I would feel comfortable streaming any defense against Washington until Allen can avoid costly mistakes.
Washington Football Team (vs. Dallas Cowboys, 45 percent rostered)
Dak Prescott may have earned an MVP vote or two with Andy Dalton’s performance on Monday night against Arizona. Dalton averaged a pitiful 4.9 yards per pass attempt while throwing two interceptions. The Cardinals also sacked Dalton three times. Ezekiel Elliott lost two fumbles in the game, giving Arizona’s defense more turnovers last week (4) than they had accumulated all season long before Monday night (3).
Washington’s defense has not done much since their upset victory in Week 1 against Philadelphia. But they have had at least one sack in every game and forced at least one turnover in five of six contests. Dallas is a much less explosive offense now that Dalton has taken over at quarterback. That should give Washington a reasonable floor for those just looking to squeeze out a few fantasy points from their Week 7 D/ST streamer.
Green Bay Packers (at Houston Texans, 37 percent rostered)
The Green Bay Packers were outclassed by Tampa Bay last week, and their defense did them no favors. They failed to record a turnover or register a sack. Green Bay’s defense scored negative points in some formats with their lackluster performance. However, the Houston Texans are not in the same class offensively, despite showing signs of life following the dismissal of Bill O’Brien.
Deshaun Watson has been sacked 19 times this year, while the Packers had averaged three quarterback takedowns per game before last week. I do expect the Texans to put up points, so this is not a slam dunk of a pick. But I think Green Bay can generate enough pressure to force Watson down, and a turnover or two could put them among the top 12 fantasy defenses this week. I believe Green Bay is one of the better Week 7 D/ST streamers on the board.
Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Cleveland Browns, 15 percent rostered)
Time to get weird. It worked last week when I suggested streaming Detroit, so I will hope to keep that mojo going and hitch my wagon to the Cincinnati Bengals. Despite their perception, Cincinnati’s defense has not been terrible of late from a fantasy perspective. They have finished in the top half of the NFL in three of the last four weeks.
The struggles the Browns offense encountered last week at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers are well documented. Please do not mistake me putting Cincinnati’s defense on equal footing with Pittsburgh’s. The two are nowhere near each other. But the Bengals do have eight sacks and six turnovers in their last four games, and those are two problem areas for Baker Mayfield and company. If you are really in a pinch, Cincinnati’s D/ST can be an off-the-radar streaming option this week.
An early look at the Week 8 slate does not offer a whole lot of streaming options. Most of the teams with the best matchups are already rostered in a majority of leagues. Fantasy managers may decide to grab one of the defenses below as a potential multiweek option rather than trying to hop from team to team.
Green Bay Packers (vs. Minnesota Vikings)
I would prefer Washington over Green Bay if we are only deciding on Week 7 D/ST streamers. However, fantasy managers in leagues with limited moves or other restrictions may pivot to the Packers given their favorable Week 8 matchup. Minnesota’s bye could not come at a better time, as the team is struggling mightily. Dalvin Cook is injured, and Kirk Cousins is a mess. If Cook cannot return in time for their Week 8 tilt with Green Bay, they may very well be next week’s best streaming option.
Dallas Cowboys (at Philadelphia Eagles)
Dallas is another team that has a decent matchup in each of the next two weeks. Any time there is a game involving NFC East teams, you should consider streaming their defenses. In most cases, that is a referendum on the offenses in question and not the defenses themselves. But we will take any extra edge we can get in fantasy. Targeting offenses in the NFC East has paid off to this point in the season, so I would continue to exploit that avenue until circumstances change.
If you found Mick’s Week 7 D/ST Streamers helpful, make sure to check out the rest of our NFL Week 7 Slate of Analysis.
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