Streaming Defenses: Week 4 Fantasy Options for Team Defenses

Streaming Defenses: Week 4 Fantasy Options for Team Defenses

This article is part of our Streaming Defenses series.

It's a reasonably good week for streaming, albeit with the drawback that four of our five recommendations should probably be dropped after Week 4. Philadelphia is the exception, and while technically ranked behind the Steelers for the week ahead, the Eagles are the superior choice if they're available in your league and you think you might need help for more than one week.

For injury/ranking updates throughout the week, follow me on Twitter (@JerryDonabedian).

Note: These recommendations are limited to team defenses that are rostered on less than 60 percent of teams on Yahoo or 45 percent on ESPN. Any references to fantasy points are based on Yahoo standard scoring, which doesn't include yards allowed.

Top Streaming Options for Week 4

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. NYJ)

57% Yahoo, 71% ESPN

Team implied total: 22.5

Opponent implied total: 19 

Upcoming Ranks (Projected) — Week 5: 29th (at BUF),  Week 6: 21st (vs. TB)

The Steelers defense without T.J. Watt (pectoral) isn't intimidating, but it's at least a step ahead of the Jets offense, which might get slightly better or slightly worse with Zach Wilson replacing Joe Flacco. Either way, the Jets are likely to have some of the league's worst QB play this year, and a trip to Pittsburgh isn't the sort of thing that usually sorts that out. While only a one-week play with a tough schedule ahead after Sunday, the Steelers are an excellent bet to put up at least a handful of fantasy points this

It's a reasonably good week for streaming, albeit with the drawback that four of our five recommendations should probably be dropped after Week 4. Philadelphia is the exception, and while technically ranked behind the Steelers for the week ahead, the Eagles are the superior choice if they're available in your league and you think you might need help for more than one week.

For injury/ranking updates throughout the week, follow me on Twitter (@JerryDonabedian).

Note: These recommendations are limited to team defenses that are rostered on less than 60 percent of teams on Yahoo or 45 percent on ESPN. Any references to fantasy points are based on Yahoo standard scoring, which doesn't include yards allowed.

Top Streaming Options for Week 4

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. NYJ)

57% Yahoo, 71% ESPN

Team implied total: 22.5

Opponent implied total: 19 

Upcoming Ranks (Projected) — Week 5: 29th (at BUF),  Week 6: 21st (vs. TB)

The Steelers defense without T.J. Watt (pectoral) isn't intimidating, but it's at least a step ahead of the Jets offense, which might get slightly better or slightly worse with Zach Wilson replacing Joe Flacco. Either way, the Jets are likely to have some of the league's worst QB play this year, and a trip to Pittsburgh isn't the sort of thing that usually sorts that out. While only a one-week play with a tough schedule ahead after Sunday, the Steelers are an excellent bet to put up at least a handful of fantasy points this weekend.

     

2. Philadelphia Eagles (vs. JAX)

57% Yahoo, 37% ESPN

Team implied total: 27.5

Opponent implied total: 21

Upcoming Ranks (Projected) — Week 5: 9th (at ARZ),  Week 6: 6th (vs. DAL)

The Jaguars have given up the fewest points to team defenses through three weeks, including back-to-back games without a sack or turnover. It certainly helped to face the Colts and Chargers when they were decimated by injuries to key players, and the Jaguars now face a much bigger challenge with this road game against the red-hot Eagles defense. The Year 2 version of Trevor Lawrence won't necessarily crumble, but he's not going to continue that streak without a sack or INT either. The Eagles are much healthier than they're last two opponents, and may even have all their key defensive guys available besides DE Derek Barnett (who suffered an ACL tear in the season opener).

          

3. New York Giants (vs. CHI)

11% Yahoo, 10% ESPN

Team implied total: 21.5

Opponent implied total: 18 

Upcoming Ranks (Projected) — Week 5: 31st (at GB),  Week 6: 25th (vs. BAL)

Barring massive changes to their offense, the Bears figure to have an implied total south of 20 points most weeks this season. They've shown some ability to run the ball, but even on limited volume Justin Fields has managed to take multiple sacks and throw at least one interception in each game so far. The Giants, meanwhile, are still looking for their first pick of the year, despite allowing only 20, 16 and 23 points over the first three weeks of the season. It's not a great defense by any means, but it hasn't been terrible so far and arguably can be ranked even higher than this in leagues with scoring that prioritizes point prevention over takeaways. 

The Eagles are more likely to give up 20-plus points, but they're also facing an opponent (Jacksonville) whose gameplan figures to create more chances for sacks and picks in the first half, whereas the Bears haven't thrown much apart from when the clock and/or score has forced the matter.

        

4. Indianapolis Colts (vs. TEN)

35% Yahoo, 45% ESPN

Team implied total: 22.75

Opponent implied total: 19.75

Upcoming Ranks (Projected) — Week 5: 16th (at DEN),  Week 6: 12th (vs. JAX)

I have no interest in pretending the Colts are a good team because the Chiefs' special teams handed him a "win over Patrick Mahomes". But the Titans have been even worse so far, sandwiching close home games against the Giants (L) and Raiders (W) around a blowout loss in Buffalo. Ryan Tannehill has as many interceptions as touchdown passes (three), and Derrick Henry is averaging only 3.6 YPC after dropping to 4.3 last year (4.9 or better each year from 2018 to 2020). The Titans are fighting an uphill battle this year, trying to deploy a run-heavy offense without a good O-line or dual-threat QB... even Henry has his limits, right?

          

5. Arizona Cardinals (at CAR)

2% Yahoo, 1% ESPN

Team implied total: 21

Opponent implied total: 23

Upcoming Ranks (Projected) — Week 5: 25th (vs. PHI),  Week 6: 10th (at SEA)

As bad as the Arizona defense has been, Carolina's offense has been even worse. That's partially obscured by two long passing TDs on plays where the defense broke down, and even then Baker Mayfield is averaging only 6.8 YPA while barely completing half his passes (51.9 percent). He's a huge part of the problem, but the coaching is also awful and the Panthers have four other starters with bottom-10 PFF grades at their respective positions (LT Ikem Ekwonu, WR Robbie Anderson, TE Ian Thomas, slot receiver Shi Smith). Even the Cardinals should manage a takeaway or two in this matchup; I don't agree with the Panthers being favored by two points and having an implied total of 23.

     

Week 4 Rankings

  1. Packers (vs. NE) 
  2. Cowboys (vs. WAS)
  3. Steelers (vs. NYJ)
  4. Eagles (vs. JAC)
  5. Vikings (at NO)
  6. Giants (vs. CHI)
  7. Chargers (at HOU)
  8. Colts (vs. TEN)
  9. 49ers (vs. LA)
  10. Cardinals (at CAR)
  11. Panthers (vs. ARZ)
  12. Rams (at SF)
  13. Lions (vs. SEA)
  14. Bengals (vs. MIA)
  15. Dolphins (at CIN)
  16. Commanders (at DAL)
  17. Saints (vs. MIN)
  18. Raiders (vs. DEN)
  19. Bears (at NYG)
  20. Titans (at IND)

      

Looking Ahead to Week 5

  1. Bills (vs. PIT)
  2. 49ers (at CAR)
  3. Saints (vs. SEA)
  4. Buccaneers (vs. ATL)
  5. Packers (vs. NYG)
  6. Dolphins (at NYJ)
  7. Vikings (vs. CHI)
  8. Rams (vs. DAL)
  9. Eagles (at ARZ)
  10. Jaguars (vs. HOU)
  11. Chargers (at CLE)
  12. Titans (at WAS)
  13. Patriots (vs. DET)
  14. Chiefs (vs. LV)
  15. Broncos (vs. IND)
  16. Colts (at DEN)
  17. Ravens (vs. CIN)
  18. Panthers (vs. SF)
  19. Commanders (vs. TEN)
  20. Cowboys (at LAR)

     

Rest-of-Season Rankings

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  2. Buffalo Bills
  3. San Francisco 49ers
  4. Los Angeles Rams
  5. Green Bay Packers
  6. Philadelphia Eagles 
  7. Dallas Cowboys
  8.   New Orleans Saints
  9. Baltimore Ravens
  10. Indianapolis Colts
  11. Cincinnati Bengals
  12. Los Angeles Chargers
  13. Denver Broncos
  14. Kansas City Chiefs
  15. Cleveland Browns
  16. Miami Dolphins
  17. New England Patriots
  18. Pittsburgh Steelers
  19. Tennessee Titans
  20. Carolina Panthers

       

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Donabedian
Jerry was a 2018 finalist for the FSWA's Player Notes Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year awards. A Baltimore native, Jerry roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.
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