Streaming Defenses: Week 5 Fantasy Options for Team Defenses

Streaming Defenses: Week 5 Fantasy Options for Team Defenses

This article is part of our Streaming Defenses series.

This looks like a good week to stream, considering the defenses facing the Bears, Jets, Texans and Commanders are available on waivers in most fantasy leagues. All are good bets to score at least a handful of points, though it's certainly possible some of the more highly regarded defenses do even better, with the 49ers, Bills, Packers and Buccaneers also getting great matchups this week.

It's been a rough season on the offensive side for about one-third of the league, including eight different teams doing each of the following through four weeks: 

1. Less than 20 ppg 

2. 5.1 yards per play or less

3. More than one turnover per game

That group consists of the Commanders, Steelers, Panthers, Bears, Colts, Jets, 49ers and Texans. Then we have teams like the Patriots, Giants and Saints, who have been able to move the ball at times but also have turnovers and injuries piling up. At least one or two of those offenses will get back on track — most likely some combination of the 49ers, Colts and Saints — but by then other teams will have lost their starting QBs to injuries.

Anyway, let's take a look at Week 5 and also peek ahead to Weeks 6-7.

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

This looks like a good week to stream, considering the defenses facing the Bears, Jets, Texans and Commanders are available on waivers in most fantasy leagues. All are good bets to score at least a handful of points, though it's certainly possible some of the more highly regarded defenses do even better, with the 49ers, Bills, Packers and Buccaneers also getting great matchups this week.

It's been a rough season on the offensive side for about one-third of the league, including eight different teams doing each of the following through four weeks: 

1. Less than 20 ppg 

2. 5.1 yards per play or less

3. More than one turnover per game

That group consists of the Commanders, Steelers, Panthers, Bears, Colts, Jets, 49ers and Texans. Then we have teams like the Patriots, Giants and Saints, who have been able to move the ball at times but also have turnovers and injuries piling up. At least one or two of those offenses will get back on track — most likely some combination of the 49ers, Colts and Saints — but by then other teams will have lost their starting QBs to injuries.

Anyway, let's take a look at Week 5 and also peek ahead to Weeks 6-7.

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 5

1. Minnesota Vikings (vs. CHI)

41% Yahoo, 22% ESPN

Team implied total: 25.5

Opponent implied total: 18.5

Upcoming Ranks (Projected) — Week 6: 18th (at MIA),  Week 7: BYE

The Vikings haven't exactly played great defense, but they did hold each of their first three opponents (GB, PHI, DET) to what remains a season-low point total. After failing to repeat the feat in London against Andy Dalton, the Vikings come back home for an even better matchup against a Bears offense ranked second to last in both scoring and yardage. 

While Justin Fields probably won't attempt many passes on early downs before the fourth quarter, his league-high 19.8 percent sack rate (plus four fumbles) makes each dropback a potentially valuable proposition for the defense. Fields was also dead last in sack rate last year, albeit at a somewhat more reasonable 11.8 percent (actually, that's still not reasonable; it was the second-worst mark by a qualified passer over the last seven seasons, with only Dwayne Haskins in 2019 managing worse).

     

2. Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. HOU)

13% Yahoo, 5% ESPN

Team implied total: 25.75

Opponent implied total: 18.75

Upcoming Ranks (Projected) — Week 6: 13th (at IND),  Week 7: 10th (vs. NYG)

The Jacksonville defense has scored at least six fantasy points each week this year, and the Houston offense has given up at least six to every opponent. With Davis Mills ranked 23rd in both sack and interception rate, the Texans haven't progressed from last season even with the emergence of rookie running back Dameon Pierce. It helps that the Jaguars have enjoyed good injury luck -- a significant part of their early success — but that should be the case again this week with DL Foley Fatukasi (quadriceps) being the only defensive starter who wasn't healthy for the second half of this past Sunday's loss to Philadelphia.

         

3. Tennessee Titans (at WAS)

9% Yahoo, 6% ESPN

Team implied total: 22.5

Opponent implied total: 20 

Upcoming Ranks (Projected) — Week 6: BYE,   Week 7: 12th (vs. IND)

The Tennessee defense has been subpar overall so far, but it just had its best game of the year and now faces a Washington offense that's given up at least six fantasy points to each opponent, including the beleaguered Lions defense. Carson Wentz is 28th in sack rate (9.0) and 24th in INT rate (2.9) while also ranking second in pass attempts (43.0 per game) — a great formula for D/ST fantasy production. Consider it icing on the cake that Washington likely will be missing three or four offensive starters this Sunday (WR Jahan Dotson, C Wes Schweitzer, RG Trai Turner, RT Samuel Cosmi).

     

4. Denver Broncos (vs. IND)

70% Yahoo, 38% ESPN

Team implied total: 23.5

Opponent implied total: 20

Upcoming Ranks (Projected) — Week 6: 20th (at LAC),  Week 7: 5th (vs. NYJ)

The Colts look an absolute mess and somehow have given up the fourth most fantasy points to team defenses amidst a season where so many offenses look borderline incompetent. The Colts have been one of those, albeit with enough talent on the roster to dream of better days ahead. Asking for it to all come together this week is a bit much, given the road game at altitude against a Broncos defense ranked eighth in DVOA, fifth in points allowed, fourth in yardage and 11th in fantasy scoring.

          

5. Miami Dolphins (at NYJ)

22% Yahoo, 32% ESPN

Team implied total: 24

Opponent implied total: 20.5

Upcoming Ranks (Projected) — Week 6: 14th (vs. MIN),  Week 7: 7th (vs. PIT)

Zach Wilson got the win in his 2022 debut last week, but only after throwing two interceptions while finishing with a 50 percent completion rate. He should still be viewed as one of the top matchups for team defenses, even with the Jets giving him plenty of weapons this year. We do have some injury situations that could impact this ranking, as it's unclear if Miami cornerbacks Xavien Howard (groin) and Byron Jones (ankle) will be available Sunday. The Dolphins are playable even with these guys out, though perhaps not a top option, heading to New York with a three-day rest advantage to face one of the lesser starting QBs in the league.

     

Week 5 Rankings

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

      

Looking Ahead to Week 6

  1. Rams (vs. CAR)
  2. Buccaneers (at PIT)
  3. Packers (vs. NYJ)
  4. 49ers (at ATL)
  5. Ravens (at NYG)
  6. Browns (vs. NE)
  7. Eagles (vs. DAL)
  8. Bengals (at NO)
  9. Commanders (at CHI)
  10. Saints (vs. CIN)
  11. Cardinals (at SEA)
  12.   Jaguars (at IND) 
  13. Colts (vs. JAX)
  14. Dolphins (vs. MIN)
  15. Chargers (vs. DEN)
  16. Patriots (at CLE)
  17. Bears (vs. WAS)
  18. Vikings (at MIA)
  19. Seahawks (vs. ARZ)
  20. Broncos (at LAC)

Rest-of-Season Rankings

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

       

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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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