So you don’t want to devote resources to your DST.
Good! Great! But you still have to start one.
Working under the assumption that the Seattle Seahawks , Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos went off the board very early and the Los Angeles Rams , Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans weren’t far behind, I’ve ranked my favorite Week 1 streaming options.
The first group are defenses I would select in the next-to-last round of drafts with the idea of streaming. The next three are defenses for those of you that have already drafted and need/want to pick up a defense off the waiver wire.
On that subject, I love getting tweets like this.
If your draft allows it (if it doesn’t, get at your commissioner) I love the idea of drafting as many skill position players as possible and then filling in defense later. I only mention defense because all of you should #BanKickers from your leagues now. I don’t care if you’ve drafted or not.
But anyway, back to defenses.
Late Round Picks for Week 1
Minnesota Vikings @ Tennessee Titans
This may be a little bit too narrative-driven but I expect an inspired effort from a very talented unit against a Titans team that is full of question marks. I also expect the Vikings to dominate Tennessee on the ground, limiting the amount of time their defense is on the field. No Week 1 game has a lower Over/Under than this one (41) and it still may be too high.
Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets
Listen, I love #FitzMagic as much as anyone. I mean, that beard. How do you not? The problem is that not all magic is good magic and Ryan Fitzpatrick has a propensity to make footballs disappear into the opposition’s arms. The Bengals have a very solid defense that placed third in the league in INTs in 2015.
It’s unhealthy in relationships to pair a giver with a taker. One person ends up getting taken advantage of. The same can happen in football and I fully expect the Bengals to take advantage of Fitzpatrick’s generosity.
Green Bay Packers @ Jacksonville Jaguars
You guys know how I feel about Blake Bortles . You don’t have to feel the same. It’s OK. What’s undeniable is that Bortles threw more interceptions than any quarterback in football in 2016. Also, the Packers have a talented secondary and ranked in the top 10 in both interceptions and sacks last year. I forecast an early Packers lead, which leads to gunslinger Bortles coming out. That’s not terrible news for Bortles owner, but it significantly increases the odds of him throwing a pick six.
Waiver Wire Adds
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
I know, the Giants are facing Dak Prescott who just had a preseason for the ages. Let’s pretend for just a second that the preseason didn’t happen, since some people think we should mostly ignore the preseason. What if I told you the Giants were facing a rookie quarterback that was drafted in the fourth round and was listed as a third-stringer until two injuries happened? Sound more appealing? The Giants defense isn’t great (which is why they’re only owned in 40 percent of leagues) but they’re far from awful. Prescott’s basement-level floor provides a lot of upside for a defense you can find on the waiver wire.
Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens
The Bills were the most surprising team to me on the list of DSTs below 50 percent ownership. I have downgraded them because of the tumultuous offseason they’ve had but I assumed people had more faith in Rex Ryan than that. The Bills may struggle at times throughout the season but I wouldn’t expect a Week 1 matchup with the Ravens to be exceptionally difficult. I don’t believe the Ravens will be able to run the ball at all in this matchup which should lead to a lot of Joe Flacco dropping back to throw. Every drop-back is an opportunity for a big play from your defense.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams
I had to put one deep-league option in here, even if I don’t think this 49ers unit is especially talented. What I do like is a home opener on Monday Night Football against Case Keenum . I expect this to be a low-scoring affair with the 49ers putting on their best defensive performance of the season.
Source: CBS Sports / 2016 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: DST sleepers and Week 1 streamers