Week 3: Streaming defenses to Target
New York Giants (8.4 percent owned) vs. Washington Redskins
With two weeks of tape to study, it’s become quite clear that the Giants defense is for real in 2016. The team has allowed just 32 points to two strong offenses (Cowboys, Saints), thanks to a handful of pricey free-agent pickups that are paying off in a big way. Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison round out what is now an elite defensive line with Jason Pierre-Paul and Johnathan Hankins, while Janoris Jenkins is playing well opposite Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The Giants should be favored to win against their division rival at home, and their dynamic passing attack could get the Giants out to an early lead against Washington’s suspect defense. Kirk Cousins currently sits with a 3.4 interception rate, tied for sixth-highest in the NFL, so the Giants secondary should find opportunities to make plays. With Washington likely playing from behind and already having a sluggish running game, the factors really start stacking up in favor of the Giants defense being one of the better streaming plays of the week.
Miami Dolphins D/ST (4.9 percent owned) vs. Cleveland Browns
Dallas Cowboys D/ST (4.1 percent owned) vs. Chicago Bears
Oakland Raiders D/ST (11.9 percent owned) at Tennessee Titans
With several marquee free-agent acquisitions the Raiders defense earned a “sleeper” label this offseason, but so far they’ve been more of a nightmare scoring just one fantasy point through two weeks. The pass-rush hasn’t been there, and the secondary has been routinely whooped. However, a matchup against Marcus Mariota and the Titanscould help the Raiders get back on track. Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvinmight finally be able to get going against a Titans offensive line that has allowed the mobile Mariota to be sacked five times already. Furthermore, Tennessee lacks the dynamic weapons in the passing attack boasted by both New Orleans and Atlanta, so the secondary might be able to hold up a bit better. It’s a risky bet based on how the Raiders stop unit has played thus far in 2016, but when chasing streaming options we sometimes have to look at the upside and hope for the best.
Desperation/contrarian DFS plays
San Francisco 49ers D/ST (5.9 percent owned) at Seattle Seahawks: Many thought theSeahawks offense was set to soar to new heights in 2016, but so far this unit has only scored one touchdown and has the look of a unit to stream defenses against. With the offensive line a mess,Russell Wilson hobbled by an ankle injury, and the ground game sluggish, the Seahawks have struggled to move the ball. The 49ers defense, particularly the front seven, could terrorize Wilson and company on Sunday. Even in a bad spot against an elite Carolina offense, the 49ers managed five fantasy points last week. Wilson and the Seahawks have conceded 11 fantasy points each week so far to the opposing defense. All told, the 49ers are a high-risk, high-reward streaming candidate for Week 3.