2014 Fantasy Football Week 2: Streaming Defenses

Guest Post Author: Nick Lamanna

When it comes to my fantasy football teams, I’ve always taken the approach of waiting until the last two rounds to select a defense and a kicker.

Like many experts have stated, if your league uses standard scoring for defenses and kickers, it makes sense to load up on position players. I also very rarely carry any given defense for more than three weeks, and this means that I am normally streaming defenses from week to week based on matchups. With that being said, this article is for people who take a similar approach.

Before I look at the defenses on the waiver wire, I look at the opening betting lines that Vegas puts out; specifically the over/under. Vegas has handicapped games longer than I’ve been playing fantasy, and the handicappers aren’t in the business to lose money. I use the over/under to gauge what games the wise guys think will be low scoring, and this information also helps me to reach a final decision.

This week, the two of the lowest game totals are the St. Louis Rams at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers(o/u 37.5) and the Houston Texans at the Oakland Raiders(o/u 39.5). Out of those four teams, I feel that the Texans and Buccaneers’ defenses each has upside for fantasy football players in Week 2.

The Texans may be on the road, but the defense is facing a rookie quarterback who only passed for 151 yards off of 32 attempts in Week 1. When you also add in the fact that the Raiders will most likely be playing from behind all game and will likely be without dual-threat back Maurice Jones-Drew, Houston should provide fantasy owners with plenty of upside, and the Texans’ defense is still available in 31.9% of standard ESPN leagues. 

The quarterback situation for the Rams is absolutely depressing, as Shaun Hill and Austin Davis both had trouble generating any offense. Hill threw an interception and was sacked before leaving the game with a thigh injury, and Davis didn’t do much better, as he was sacked four times and threw an 80-yard pick. Hill and Davis helped to make the Minnesota Vikings the second-highest scoring defense in ESPN leagues in Week 1, and Tampa Bay should have a field day of its own against this weak offense. The Bucs are currently available in 49.2% of ESPN leagues.

Another game I have my eye on is the New York Jets at the Green Bay Packers (o/u 46). The Packers were embarrassed in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks, and are now coming home to play a team that shouldn’t scare many defenses. I expect the Packers to be fired up in its home opener, and with the Jets passing game being very conservative and unwilling to take shots deep, I can’t see them scoring more than 20 points. I also don’t think Geno Smith can go a game without a turn over. The Jets currently rank 24th in passing yards heading into Week 2. This defense should be widely available, as it is un-owned in 90.9% of ESPN leagues. 

In conclusion, streaming defenses on a weekly basis is an effective way to run your team if you are able to put in some research, and stay on top of your waiver wire. 

These defenses have plenty of upside, are still available in many leagues and have a chance to outscore any defense that you probably drafted. Best of luck in Week 2!

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Categories: Fantasy Football

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