Fantasy football defenses never should be overlooked. And Week 1 was Exhibit A.
Several defense/special teams units posted monster numbers in the NFL’s opening weekend; in fact, of the six highest-scoring non-quarterbacks in PPR leagues, three were defenses.
That’s all to say a defense can be a major source of points for you in a given week — if you pick the right one. The good news is that many defenses thrive on matchups, and a few units in great situations should be available on the waiver wire.
Here are five defenses you definitely should roll out in Week 2.
Seattle Seahawks (vs. San Francisco 49ers)
This is the no-brainer of the week. The Seahawks’ D should be owned in most leagues, and if you’re that owner, you’re definitely rolling them out at home against the Niners, who managed just 217 yards of total offense against the Carolina Panthers last week.
Arizona Cardinals (at Indianapolis Colts)
Don’t be deterred by the Cardinals’ 35 points allowed in Week 1. They still scored a defensive touchdown in that game, and the matchup is awesome here against an inept Indianapolis Colts offense that generated two defensive TDs last Sunday. Seriously: The Colts are deciding between Scott Tolzien and Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. You can’t go wrong here.
Baltimore Ravens (vs. Cleveland Browns)
The Ravens’ D turned back the clock in Week 1, pitching a vintage shutout on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals. They’ll face a worse offense in Week 2, as they welcome rookie QB DeShone Kizer and the Cleveland Browns to town. Expect Baltimore to dial up the pressure and generate turnovers.
Oakland Raiders (vs. New York Jets)
The adage of starting whatever defense plays the Jets still holds true. At the very least, the Raiders should hold New York to minimal points, and QB Josh McCown threw two interceptions in the season opener. Oakland should be the top streaming defense this week.
Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Houston Texans)
Owned in just 14 percent of Yahoo! leagues, the Bengals are another intriguing streaming option. The Texans surrendered the highest point total to a defense in Week 1, committing four turnovers against the Jaguars, and we could see another slopfest on “Thursday Night Football” amid Houston’s ongoing attempt to sort out its quarterback position.
Thumbnail photo via Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports Images
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