Well folks, we went 4-of-5 on D/STs last week so I would like to congratulate everyone who paid attention. For those who did read the D/ST column for Week 5, we looked at mostly matchup-based D/ST plays and the ones I laid out delivered on that premise quite well. So, let’s look at how the D/ST streaming landscape shakes out for Week 6:
“I Just Need Some Points” (D/STs Owned In 70-20% Of 10-Team Yahoo Leagues)
Carolina Panthers – @ Washington Redskins
The Panthers D/ST has played well overall this season, scoring double-digit fantasy points in 3-of-4 outings while accumulating nine total takeaways and one defensive touchdown. The lone single-digit performance was a shootout loss to the Atlanta Falcons, with their other three matchups coming against the Cowboys, Bengals, and Giants – all outside of the realm of elite NFL offenses. Against a Redskins team that is ranked in the bottom half of the league offensively with both of their top running backs ailing from their MNF loss to the Saints, the Panthers D/ST should be able to put up solid numbers against an average at best Redskins offense even on the road. Simply put, I’m not scared of this Redskins team. The Panthers are a solid play this week if available.
Seattle Seahawks - @ Oakland Raiders
It probably isn’t the wisest decision to chase turnovers with a D/ST, but that is the play here. With the Seahawks D/ST ranked second in the league with nine interceptions (two or more in 3-of-4 games) up against the current league leader in interceptions in Derek Carr (also multiple in 3-of-5 games), the Seahawks are a solid floor play. The Seahawks will want to dominate the time of possession on the road with their running game that should find decent success this week, which should in turn lead to more Derek Carr pass attempts – and hopefully more interceptions. Not the safest bet this week, but still a justifiable one.
“So, You’re Saying There’s A Chance” (D/STs Owned In 20-10% of 10-Team Yahoo Leagues)
Dallas Cowboys – vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Up front disclaimer here, we are chasing the Cowboys sack totals with this one. The Cowboys are tied for fifth in the league in sacks with 15 while the Jaguars have allowed 10 sacks in their past three games alone. With Leonard Fournette still healing up from a hamstring injury, the Jags offense has leaned more on Blake Bortles which has resulted in giving up more interceptions and sacks. The Cowboys and their underrated pass rush coupled with a ball-control offense could mean more time spent for Bortles in the pocket. The Cowboys have a chance to make some noise, but their poor offense could hold them back from a solid outing in this matchup. The possibility of “good” Blake Bortles showing up is also a possibility, so use caution here.
Arizona Cardinals – vs. Minnesota Vikings
Despite their offensive improvement since putting Josh Rosen under center, betting on the Cardinals offense to show up on the road is a bold proposition. However, the Vikings have given up three or more sacks in 3-of-4 games while allowing seven sacks and losing three fumbles just at home. The Cardinals have arguably a better defense than both teams that went in to Minnesota and put up solid D/ST performances so far this season (San Francisco and Buffalo). If the Cardinals offense can put up at least a serviceable effort, they will once again give their D/ST the chance to make some plays. Of course, the risk here is that the Cards lay an egg on offense and the Vikings put up 30 points. No guts, no glory.
“You Might Want To Look Away” (D/STs Owned in <10% 10-Team Yahoo Leagues)
Indianapolis Colts – vs. New York Jets
You could argue that Jets D/ST are also worth streaming, but I’m more intrigued by the D/ST with more sacks, more frequent forced turnovers, a better chance to play with a lead, and playing against a rookie quarterback. Both D/STs are certainly capable of putting up a solid performance this week, but I think the Colts D/ST is paired with the better offense which gives them the better upside. They were likely dropped heading into their matchup with New England last Thursday, but they are worth a stream against the Jets this week.
Buffalo Bills - @ Houston Texans
It is now Week 6 and I will continue to pick on the league’s worst offensive line until: A) Deshaun Watson stops giving up three-plus sacks every game and B) Deshaun Watson goes a game without throwing an interception. Neither of those things has happened yet so far this season, so I would place a bet (albeit a small one) on the Bills D/ST to produce at least something of value through those avenues this week despite their offense allowing the most fantasy points to opposing D/STs. Don’t forget, the Bills took advantage of a poor Vikings o-line in Minnesota in Week 2. Probably not your first, second, or even third choice in D/STs to stream, just don’t be surprised if the Bills come away with a solid fantasy outing this week.