Knowing which defenses to start in fantasy football can be critical to winning your matchups. This position, arguably more so than any other, is matchup dependent on a weekly basis, and the best results can be obtained by being flexible with a streaming strategy. Here’s a look at our Week 2 fantasy defense rankings and the top options to stream this week.
Week 2 fantasy defense rankings
The rankings below are from Senior Fantasy Analyst Tommy Garrett. If you want to ask Tommy or any of our fantasy analysts about defense rankings or streamers for Week 2, then be sure to sign up for the PFN Pass, which includes daily personalized fantasy advice through the PFN Discord server.
The table is best viewed in landscape on mobile devices and can be sorted using the filters above the table.
|1||Dallas Cowboys||@ WAS|
|2||San Francisco 49ers||vs ARI|
|3||Kansas City Chiefs||@ LV|
|4||Baltimore Ravens||@ CIN|
|5||Buffalo Bills||vs NE|
|6||Philadelphia Eagles||vs NYG|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||@ ATL|
|8||Jacksonville Jaguars||vs TEN|
|9||Cincinnati Bengals||vs BAL|
|10||Cleveland Browns||@ PIT|
|11||Los Angeles Chargers||@ DEN|
|12||Pittsburgh Steelers||vs CLE|
|13||Green Bay Packers||vs DET|
|14||New York Giants||@ PHI|
|15||New York Jets||@ MIA|
|16||Seattle Seahawks||vs LAR|
|17||Miami Dolphins||vs NYJ|
|18||New Orleans Saints||vs CAR|
|19||New England Patriots||@ BUF|
|20||Minnesota Vikings||@ CHI|
|21||Carolina Panthers||@ NO|
|22||Detroit Lions||@ GB|
|23||Los Angeles Rams||@ SEA|
|24||Indianapolis Colts||vs HOU|
|25||Houston Texans||@ IND|
|26||Washington Commanders||vs DAL|
|27||Atlanta Falcons||vs TB|
|28||Chicago Bears||vs MIN|
|29||Denver Broncos||vs LAC|
|30||Tennessee Titans||@ JAC|
|31||Arizona Cardinals||@ SF|
|32||Las Vegas Raiders||vs KC|
Top fantasy defense streamers in Week 2
One week is not enough of a sample to fully evaluate teams, but at least we have some information to work with heading into Week 2. Here are my top fantasy defense streamers, all of which are rostered in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues.
Cincinnati Bengals (at DAL)
Two days ago, I would never in a million years have dreamed of recommending the Bengals’ defense against the Dallas Cowboys. Things change quickly in the NFL.
The Cowboys’ offense was a dumpster fire on Sunday Night Football against the Buccaneers. They managed to score just three points as Dak Prescott completed less than 50% of his passes. Unfortunately, Prescott is now set to miss at least a month with a fracture in his right hand.
Cooper Rush will start for the foreseeable future. Although Rush performed admirably in his victory over the Minnesota Vikings last season, he remains one of the weakest backup quarterbacks in the league.
The Bengals are fresh off a rough home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. They gave up 23 points in that game, but, to be fair, Joe Burrow did his defense no favors in throwing the ball to the other team four times.
I’m expecting a much cleaner performance from Burrow this week and for the Bengals to absolutely wipe the floor with the Cowboys. Positive game script is a recipe for defensive success as the other team is forced to throw. The Bengals are one of the top fantasy defense streamers of Week 2.
Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. NE)
There are two reasons I like the Steelers this week. First, this defense is just legitimately good. Even without T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh has enough talent to force sacks and turnovers. They just forced four of them from Burrow.
Second, Mac Jones’ status is up in the air. He is dealing with a back injury and is no guarantee to start this week. Even if Jones is out there, the New England Patriots don’t exactly have an offense that strikes fear in opponents. They scored just seven points against the Miami Dolphins, who don’t exactly have the greatest defense.
But if it’s not Jones, then it’s all systems go for starting the Steelers. They’re not just a top fantasy defense streamer, but they could be one of the best starts overall.
Cleveland Browns (vs. NYJ)
I’m surprised the Cleveland Browns aren’t rostered in more leagues given their first four games of the season. They just played the Carolina Panthers, and now they get the New York Jets, followed by the Steelers and Atlanta Falcons. If you’re the type of fantasy manager who likes to pick up next week’s stream now, the Browns serve that role for the first month.
The Jets managed just nine points against the Baltimore Ravens last week. Their lone touchdown game deep into garbage time while trailing by three scores. The Ravens recorded three sacks and forced the Jets into two turnovers. The Browns weren’t too bad themselves, sacking Baker Mayfield four times and picking him off once.
Now back at home, the Browns should be able to get to Joe Flacco several times this week. They are an excellent fantasy defense streamer in Week 2.