Have you used D/ST streamers in your fantasy football leagues? If you have not, it’s something you should consider. Streaming defenses means you’ll only roster a unit based on favorable matchups. The goal is to add and drop them based on upcoming matchups, rarely holding one for an extended period of time. With that being said, this article will tell you about four D/ST with higher rankings that you should be looking to stream in Week 1.
Top defense streamers for Week 1 | AFC
Although the Jacksonville Jaguars are not a world-beater, the Houston Texans still offer a favorable matchup.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ HOU
You may find it shocking that the Jaguars are a recommended streamer for this week. Jacksonville’s defense was an abomination last season, ranking 31st in yards per game (417.7). The Jaguars also allowed 32.4 points per game to opponents.
Still, there are reasons to be optimistic entering this season. The Jaguars have Urban Meyer as their new head coach. Meyer hired Joe Cullen as his defensive coordinator, who has 30+ years of coaching experience, including 14 years in the NFL with five different teams. He has a plethora of talent on defense to execute his scheme.
The matchup against the Texans should have those implementing a strategy with D/ST streamers salivating. Houston will enter the season with Tyrod Taylor as their starting quarterback. The last time he played meaningful snaps was with the Bills from 2015 to 2017.
The only proven receiving weapon that Taylor has is Brandin Cooks. The Texans’ running game is also suspect with an unproven offensive line that has nine new additions. David Johnson and Mark Ingram aren’t athletically gifted enough at this stage of their careers to transcend mediocre to poor offensive line play. The Jaguars are an excellent streaming option in what is likely to be a low-scoring game.
Miami Dolphins @ NE
The hype train surrounding rookie Mac Jones has blinded many to the fact that he’s making his first career NFL start against a Brian Flores-led Dolphins defense.
Miami’s defense excels at creating pressure and ranked 10th in sacks per game. The unit also finished fifth in fantasy points.
The Dolphins have a core of young talented players on the defensive line, such as Raekwon Davis and Christian Wilkins. Miami’s secondary is also stacked with Xavien Howard, Eric Rowe, and Byron Jones. Furthermore, the Dolphins added Jason McCourty in free agency and selected Jevon Holland in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Miami excels at forcing turnovers and streaming them against Jones and his suboptimal group of receivers bodes well for Week 1.
Week 1 D/ST Streamers | NFC
Who are at the top of D/ST rankings for Week 1 in terms of streaming options?
Minnesota Vikings @ CIN
The Vikings entered the 2020 season with optimism under defensive-minded head coach Mike Zimmer. Then, disaster struck for Minnesota. Edge rusher Danielle Hunter and linebacker Anthony Barr, who were linchpins of the defense, missed most of the season.
As a result, the Vikings’ defense allowed 393.2 yards and 29.7 points per game, both of which ranked near the bottom of the NFL. The great news is that Hunter will return this season, and Barr wasn’t designated to injured reserve. The Vikings also signed veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson this offseason. Things are trending up for this defense in 2021.
The Vikings face a Bengals offense in Week 1 led by quarterback Joe Burrow behind a revamped offensive line. This unit will perform better in 2021 due to the return of former offensive line coach Frank Pollack and Cincinnati’s offseason acquisitions.
Nevertheless, Minnesota’s pass rush will be much improved this season. They should be able to pressure Burrow and force him into errors as he gets reacclimated to NFL action.
Carolina Panthers vs. NYJ
The Panthers were a middle-of-the-road defense last season. They ranked 16th in yards per game allowed (360). This is a young and improving defense at critical positions like edge, cornerback, and safety. The emergence of Brian Burns and Jeremy Chinn is a great thing for Carolina’s defense.
The Panthers had 15 fumble recoveries last season but only 7 interceptions. Subsequently, Carolina drafted cornerback Jaycee Horn and also signed A.J. Bouye during free agency. Additionally, Carolina improved its pass rush by signing Haason Reddick. These factors could result in a favorable Week 1 matchup with rookie quarterback Zach Wilson and the Jets.
The Jets’ offense ranked last in total yards per game (280) and points scored per game (15.2) in 2020. If you need a streamer, don’t overlook the Panthers.
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