These fantasy football streaming defenses for Week 8 are ones to consider picking up on your league’s waiver wire not only for this week’s competition, but for future matchups later this season.
Plan Ahead: At this point of the year, most of the quality waiver wire adds have been taken, and the only people left are the one hit wonders who score 20+ points one week, and less than 5 the next week (Marquise Goodwin). These players are usually the popular add one week, and then the most dropped the next. Although useful bye fillers and potential lottery tickets, they rarely pan out in the long run. It is tough to expect long-term success from a player who has either been the backup all year, or hasn’t produced much this season. So instead of loading your bench with three or four guys who probably will never see your starting lineup, find a way to trade them or get rid of them. Open up some space for a defense you know will produce in two or three weeks.
Streaming defenses week to week can work, but as stated earlier in the year, the quality free agency defenses are usually given to the highest bidder or team first on the waiver wire. So it is important to stash them a week or two ahead. Those teams who are confident that they will make the playoffs need to look forward several weeks. For example, the Jets. In Week 10 they play the Bills (fantasy gold), and in the first two weeks of the playoffs, Week 13 and 14, they have Titans and Bills. Both teams have given up, on average, almost double digit points to all opposing defenses. In an even matched playoff, a top scoring defense might be all the difference. Start planning ahead now.
Week 8’s Fantasy Football Streaming Defenses
Honest Day’s Work: Washington Redskins
The Washington Redskins have been one of the stingiest defenses in the league, but are not on most people’s radar. They rarely make big plays, and do not make headlines, but they have done a respectable job keeping Washington in playoff contention. They are first in the NFC East, just coming off a big win against their rival Dallas Cowboys. The win was credited to the defense who held Dallas to 17 points and their star running back, Ezekiel Elliot, to under 45 total yards. Even Adrian Peterson said that the defense won them the game.
Surprisingly, Dallas isn’t the only team that has been held to less than 20 points. Both Carolina and Green Bay scored 17 against the Redskins. Green Bay has never scored less than 20 points this season, and Carolina is averaging 26 points per game. The Washington Redskins have proven to be a stout defense who limits their opponent’s scoring potential. They also have been averaging two turnovers per game and four sacks. This defense is actually performing very well; they just do not get looked at because of their lack of big plays. But even without those, they are averaging nearly 10 points per game. They’re in the top 10 for defense in the league, but are only owned in 14% of ESPN leagues. They also have a favorable upcoming schedule, including the playoffs. They might be a great long-term pickup.
This week, the Redskins are playing the New York Giants. They have a lackluster offense and lack any downfield threat. Eli Manning is steadily throwing for 300 yards per game, but at a rate of 5 yards per pass. Whether he lacks confidence, struggles to scramble or his offensive line cannot hold back the defense, Manning does not throw the long ball. This makes it easier for defensive coordinators to stack the box, making it tough to run the ball and to block long enough for routes to develop. Last week, they scored 20 points against the worst defense in the league, the Atlanta Falcons. This is misleading. For the first three and a half quarters, they only scored 6 points. It wasn’t until Atlanta had a safe lead and allowed the Giants to slowly work their way up the field, eating away the clock. They scored twice in under five minutes, but only because the Falcons had the game sealed.
Verdict: The Giants are not capable of putting up points, even against the weakest defenses. With the Redskins coming to town, this trend will not change. Washington most likely will not create a big play (although odds are in their favor), they will hold the Giants to low scoring and produce several turnovers and sacks. This defense is not going to give you a lot of points, but it will give you an honest day’s work.
Prediction: PA: 10-14, Total Yards: 250-300, Sacks: 4, Fumbles: 1, Interceptions: 1, TD: 0, Fantasy Points: 8-12
Hit Repeat: Arizona Cardinals
Talk about a beatdown. The Broncos played the Cardinals last Thursday night and put up the most fantasy points for a defense this season. They had 5 turnovers, 6 sacks, and 2 touchdowns. It might not have been as bad as it was, but Denver kept their studs playing (Von Miller), even when they were up by 30 points in the fourth quarter. It seemed like every other play, Josh Rosen was getting sacked or giving up the ball. Even though the offense was getting beat up, the defense got the worst of it. They were constantly shutting down Denver’s offense, but their success was short lived. After a few plays, they were back on the field with little rest. That would be tough on any defense. Even though they didn’t give up a lot of points, they didn’t have the energy or motivation to put up big plays, unlike previous weeks.
Fortunately, they play San Francisco this week and they’ve had plenty of time to catch their breath. The last time they played each other, Arizona put up a respectable 17 fantasy points against the 49ers. I believe that won’t happen again, but it will be around double-digit production, especially with C.J. Beathard leading the offense. In the last three weeks, under Beathard, San Francisco has given up an average of four sacks and four turnovers per game. That’s an average of 12 bonus points per game. As long as the offense doesn’t score 30+ points, which it won’t against Arizona (only allowed 30+ points games to Denver and LA Rams); the Cardinals defense will be a productive unit this week.
Verdict: With a new offensive coordinator, the Arizona Cardinals might start to use their weapons more efficiently *cough* Johnson *cough*. The offense should be able control the ball long enough to give the defense the rest it needs and hopefully start putting points on the board. Evenly matched on offense, the factor that is going to impact this game the most is the difference in defense. Arizona is still a mid-level to top caliber defense, whereas the 49ers are not. Arizona’s defense will put pressure on Beathard early and often, leading to fantasy points.
Prediction: PA: 14-24, Total Yards: 250-300, Sacks: 4, Fumbles: 2, Interceptions: 2, TD: 1, Fantasy Points: 10-15
Here are two potential stash options for next week.
- Carolina Panthers: This defense is not what it used to be, but has put up decent numbers lately. They have a strong front seven and have done well rushing the passer. Their appeal, though, lies in their opponent. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have one of the worst defenses in the league and an offense that has not figured out ball control. In the two weeks since Jamison Winston took over, they have averaged 3 turnovers and 3 sacks per game. If this trend continues, the Panthers’ mid-level defense will score like a top-tiered one.
- Kansas City Chiefs: This team can put up more points than an NBA basketball team. They are electrifying and exciting to watch. They put offenses in catch up mode early, even offenses that are great (New England Patriots). If the quarterback isn’t composed or experienced (Baker Mayfield), or won’t stop passing to number 18 (Andy Dalton), turnovers are bound to happen. Cleveland is not the top offense to stream defenses against anymore, but with the lack of weapons and a young quarterback, the odds of them struggling are high.