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Week 8 waiver wire: Streaming defenses to target


Last week in this space we were able to identify three double-digit scoring streaming defenses in the Packers (12 points), Ravens (15 points), and Eagles(24 points), one solid starter in the Bengals (seven points) and a few major disappointments in the Bills (zero points) and Titans (one point). Looking ahead to Week 8, those looking for a usable stop unit on the waiver-wire might be disappointed, as six teams are on their bye week, while several other highly owned defenses are in prime matchups. Nevertheless, I'll profile several teams below who could be in a good spot to post solid fantasy totals at the defensive position.

As always, I'll rely on the streaming D/ST qualifications previously established by Matt Harmon and Matt Franciscovich in this column: good matchups, home teams, favorites, and obviously talented defenses.

Let's get to it and discuss seven defenses worth streaming in Week 8.

Dallas Cowboys D/ST (5.4 percent owned) vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Without much fanfare, the Dallas defense has been playing exceptionally well both in real life and fantasy. The unit has scored four or more fantasy points in each of its six games and is fresh after resting through a Week 7 bye after dominating the Packers in Green Bay in Week 6. Next up for the Cowboys is a home game against the Eagles' struggling offense. Yes, the Eagles beat the Vikings last week but they committed four turnovers and struggled to move the ball for much of the game. Rookie passer Carson Wentz is also tied with Trevor Siemian for the 12th-highest sack rate in the NFL. The Eagles traveling down to Dallas to face the rested and well-coached Cowboys could be a combination that leads to another solid outing for the 'Boys in fantasy.

New York Jets D/ST (8.3 percent owned) at Cleveland Browns

After mustering just three combined fantasy points in Weeks 4 through 6, Gang Green rebounded against a banged up Ravens offense to post 11 fantasy points without star defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson. Next up for the Jets is a road trip to Cleveland where they could potentially face rookie Kevin Hogan, who is ill-equipped to be an NFL starter at this juncture, or a sub-100 percent Josh McCown under center. Either way, things continue to go from bad to worse for the Browns as Terrelle Pryor, their lone true wide receiver (that feels weird even to type), is battling a hamstring injury. The Jets defense, despite weaknesses in the secondary, should be able to stumble into a handful of sacks and turnovers, setting themselves up for a decent fantasy afternoon at worst.

Tennessee Titans D/ST (13.4 percent owned) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Titans failed as streamers in Week 7, but there's no reason not to double dip and start them again in Week 8 when they host the Jaguars on Thursday Night Football. Blake Bortles has the fourth-highest interception rate (3.8 percent) in the NFL right now, as well as a middle-of-the-road 5.6 percent sack rate. All told, he's prone to giving up fantasy points to defenses, and his mechanical flaws are preventing the offense from being able to move the ball or score points. Only two teams (Packers in Week 1, Colts in Week 4) have failed to score seven or more fantasy points against the Jaguars. The Titans should be smarting after losing a game they could have won to the Colts, and the home team on Thursday night games typically carries a big advantage. Road quarterbacks on Thursdays in 2016 alone have a six-to-five TD-to-INT ratio and have taken 15 sacks, while home quarterbacks have a 10-to-five TD-to-INT ratio with 15 sacks, though seven of those sacks and two interceptions came thanks to Blaine Gabbert. Any way you look at it, the Titans are a viable streamer in this bye-ravaged week.

Desperation/contrarian DFS plays

Chicago Bears D/ST (6.2 percent owned) vs. Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings offensive line is an absolute disaster right now and just allowed 16 quarterback hits and six sacks to the Eagles. The Bears don't boast the front seven of the Eagles, but have talented players and a great coordinator (Vic Fangio) working in their favor. At home against a struggling, injury-riddle offense, the Bears make for a decent desperation streaming choice or solid pivot in DFS.

Cleveland Browns D/ST (0.5 percent owned) vs. New York Jets: Ryan Fitzpatrick turns the ball over a lot, amirite? Consider this the YOLO pick of the week.

-- Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexGelhar