Aside from the Steelers laying an absolute egg against the Dolphins (and earning a putrid negative one fantasy points in the process), the streaming options last week were solid. The Bills, Packers, Titans and Bears all put up five or more fantasy points, while the Browns desperation play netted us three. As more data pours in and team identities begin to solidify, it becomes slightly easier to pinpoint offenses to target with streaming defenses. Hopefully this new information and insight will help us hit on a higher percentage of the options detailed below. But we all know this is a risky endeavor, as defenses are historically one of fantasy's most volatile positions.
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 good defenses.
Let's get to it and discuss seven defenses worth streaming in Week 7.
Green Bay Packers D/ST (28.7 percent owned) vs. Chicago Bears (Thursday)
While the Packers team got manhandled by Dak Prescott and the Cowboys in Lambeau Field, the defense held up its end of the bargain in fantasy. The Packers sacked Prescott twice, intercepted him once and recovered a fumble as well. This unit is the strength of the Packers team, and they'll face Brian Hoyer and the Bears on a short week in Green Bay on Thursday. While Hoyer has kept a relatively clean sheet thus far (zero interceptions and just four sacks in 2016), a meltdown game is coming. It's only a matter of time. Could that be this week against a Packers defense that might be a bit angry after an embarassing home loss? Potentially. Either way, the Packers defense has proven to be a steady contributor averaging over three sacks and one turnover per game. This stop unit is worth trotting out again in Week 7.
Buffalo Bills D/ST (64.5 percent owned) at Miami Dolphins
As expected, the Bills' ownership percentage has basically erased them from the streaming conversation, but we'll give them one more week in this space. The Bills rank second in the league with 21 sacks and travel to face Ryan Tannehill, the third-most sacked quarterback in the NFL. The Dolphins have numerous issues across their offensive line and have given up four top-seven fantasy finishes to opposing defenses. All but one of those finishes (Browns, Week 3) came when Tannehill was brought down four or more times. The combination of the Bills' fierce pass rush and Tannehill's high-sack rate puts Rex Ryan's boys in the spotlight as one of the top defensive streamers and overall starts of the week.
Cincinnati Bengals D/ST (59.4 percent owned) vs. Cleveland Browns
The Bengals defense ran into a buzzsaw in Week 6 traveling to Foxborough for Tom Brady's first 2016 home game, but things get much easier this week when the Browns come to Cincinnati. Cody Kessler is back under center and currently sits with the seventh-highest sack rate per drop back in the league at 7.41 percent (among quarterbacks playing 25-plus percent of their team's snaps). Terrelle Pryor, the team's only threat in the passing game, is battling a hamstring injury this week, and the Browns offense overall is tied for the eighth-most turnovers in the league with eight. A rookie quarterback on the road against a solid pressure defense is a fantasy recipe for success. If someone ditched the Bengals to avoid the matchup with the Patriots, try to add them in time for this home tilt against the woebegone Browns.
Tennessee Titans D/ST (25.0 percent owned) vs. Indianapolis Colts:
The Tennessee pass rush is riding back-to-back six-sack games into a matchup with the league's most-sacked quarterback, Andrew Luck. Luck has also committed six turnovers in his last five games, and averages just 267.2 passing yards per game in that span. The Colts offense is already playmaker-deficient due to injuries, yet continues to suffer more injuries. Dwayne Allen is the latest victim after hurting his ankle in Week 6. Luck's ability to extend plays and penchant for holding the ball too long will set the Titans up for some big-play opportunities on defense, especially at home.
Baltimore Ravens D/ST (14.8 percent owned) at New York Jets:
The Ravens have posted back-to-back solid fantasy outings against good offenses, managing six points against the Redskins and seven points last week on the road against the Giants. Next up is a road trip right back to MetLife Field for a matchup against the Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Jets have yet to play in Week 6 as of the publishing of this column, but heading into this week they'd commited the second-most turnovers in the league thanks in large part to 10 Fitzpatrick interceptions. The Ravens will likely be without top pass-rusher Terrell Suggs, who reportedly tore his biceps in Week 6, but should still be able to hold the Jets' injury-riddled offense in check. They Ravens are on the lower end of the streaming options this week, but are still worth a shot.
Desperation/contrarian DFS plays
Philadelphia Eagles D/ST (47.7 percent owned) vs. Minnesota Vikings The Vikings barely give up fantasy points to opposing defenses (average three per game) and look like a far suprior team overall to the Eagles. However, the Eagles front seven could give the banged up Vikings offensive line some troubles, and the special teams is always a threat to score (as they did in Week 6). Philadelphia isn't an ideal streamer, but there's certainly potential here.
San Francisco 49ers D/ST (6.0 percent owned) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs are coming off of a bye and could be well prepared, but so far this offense has been inefficient and turnover-prone, ranking third in total giveaways despite only playing five games. The 49ers recently lost their best defensive player in NaVorro Bowman, but this unit seems to play with more energy and intensity at home. Those looking for a total pivot in daily leagues could give the 49ers a go.