Week 2 Defense (DEF) Streamers, Starts and Draft Targets
By Bill Dubiel (@Roto_Dubs)
Hot dog, what a Week 1! Below are RotoBaller’s Week 2 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream and start for Week 2 of the NFL and fantasy football season.
Our tiered defense rankings are your guide to drafting defenses, making waiver wire pickups/adds to improve your lineups, and to decide which defenses to start, sit, target, avoid or stream for Week 2.
Starting the right defense every week can be a difference-maker, so we have broken out our defense rankings into tiers with analysis on each matchup. Some of these Week 2 defenses have good matchups and are not widely owned, representing fantasy scoring opportunities if they are available on your league’s waiver wire for a Week 1 pickup or add. Good luck in Week 2 RotoBallers!
Week 2 Defenses To Start & Stream: Tiers & Rankings
Tier 1 Defenses (The “Duh” DSTs)
1. Baltimore Ravens (vs. CLE)
2. Seattle Seahawks (vs. SF)
3. Arizona Cardinals (@ IND)
4. Houston Texans (@ CIN)
Most of the usual suspects here, all with juicy matchups. The Cardinals are here entirely because the quarterback situation is such a mess in Indianapolis. I personally think they’ll be better off with a mobile Jacoby Brissett under center than Scott Tolzien, but with the Cardinals looking like a very legitimate fantasy DST against a capable Detroit Lions team in Week 1 I simply don’t see how they let you down against the Colts.
The Texans were abused by the Jags in Week 1, but it wasn’t entirely on the defense (although they weren’t impressive either). This week they get Andy Dalton and the Bengals, and while I don’t think we can expect another bazillion turnovers from the Red Rifle, the Texans should have no problem getting pressure and forcing a couple mistakes.
Tier 2 Defenses (Rock-Solid Starts)
5. Denver Broncos (vs. DAL)
6. Carolina Panthers (vs. BUF)
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. CHI)
8. New York Giants (vs. DET)
9. Los Angeles Rams (vs. WAS)
We didn’t get a chance to see the Bucs in Week 1, but I’ve got them as a second-tier option in their debut in a home game against the Bears. Mike Glennon and the Bears put up a surprisingly good effort against the Falcons, but I’m considering that an outlier versus a new norm. The Buccaneers front seven led by Gerald McCoy is not going to give Jordan Howard and surprising standout Tarik Cohen much room to work, which will force Glennon to beat them. I’m not betting on that happening.
The Giants are going to be a solid option almost every week, and I love their chances of putting up a solid fantasy day in a home game against the Lions. Matthew Stafford threw four touchdowns in Week 1 against a great pass defense, but their running game was virtually non-existent. Despite the loss the Giants secondary didn’t get shredded by the Cowboys by any means, and they shouldn’t have a problem finding success against Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay.
Tier 3 Defenses (Decent Streamers)
10. Kansas City Chiefs (vs. PHI)
11. Cincinnati Bengals (vs. HOU)
12. Oakland Raiders (vs. NYJ)
13. Philadelphia Eagles (@ KC)
The Bengals got it handed to them by the Ravens in Week 1, but they may get a chance to do some damage in the turnover game against the Texans in Week 2. I can’t imagine they trot Tom Savage back out there after his disastrous 2017 debut, and DeShaun Watson is still a very raw rookie, prone to inconsistency. I’m seeing a handful of sacks with potential for 2-3 turnovers, which makes the Bengals a really nice streamer. The Jags put up 10 sacks, so the Bengals should have no problem getting 4-5, right?
The Chiefs are coming into Week 2 with a full head of steam after walloping the Patriots, but they certainly don’t have an easy task in Carson Wentz and the Eagles. Wentz’s Week 1 was a mixed bag, but he still threw for a pair of touchdowns and over 300 yards, and looked great targeting Zach Ertz and, surprisingly, Nelson Agholor. If he and Alshon Jeffrey can get on the same page that offense could be lethal, as the combo of LeGarrette Blount and Darren Sproles will also give defenses fits.
Tier 4 Defenses (Deep Streamers)
14. New England Patriots (@ NO)
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. MIN)
16. Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. TEN)
17. Minnesota Vikings (@ PIT)
Who’s ready to take a trip to #Sacksonville? After recording 10 sacks in their season opener, the Jaguars get to take on Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans. They won’t have anywhere near as much luck this time around, as the Titans have completely loaded up their offense with weapons. Still, the Jacksonville d-line looked downright lethal, so they should be able to give DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry some trouble and get to Mariota. If the Titans are going to win this game, they’ll need to do it through the air.
The Vikings will be near the top of my rankings most weeks, but facing the Steelers in Pittsburgh is simply too much to ignore. Ben Roethlisberger‘s home/road splits are incredible, and with a fully healthy complement of weapons (Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Le’Veon Bell), the Killer B’s will be nigh-unstoppable this year.
Tier 5 Defenses (Desperation Plays)
18. Tennessee Titans (@ JAX)
19. Washington Redskins (@ LAR)
20. Los Angeles Chargers (vs. MIA)
21. Dallas Cowboys (@ DEN)
22. Miami Dolphins (@ LAC)
23. Indianapolis Colts (vs. ARI)
24. Cleveland Browns (@ BAL)