Although I try to look at the bye weeks as the opportunity to gain the upper hand rather than a sore spot in the season, it really limits the ability to stream defenses each week. However, one advantage of the bye weeks for team defenses is that managers will be dropping defenses as they try to fill gaps in their lineup without having to drop playmakers. So if you have a strong defense that you don’t want to have to let go of, look at their bye week and try to watch the waivers for a defense that has a favorable matchup for the week that your team is off. You can also take the chance to pick up a defense that you can stream during weeks your team has a tough matchup. Awareness of your schedule is essential for coming out on top.
Unless you are in some deep leagues, the teams that have a bye this week are probably not your starting DEF, save Dallas and Baltimore. However, this week still has plenty of team defenses that could easily substitute an unfavorable matchup or fill in a bye spot.
Kansas City vs. IND
So far this season, we have been streaming team defenses against Kansas City. However, this week KC looks to have a good matchup against the Manning-less Colts. Although the Chiefs have only 5 sacks on the year, they have been able to rack up 5 interceptions through 4 games and also force 3 fumbles. Look for Kansas City to give Painter a harder time this week than what we saw from TB last week.
Tennessee vs. PIT
Pittsburgh has really struggled this year on offense and on defense averaging only 16 points scored a game. They have yet to intercept the ball and just lost their best LB James Harrison, which will only add to their troubles on stopping the run. Big Ben has been sacked 14 times in four games thanks to a withered offensive line. This week should only add insult to injury as the Titans have one of the best defenses thus far with 10 sacks, 5 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, and allowing a league low 14 points a game.
Cincinnati vs. JAX
As of now, Jacksonville has only put an average of 9.8 points on the board each game; worst in the NFL. This week should bare similar results for the Jags as the Bengals allow the fewest total yardage per game and will hone in on Jacksonville’s main threat, Maurice Jones-Drew. Cincinnati has 10 sacks on the season and should be a major headache for Gabbert as he is forced to put the ball up against the stingy Bengals DEF.
Surprise Streamer of the Week
Minnesota vs. ARI
Minnesota may not be performing on all cylinders this year, but on paper, this looks like a matchup they could very well come out on top. Kolb has not been playing to his ability as of late, and much of the offensive production has come from Beanie Wells. However, this week the Cardinals face a Minnesota front that has held the run game to around 76 yards per game and racked up 12 sacks in the last 4 weeks. Antoine Winfield is questionable as of now, but if he plays, it will certainly add to their upside as he will likely cover and try to shut down Fitzgerald.
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