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Let’s Stream Defenses: Week 7 (2023 Fantasy Football)

Let’s Stream Defenses: Week 7 (2023 Fantasy Football)

Technically this is the third week of byes, but it’s really a bye week now with six teams sitting out. A lot of fantasy teams are going to be tight on bench space due to offensive players being on bye, but if you do want to stash a defense for after this week, here are some suggestions for teams to stash/hold:

  • Houston (on bye this week, @ CAR Week 8) – The Texans have a tasty matchup with Bryce Young and the Panthers next week when both teams return from bye.
  • Indianapolis (vs CLE this week, then vs NO, @ CAR, @ NE) – The Colts are a solid play this week, and should be useful until their Week 11 bye with increasingly good matchups each week.
  • Kansas City (vs LAC this week, @ DEN Week 8) – I would not start the Chiefs (or anyone else) against the Chargers, but next week they get to play the mess that is the Broncos.
  • Las Vegas (@ CHI this week, then @ DET, vs NYG, vs NYJ) – I guess they aren’t exactly a “stash” as my #1 defense this week, but they are definitely a hold afterward. If you can spare the bench spot while they play the Lions in Week 8, you’ll be rewarded with back-to-back New York teams in Weeks 9 and 10.
  • LA Chargers (@ KC this week, then vs CHI, @ NYJ) – I’m definitely not starting anyone against the Chiefs, but if you hold LAC through this week you’ll get two weeks of great matchups.
  • Miami (@ PHI this week, vs NE next week) – The Dolphins get a great matchup against New England in Week 8, and become droppable after that.
  • NY Jets (on bye this week, then @ NYG) – The Jets are a good enough defense that I consider them undroppable, and if you do hold on through the bye you’ll be rewarded with an excellent matchup against the Giants in Week 8.
  • Tennessee (on bye this week, then vs ATL, @ PIT) – The Titans are another team with a bye this week, followed by two good matchups for Weeks 8 and 9.

Week 7 D/ST Projections

You would expect this to be a tough streaming week with six teams on bye (CAR, CIN, DAL, HOU, NYJ, TEN), but it’s actually pretty OK by virtue of a lot of teams with low rostership getting good matchups. 7 of my top 10 defenses are rostered in less than 1/3 of Yahoo leagues. You can find me on Twitter.

Rank Team Vs. Vs. QB PA Sacks Turnovers FPTS Rost%
The Start Them With Confidence Tier
1 LV @CHI Tyson Bagent 17.25 3.2 1.2 7.77 47%
2 TB ATL Desmond Ridder 18 3.2 1.2 7.25 29%
3 BUF @NE Mac Jones 16.5 2.4 1.2 7.02 99%
4 WAS @NYG Tyrod Taylor 18.75 3.2 1.1 6.93 31%
The Still a Fine Choice Tier
5 NYG WAS Sam Howell 20.75 3.3 1.2 6.91 2%
6 CLE @IND Gardner Minshew II 18.5 2.9 1.1 6.81 28%
7 IND CLE Deshaun Watson 20.5 3.2 1.1 6.71 10%
8 GB @DEN Russell Wilson 21.75 3.2 1.2 6.56 18%
9 LAR PIT Kenny Pickett 20 2.9 1.1 6.48 13%
10 SF @MIN Kirk Cousins 18.75 2.3 1.2 6.31 100%
The Surely You Can Find Something Better Tier
11 NO JAC Trevor Lawrence 18 2.2 1.1 6.25 81%
12 ATL @TB Baker Mayfield 20.5 2.3 1.2 5.93 36%
13 SEA ARI Joshua Dobbs 18.25 1.9 1.1 5.88 22%
14 PIT @LAR Matthew Stafford 23 2.6 1.2 5.87 53%
15 CHI LV Jimmy Garoppolo 20.25 2.1 1.2 5.80 1%
16 BAL DET Jared Goff 19.5 2.0 1.1 5.73 93%
17 KC LAC Justin Herbert 21.5 2.3 1.2 5.69 88%
18 JAC @NO Derek Carr 21 2.1 1.2 5.68 27%
19 DET @BAL Lamar Jackson 22.5 2.4 1.2 5.63 68%
20 ARI @SEA Geno Smith 26.25 2.7 1.2 5.21 1%
21 DEN GB Jordan Love 22.75 2.0 1.2 5.17 27%
22 NE BUF Josh Allen 25 2.3 1.2 5.15 44%
23 MIN SF Brock Purdy 25.25 2.5 1.1 5.01 13%
24 PHI MIA Tua Tagovailoa 25 1.8 1.2 4.58 99%
25 MIA @PHI Jalen Hurts 27 2.4 1.1 4.54 92%
26 LAC @KC Patrick Mahomes II 27 1.8 1.2 4.15 7%

Matchups

  1. LV @ CHI: Justin Fields is doubtful to play this week after exiting last week’s game with an injured thumb. The Bears’ backup QB is undrafted rookie Tyson Bagnet, out of Shepherd University (a Division II school). In relief last week he scored a rushing touchdown, but also turned the ball over twice. This was already a good matchup for the Raiders, and facing a backup quarterback – especially an inexperienced one – makes it a home run.
  2. TB vs ATL: Falcons QB Desmond Ridder had quite the week against the Commanders, throwing for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns while still finding the time to throw 3 interceptions. Ridder’s high sack rate, potential for turnovers and the fact that this offense has yet to exceed 25 points make the Falcons an excellent matchup. The Buccaneers have an above-average defense which is more than enough to feel comfortable against the Falcons.
  3. BUF @ NE: The Patriots have one of the most dysfunctional offenses in the league. They are 2nd in fantasy points allowed to defenses (behind the Giants) and their opponents have finished as top 12 defenses in 5 out of 6 games so far. The only thing keeping Buffalo out of my #1 spot is the fact that Mac Jones doesn’t take all that many sacks, compared to other F-tier quarterbacks.
  4. WAS @ NYG: Giants QB Daniel Jones is dealing with a neck injury that kept him out of last week’s game, and I’m expecting him to sit out again this week. Tyrod Taylor is quarterbacking the Giants instead, and last week led the team to all of 9 points against the Bills. The Giants are a good DST matchup with either quarterback, but less risky with Taylor than they would be with Jones.
  5. NYG vs WAS: Sam Howell is the king of sacks. He had his best game so far last week against the Falcons, scoring 3 touchdowns for the first time this season. Despite this, he still took an incredible 5 sacks, against a defense that had 5 sacks total on the season going into that game. If the Falcons can get to him 5 times, anyone can, and that’s exactly who the Giants are.
  6. CLE @ IND: Colts QB Anthony Richardson is “probably” done for the season, according to team owner Jim Irsay. That means Gardner Minshew is the guy, and that’s bad news if you’re a Colts fan. Minshew turned the ball over 4 times (3 picks, 1 fumble) against the Jags last week and now he gets to face possibly the best defense in the NFL.
  7. IND vs CLE: Deshaun Watson has been dealing with a rotator cuff injury since Week 4. PJ Walker started at QB for the Browns last week in his stead. It’s up in the air if Watson will be able to return this week, but the Watson we saw in Weeks 1-3 is just as good of a matchup as Walker. That is, the Colts are a good but not great play against either Browns QB.
  8. GB @ DEN: Broncos chef Russell Wilson cooked up another stinker last week, scoring just a lone touchdown (and 2-point conversion) for 8 points against the Chiefs, while throwing two interceptions and taking four sacks. Denver is targetable by most defenses and Green Bay is no exception.
  9. LAR vs PIT: The Steelers’ offense has been bad enough to make offensive coordinator Matt Canada the most hated man in football. QB Kenny Picket has turnover and sack tendencies that make him a reasonable, but not top-tier, target for fantasy defenses, and the offense has not yet scored more than 23 points.
  10. SF @ MIN: Kirk Cousins leads a Vikings offense that I would not consider starting most defenses against, but the 49ers aren’t most defenses. If you’ve been rolling with the 49ers I don’t think this matchup is one that should scare you off, especially considering that the Vikings have been in a bit of a slump over the last 3 weeks, scoring 21, 20 and 19 points in that order against worse defenses.

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