Picking a fantasy football defense can seem like an afterthought, but some weeks it makes the difference in winning and losing. Just ask the person that started the Vikings DST this week, and is beginning their matchup in the negative.
Defense is one of the positions in fantasy that most depends on the matchup. There are a handful of defenses that are matchup proof, but for the most part it can be a guessing game from week to week. The reason you are here is because guessing is quite difficult. We’re going to highlight the DST’s that are available on waiver wires in most leagues.
There are a couple simple but key things to look at when finding a defense. The first is to look for defenses playing bad offenses. Unless things turn around for Arizona, you could likely have a top 10 DST this season just by streaming the Cardinals’ opponent each week. The second category is defenses that are being overlooked. It is early in the season, so many fantasy owners may not know the Dolphins have a very good defense. There are others that are in this same category.
The ideal DST pickup combines both of these characteristics. It is an overlooked defense that has a plus-matchup against a bad offense. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @JonDAdams with any fantasy football questions you may have.
Here’s a look at my best DST streams for Week 4 listed in order of priority.
Fantasy Football Defenses: Best Picks for Week 4
No. 1 Seahawks DST at Cardinals
If you checked out this week’s Start/Sit, you know how much I like this matchup. The Seahawks are already an underrated DST producing double-digit fantasy points the last two weeks. Seattle does not have the defense we are used to seeing, but the Seahawks do have a lot of young talented players eager to prove they can step in where the Legion of Boom left off. The Seahawks are still producing turnovers this season.
This week, they face a Cardinals team averaging just over six points per game. Josh Rosen is set to make his first NFL start, and the Seahawks should take advantage of what looks to be the worst offense in the league.
No. 2 Packers DST vs. Bills
The Packers haven’t been a great DST this season, but are due for their best performance yet in Week 4. Josh Allen caught lightning in a bottle last week against the Vikings, but it is going to be much more difficult to replicate this week at Lambeau Field. The Bills are also short on weapons, and the Packers DST has a good chance to hit double-digits on Sunday.
No. 3 Browns DST at Raiders
It may surprise people to learn how good the Browns defense has been this season. The Browns rank in the top 10 in yards allowed, and just outside the top 10 at No. 11 in points allowed. The Raiders offense is still a work in progress, and the Browns should be able to take advantage of their growing pains.
Look for the Browns defense to build on the momentum Baker Mayfield is creating on offense to put the DST in the running to be a top-12 unit this week. According to ESPN, the Browns have scored 9 or more fantasy points in all three games this season.
No. 4 Lions DST at Cowboys
The Lions DST scored nine points in two of their last three games. If Detroit can be a top fantasy defense against the Patriots, they can handle a struggling Cowboys offense. We saw this coming from Dallas this preseason, but the offensive weapons have been even worse than advertised. The once vaunted Cowboys offensive line is banged up and has all kinds of holes. If none of the above defenses are available, take a long look at the Lions DST.
No. 5 Dolphins DST at Patriots
You’re admittedly taking on a bit of risk in starting a road defense at Foxborough. The flip side is there is a decent chance the Patriots offense is not good. We do know the Dolphins defense has been solid, and has a chance to force turnovers. This is the worst supporting cast we have seen around Tom Brady in years.