Posted: 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013
By Dan Ciarrocchi
Sometimes, team defenses aren't worth hanging onto.
It's nothing against the top fantasy defenses across the league, but even they can get gashed from time to time. The case for this is already pretty deep despite a young season, and owners need to look no further than the 49ers and Texans.
This is why streaming defenses is a popular method among fantasy owners, and unless you own the Bears or Seahawks defense, you're probably looking to find a better option than what you have on the waiver wire. Usually, there are a few good plays available that will help your team get a win, and that remains the case for Week Three once again. Let's take a look.
Minnesota Vikings (vs. Cleveland Browns): Not much confidence is going to be instilled in a team that has given up 34 and 31 points in the first two weeks of the season, but there's some fantasy value to be had from the Vikings defense this week. They will face a Cleveland Browns team that has sputtered versus the Dolphins and Ravens defenses out of the gate, and may be without their starting quarterback. Their prospects would not have been very good with Brandon Weeden to begin with, but now that the possibility of Jason Campbell lining up under center exists, the Vikings defense could be in for a big day. They're a sneaky defense to start with top-five potential. While owners wait to claim them on waivers, they would be advised to monitor Weeden's status closely.
Cleveland Browns (vs. Minnesota Vikings): Now, on the flip side, the Cleveland Browns defense has quite a nice matchup for itself as well. After allowing 24 points to the Dolphins in Week One, but largely due to the inconsistency on offense, the defense went into Baltimore and allowed just 14 points to the reigning Super Bowl champions. The Browns surely won't look forward to having to face Adrian Peterson, but several turnover chances ought to present themselves versus quarterback Christian Ponder. Ponder has averaged over a turnover per game so far in his career, and with shutdown corners like Joe Haden and pass rushers like Paul Kruger, the Browns could cash-in on a big play or two on Sunday.
Buffalo Bills (vs. New York Jets): The Bills will have the advantage of facing a rookie quarterback in just his third NFL game, and though Geno Smith has flashed at times, he could still be in for a long day. Though the secondary continues to deal with a huge loss of Stephon Gilmore, the secondary is having its job made easier by having a front seven that's generating consistent pressure. The team has accounted for 29 hurries and nine sacks over the first two weeks of the season, and though they face a true test from the Jets offensive line, it's still possible for Smith to get rattled and make a mistake. We saw that three times in the team's loss to the Patriots, and mishaps are a possibility, as well as a conservative point total. The Bills defense is owned in just five percent of Yahoo! leagues, and offer plenty of Week Three upside.