The NFL wrapped up the first quarter of the season on Monday, and we’re back to figure out how best to upgrade our fantasy football rosters for Week 5. One quarter of the way through the NFL season means we’re closer to one third of the way through the fantasy season. You know your roster’s strengths and weaknesses, and it’s time to take advantage of the waiver wire to improve further.
The New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, and Green Bay Packers are among the most prolific fantasy football defenses. If you don’t have one of them, there are a handful of other options, but otherwise you’ve resorted to a streaming philosophy. Opponents of Washington might prove to be a solid option, considering how badly their offense has looked in recent weeks. Streamers fan’t use that option this week (they’re facing the Patriots), but it will be something to track in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, it’s time to consider the best options heading into Week 5. Here’s a look at some of the team defenses with solid matchups still available in more than 50 percent of leagues, based on ESPN ownership as of Monday evening. Bye weeks began, so the Detroit Lions (a decent fantasy defense) and the Miami Dolphins (no comment) are on bye.
Seattle Seahawks (43.6 percent) — vs. Rams
The Seahawks defense took a turn for the worse as they moved on from the Legion of Boom, but they offer some solid streaming opportunities. They have been inconsistent, but face a Rams squad that is dealing with a host of issues. Jared Goff put up huge passing totals, but threw three interceptions and coughed up a fumble. This could turn into a defensive slugfest.
Tennessee Titans (47 percent) — vs. Bills
The Titans defense has been inconsistent, but they face a Bills offense that has all sorts of questions. If Josh Allen plays, he can be a turnover machine. If Allen does not play, the Titans face Matt Barkley. Allen can create problems, but even if he plays, this is a solid matchup for the Titans.
San Francisco 49ers (26.8 percent) — vs. Browns
The 49ers defense is currently second in fantasy points per game, although a sizable chunk comes from a huge Week 1 performance against the Buccaneers. That being said, they face a Browns offense that might be a little bit overvalued after a huge win over the Baltimore Ravens. The 49ers pass rush is solid and their secondary is better than expected. If they turn out well against Cleveland, they could be worth a season-long addition.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Three percent) — @ Saints
This might catch you off guard, but if you’re in a deeper league, it’s an intriguing option. The Saints offense has its share of playmakers, but is not the same offense it is with Drew Brees at the helm. The Bucs are wildly inconsistent team, but they can give the Saints trouble. It’s a roll of the dice, but not entirely a shot in the dark.