When looking at the schedule for Week 1 there are some very interesting options for those of us who like to stream a defense/special teams from week to week.
1. Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets, 1PM ET
Unless things change drastically in New York, the trend is going to be start anyone playing the Jets. The Jets currently have one weapon on offense and that is Bilal Powell. With Buffalo focusing on Powell you can expect a very good game from the linebackers, especially middle linebacker Preston Brown. He had a total of 136 tackles last year and considering that Powell will get a lot of touches, Brown could easily have a 10-tackle game. The Jets would also be smart to avoid E.J. Gaines, who is clearly Buffalo’s best cornerback, and focus on rookie Tre’Davious White. This could be a good thing for White given the fact that Josh McCown has been known to throw an interception or two. Also given all of the changes that the Jets have had, it is reasonable to expect their special team coverage won’t be very good. Brandon Tate is a very good return man who could exploit this and score a touchdown.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns, 1PM ET
Whenever you have a rookie quarterback playing in his first game you should consider playing the opposing defense/special teams. When you add in the fact that Cleveland has a weak and inexperienced group of wide receivers, this becomes an even juicier play. It will be interesting to see if T.J. Watt is as good as he appeared in the preseason. He could be the next in a long line of dynamic Pittsburgh linebackers. This will be Joe Haden’s first game back in Cleveland since being released and you can expect him to play with a chip on his shoulder.
3. Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears, 1PM ET
Chicago has a new starting quarterback, lost its top wide receiver to injury, and what the team does have left at wide receiver isn’t very good. Atlanta is going to key in on Jordan Howard and not give him much room to run. This will be another game where the linebackers and cornerbacks are in line for a great game. The other thing to consider is the fact that Atlanta is going to come into this game with something to prove. It is going to want to show the world that it is better than what it showed in the second half of last year’s Super Bowl.
4. Los Angeles Rams vs. Indianapolis Colts, 4:05PM ET
This situation gets better if Aaron Donald reports to the team. Even without Donald the Rams should be facing either Scott Tolzien or Jacoby Brissett and that is a good thing. Indianapolis has a weak offensive line, not much of a running game, and no Andrew Luck at quarterback. This is a game where I could see the Rams getting five sacks and two turnovers. You also have the threat of Tavon Austin taking a return back for a touchdown.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Miami Dolphins, 1PM ET
Jay Cutler is the new quarterback for Miami this season. Need I say more? Miami is going to try and run the ball a lot with Jay Ajayi and that will only help Tampa Bay. Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David will be able to keep Ajayi under control. Tampa Bay will also put up a lot of points, forcing Cutler to throw the ball. The more Cutler throws the better for Tampa Bay because Cutler has always been a turnover machine.
Daily Fantasy Sports players are always looking for that edge when picking their defense. Every DFS player wants a defense that doesn’t cost a lot that will outperform their cost and produce like a top end defense so they can save some dollars to spend at other positions. Here are some value plays to consider this week:
Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
(DK: $2,000, FD: $4,000)
Cleveland is playing Pittsburgh but it is at home and Pittsburgh had one of the worst home-to-away splits in the league last year. This is a classic risk/reward play but if it pays off it can lead to a big win.
Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals
(DK: $2,600, FD: $4,400)
Carson Palmer is probably in his last year and Larry Fitzgerald isn’t getting any younger. Anyone who watched Detroit in the preseason knows that it is one of the more improved defenses in the league. If Detroit can control David Johnson it will have a good day.
Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Rams
(DK: $2,700, FD: $4,300)
This may be the first and only week I will suggest playing the Indianapolis defense. Jared Goff has not looked like he has made any steps forward at quarterback. The Rams offensive line is an absolute mess. Indianapolis should be able to bottle up Todd Gurley and get to Goff for a few sacks and a couple of turnovers.