If you are streaming defenses this season, the beginning of the bye weeks means you have less options to choose from. But with four games under our belts so far this season, there is also a better body of work with which we can use to evaluate potential defenses. Let’s take a look at how they rank for this week:
Minnesota Vikings – vs. Houston
Arizona Cardinals – at San Francisco
Philadelphia Eagles – at Detroit
New England Patriots – at Cleveland
Los Angeles Rams – vs. Buffalo
Denver Broncos – vs. Atlanta
Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. New York Jets
Green Bay Packers – vs. New York Giants
Buffalo Bills – at Los Angeles Rams
Carolina Panthers – vs. Tampa Bay
Miami Dolphins – vs. Tennessee
Cincinnati Bengals – at Dallas
Houston Texans – at Minnesota
San Francisco 49ers – vs. Arizona
Baltimore Ravens – vs. Washington
Through the first four weeks of the season, the Arizona Cardinals have not performed as they were expected to entering the season; except for Week 2 against Tampa Bay. Last week, the Rams were able to capitalize as Palmer ultimately left the game with a concussion. They intercepted Arizona three times, as Los Angeles also recovered two fumbles giving them nine turnovers over the first four weeks of the season. In two of their games, the Rams allowed 60 points, but I wouldn’t expect Buffalo to move the ball much on offense this week. You also have to like the Rams back at home with the Bills traveling across the country.
Going back to the Cardinals, with Drew Stanton under center, they are ripe to be taken advantage of this week. Stanton has had a short week to prepare, the Cardinals haven’t had too much offensive success this season with Palmer under center. After shutting out the Rams to start the season, the 49ers allowed 73 points in their next two games before giving up 24 to Dallas last week. What also gives the 49ers value if you are looking to replace a defense this week, is that they have shown the ability to create turnovers so far this season; four interceptions and four fumbles.
After holding the Steelers to just a field goal, the Eagles face Detroit as they come off their bye week. With the injuries the Lions have had to deal with in their backfield, they have quickly become a one-dimensional team. Philadelphia has an interception in each of their three games so far this season, and they have allowed a combined 27 points. If they were dropped last week for their bye, look to capitalize for this week and moving forward.
DeAndre Hopkins will likely catch more than one pass for four yards this week, but I wouldn’t look for him to have a big game against Xavier Rhodes and Minnesota’s tough defense. This past Monday night, they held down and frustrated both the Giants’ offense and Odell Beckham Jr. Houston’s offense has had some success this season, but they are far from imposing, and the Vikings haven’t allowed more than 16 points all season.