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Week 6 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

If this season has proved anything, it's that DSTs can not be dismissed. This past week the Eagles threw up 35+ points in most formats, and you can bet that was the difference in plenty of matchups. The Patriots have proven that the right defense with the right schedule can be as valuable as a running back or a wide receiver. While there may not be 30-point outings to be found every week, there are ALWAYS streaming options out there that can make a legitimate difference in your week. Now let's go find them!

Below are RotoBaller's Week 6 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 6 of the NFL and fantasy football season. In case you missed it, this is our seventh year now writing this weekly column. Our weekly tiered defense rankings are a guide to making waiver wire pickups to improve your lineups, and to decide which defenses to start, sit, target, avoid or stream for Week 6.

Starting the right defense every week can be a difference-maker. Below we have broken out our defense rankings into tiers with analysis on each matchup. Some of these Week 6 defenses have good matchups and are not widely-owned, representing fantasy scoring opportunities if they are available on your league's waiver wire for a Week 6 pickup or add. Good luck in Week 6 RotoBallers!

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Week 6 Defenses To Start & Stream: Tiers & Rankings

Typically the top three tiers will be DSTs you should target, with Tier 4 being options in deep leagues and Tier 5 being desperation plays or good defenses in horrendous matchups.

Returning for this year: Confidence Ratings - since every league's DST scoring is different, projections don't always make a ton of sense. The confidence rating is a guideline for how much more I like one team over another instead of a straight point projection. A zero means "do not start," then the confidence rises from there. I take a lot of factors into account here--opponent injuries, home field advantage, weather, etc. We've got four weeks of data to work with now, so we're going to be able to be a bit more precise basing our ratings on hard numbers.

On bye this week: Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders


Tier 1 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
1 1 Los Angeles Chargers Defense vs. PIT 11.3
2 1 New England Patriots Defense vs. NYG 10.55

Following the stomach-churning hit on Mason Rudolph in Week 5, the Steelers may be looking at UDFA Devlin Hodges starting under center in Week 6. That's a slam-dunk for the talented and balanced Chargers defense. Even if Rudolph clears the concussion protocol, I still really like the Chargers for a big day. They're a top-three play for me no matter who is at QB.

Ever since his Week 3 arrival, Daniel Jones' production has dropped in each week. That first big game came against the eminently beatable Tampa Bay secondary, and last week he was barely mediocre against the talented Viking secondary. This week he'll draw the NFL's top defense, and I predict this will go similarly to how all the other Patriots games have gone this year, especially given the short week. It's worth watching whether or not Saquon Barkley returns from his ankle sprain (hint: he shouldn't if the Giants know what's good for them), but even if he's 100% and active I'm not taking the Pats out of Tier 1.


Tier 2 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
3 2 Dallas Cowboys Defense @ NYJ 9.75
4 2 Baltimore Ravens Defense vs. CIN 9.2
5 2 Carolina Panthers Defense @ TB 8.5
6 2 Tennessee Titans Defense @ DEN 8.1
7 3 Seattle Seahawks Defense @ CLE 7.75

Through one route or another, the Panthers DST has posted start-worthy production in each of the last three weeks. This week presents an interesting matchup, as the Buccaneers offense has had a few explosive games this season, but there's still plenty of upside for the Panthers. Jameis Winston is always a risk for turnovers, although he's done a nice job taking care of the ball since Week 1. The big factor I'm looking at is the Panthers pass rush. They're averaging four sacks per game while the Buccaneers have allowed the fifth-most sacks through five weeks (18). The floor should be nice and high for the Panthers as long as they can keep Chris Godwin and Mike Evans relatively contained.

I'm watching this Monday night game finish as I write this, and to be frank Baker Mayfield looks downright bad. Part of his poor performance tonight is due to the surprisingly stellar 49ers Defense making his life hell, but he has been a shell of what we saw last year from a production standpoint. The Seahawks DST has been very hit-or-miss, posting two games with four or more sacks and three games of one or fewer. I think I feel comfortable betting against Baker at the moment, even if the Browns offense is loaded with other studs like Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham, Jr. and Jarvis Landry.


Middle and Lower Tier Defenses

Tier 3 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
8 3 Green Bay Packers Defense vs. DET 7.5
9 2 Minnesota Vikings Defense vs. PHI 7.15
10 3 San Francisco 49ers Defense @ LAR 7
11 3 Denver Broncos Defense vs. TEN 6.65
12 3 New Orleans Saints Defense @ JAC 6.2
13 Washington Redskins Defense @ MIA 5.95
14 3 Jacksonville Jaguars Defense vs. NO 5.75

I'm here to raise my hand as a non-believer when it comes to the 49ers. I thought that despite the early returns, they were not as playable a fantasy DST as they appeared. I was wrong. This unit is up-and-down talented, and while they have been fortunate in their opponents so far, I think the fantasy production is sustainable. The Rams offense has regressed in 2019, which was a near-certainty given how dominant they were in 2018. I don't see a high ceiling for the 49ers here against Todd Gurley and Cooper Kupp, but Jared Goff has been turning over the ball at a decent clip this season. I think the 49ers are definitely startable this week, and you can likely stream them in most formats.

Holy hell, the Broncos are alive! After notching their first sacks of the season in Week 4 (costing them Bradley Chubb), the Broncos came back in Week 5 and not only held the Chargers to just 13 points, but also recorded their first turnovers of 2019 as well. They did go right back to not sacking the quarterback, to be fair. This week their value lies entirely in the matchup--they get to host the NFL's 27th-ranked offense in the Tennessee Titans. If they can keep a lid on Derrick Henry, the Broncos should provide a usable fantasy outing for those looking to stream.

Redskins at the Dolphins should be an absolute barn-burner, and I for one can't wait to see these two explosive offenses go at it. LOL. For real, neither team has the playmakers necessary to make much noise from a fantasy perspective. What's possible here is that either/both teams' offenses are bad enough to make either/both defense startable, but for my money I'm trusting the Redskins over the Dolphins, who have been a literal gift for opposing fantasy DSTs this year.


Tier 4 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
15 4 Philadelphia Eagles Defense @ MIN 5.15
16 4  Los Angeles Rams Defense vs. SF 4.5
17 4 Arizona Cardinals Defense vs. ATL 4.1
18 4 Miami Dolphins Defense vs. WAS 3.65

The Los Angeles Rams were undoubtedly drafted as one of the first few DSTs off the board in August/September. Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Marcus Peters...hey, I get it. In reality, fantasy owners have been absolutely heartbroken. They've hemorrhaged points all season, allowing more than 25 points per game on average. They've got just seven turnovers and 11 total sacks across five games, and now they'll get a 49ers offense that has been particularly good on the ground, limiting the potential for interceptions. You're likely still starting them this week, but they're now pretty firmly outside my top 12 DSTs overall.

I'm tempted to start just about anybody against the free-falling Falcons, but the Arizona Cardinals simply don't have the juice to make an impact. They've tallied just three turnovers all season, and have only exceeded two sacks in two games. You'd have to be pretty desperate to give them a go.

Tier 5 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
19 5 Pittsburgh Steelers Defense @ LAC 3.15
20 5 New York Jets Defense vs. DAL 2.75
21 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense vs. CAR 2.25
22 5 Cleveland Browns Defense vs. SEA 1.9
23 5 Kansas City Chiefs Defense vs. HOU 1.45
24 5 Houston Texans Defense @ KC 1.1

More Fantasy Football Analysis

Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.

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