Week 7 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts: 2017 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

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Below are RotoBaller's Week 7 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream and start for Week 7 of the NFL and fantasy football season. Our tiered defense rankings are your guide to drafting defenses, making waiver wire pickups/adds to improve your lineups, and to decide which defenses to start, sit, target, avoid or stream for Week 7.

I've been trying out a new format lately, touching briefly on each team that I have ranked instead of picking just a few to analyze in depth. Let me know what you think on Twitter (@Roto_Dubs).

Starting the right defense every week can be a difference-maker, so we have broken out our defense rankings into tiers with analysis on each matchup. Some of these Week 7 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 7 pickup or add. Good luck in Week 7 RotoBallers!

Editor's note: Purchase any NFL Lineup Optimizer pass (including daily DFS cheat sheets), and you also get access to NBA and NHL Optimizers and DFS cheat sheets.

 

Week 7 Defenses To Start & Stream: Tiers & Rankings

Teams on bye: Detroit Lions, Houston Texans

 

Tier 1 Defenses (The "Duh" DSTs)

1. Seattle Seahawks (@ NYG)

The Giants showed up a little bit against the Broncos on Sunday night without Ben McAdoo calling plays. However, I'm not buying this as any kind of offensive renaissance. Feel great about the Seahawks getting to Eli Manning and forcing at least a pair of turnovers with 3-4 sacks.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars (@ IND)

The Jaguars are coming off of their first game without an interception, as the Rams hung 27 points on them Sunday afternoon. Jacoby Brissett is not anywhere near explosive enough to do something similar, and I fully expect the Jaguars DST to bounce back in Week 7. At least two turnovers and a handful of sacks should be a lock against the Colts offensive line, who is tied for seventh-most in sacks allowed.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. CIN)

The Steelers defense has absolutely smothered their opponents' passing games, allowing just 154 yards per game through the air. Andy Dalton and the Bengals will likely need to lean on the pass as I expect them to be playing from behind now that Le'Veon Bell has found his mid-season form and Antonio Brown is still Antonio Brown. As if that point needed reinforcing, they (Cincy) are 30th in the NFL in rushing. I expect big things from the Steelers DST, who should at the very least keep points off the board (avg. 15 points allowed per game).

4. Carolina Panthers (@ CHI)

Mitchell Trubisky has been better than his predecessor for the Bears, but he certainly isn't lighting up the scoreboard. The Panthers are tied for second in the NFL in sacks so far, and they will definitely keep the pressure on the rookie, which should lead to some mistakes.

 

Tier 2 Defenses (Rock-Solid Starts)

5. Minnesota Vikings (vs. BAL)

The Vikings are at home and coming off a big game against the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers. This team is rolling with 17 or fewer points allowed in each of their last four games, and they now get a Baltimore team that is 25th in total offense this season. This DST has a high floor with plenty of upside in Week 7.

6. Buffalo Bills (vs. TB)

As of right now, Jameis Winston should play in Week 7 against the Bills. Even if he is under center, the Bills defense is positively paralyzing offenses right now. They are currently allowing the fewest points per game in the NFL, and the Buccaneers offense has had trouble moving the ball even with Winston healthy. They will likely lean on Doug Martin with Winston at less than 100%, and he'll struggle against the Buffalo front seven.

7. Tennessee Titans (@ CLE)

Yeah, I know it's the Titans. But it's also the Browns. I'm feeling good about just about anyone playing them right now, and this week is no different.

8. Baltimore Ravens (@ MIN)

The Ravens are tied for second in takeaways currently, and have seven sacks over their last two games. The Vikings are in flux currently, with uncertainty about who will be under center on a week-to-week basis. Jerick McKinnon has filled in admirably for Dalvin Cook so far, and the Ravens are beatable on the ground (30th in rushing defense), limiting this DST's upside. Their ability to make big plays still gives them an upper hand on a weekly basis, though.

 

Tier 3 Defenses (Decent Streamers)

9. Denver Broncos (@ LAC)

This defense has ten sacks over its last three games, but they could run into some trouble against Melvin Gordon and the Chargers offensive line, which is currently second-best in the NFL in sacks allowed (seven). The Broncos are still allowing the fewest total yards per game though, and the Chargers are tied for 22nd in total offense. They'll struggle to move the ball against the Broncos, giving this DST a solid floor.

10. Kansas City Chiefs (@ OAK)

Derek Carr struggled in his return from a minor back injury, as he wasn't able to do much against the San Diego secondary in Week 6. The Chiefs have been surprisingly vulnerable to the pass this year (the loss of Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry is certainly contributing to that), but I'll need to see Derek Carr prove he can have a big game before I will downgrade any defense playing against him. Marshawn Lynch is a ghost of his former self, and there is very little risk of Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington gashing this defense. Don't expect fireworks, but the Chiefs should be a decent enough play if you're streaming.

11. Philadelphia Eagles (vs. WAS)

The Eagles dominated the Redskins in Week 1, tallying four sacks and four turnovers, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Since then, the Washington offense has steadied itself, with Chris Thompson emerging as a viable threat in the passing game. I'm tempering my expectations for the Eagles DST this time around, although I'd be okay streaming them given the home matchup and the fact that Carson Wentz should be able to keep the defense off the field.

12. New York Jets (@ MIA)

The Jets actually have six turnovers in their last three games, and with Smokin' Jay (or his backup) and the rest of the putrid Miami offense on the horizon, you could do worse if you're streaming and way down the waiver wire.

13. New Orleans Saints (@ GB)

The Saints have been red-hot lately, and they now get to face an Aaron Rodgers-less Packers team that looked utterly lost without its leader. Fun fact: Cameron Jordan is the #1-rated DE on Pro Football Focus. This is a different Saints team than we saw in Week 1, and they're playing at a high level these days. Plenty of upside if you're streaming.

14. Washington Redskins (@ PHI)

Carson Wentz is heating up (seven touchdowns in his last two games) which makes me a bit nervous with the Redskins. They are getting a ton of penetration though, with 11 sacks in their last three games, and Philly has a beatable offensive line. Again, we're in "no fireworks, but streamable" territory here.

15. Cincinnati Bengals (@ PIT)

If they weren't AT Pittsburgh, I'd probably rank this team higher. They're fifth in the NFL in sacks, and second in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game (just 160). Unfortunately, they are allowing more than 100 yards per game on the ground, and the only top back they faced so far was a struggling LeSean McCoy. I'm afraid Le'Veon Bell reams them, leading to points against and a desperate game plan down the stretch.

 

Tier 4 Defenses (Deep Streamers)

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ BUF)
17. San Diego Chargers (vs. DEN)
18. Dallas Cowboys (vs. SF)
19. Los Angeles Rams (vs. ARI)
20. Arizona Cardinals (@ LAR)

 

Tier 5 Defenses (Desperation Plays)

21. Miami Dolphins (vs. NYJ)
22. Green Bay Packers (vs. NO)
23. Indianapolis Colts (vs. JAX)
24. Atlanta Falcons (@ NE)

 

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Analysis


Check out all of RotoBaller's 2017 fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.