The art of streaming DST is viewed across much of the fantasy football landscape as an integral part of a successful year. Analysts and experts preach consistently in the off season not to draft a DST before the final two rounds if at all and to play the week to week match ups off the waiver wire.

Now there are always stipulations to this. Some home league players may not play by the standard rules and will hold a starting and back up DST. You have to be able to adapt to your surroundings. Not only in terms of being able to effectively stream but selecting a DST you are comfortable with and aim for those with a favourable match ups across multiple weeks (Dallas Cowboys week one – three). 

When To DST

I would still not recommend drafting one before the last two rounds, taking a defence ahead of those rounds risks the chance of missing out on that skill position player that would make more of a difference to your season.

The final factor in streaming/last round DST is the odds on the top rated defence drafted finishing as the DST1 come the end of the regular season is slim (Broncos 2017 and Jaguars 2018 failed in this). 

This year’s DST1 is the Chicago Bears (look how they started last night!). A team that has an ADP of the 8th round for many roster formats this is before you have taken all your offensive starters! On arguably the most unpredictable position this is a big risk to take and the numbers do not back it up.

The Baltimore Ravens (Vs The Miami Dolphins)

Arguably the top DST to stream week one is the Baltimore Ravens who face Miami Dolphins, a team that most see as the worst team in the NFL for 2019 and that was even before trading their top offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil. 

Baltimore may have lost some key defensive pieces in the offseason with CJ Mosley, Eric Weddle and Za’Darius Smith to name a few. However as we have seen year on year they always seem to be near the top of defences in the NFL and that is down to the coaching staff. Adding Earl Thomas and a few key rookies bring a new twist to the existing key members from last year and allow them to build some confidence early as a unit.

The Dolphins appear to be a shambles of a team this year and The Ravens should feast on the Fins offence. Some may look back to what Ryan Fitzpatrick did last year with Tampa Bay however he is turnover happy. Last year in only eight games he threw for 13 Int’s and this should benefit Ravens.

With many of the Dolphins offensive weapons being field stretchers which will push Fitz to aim deep and leave the ball open for a turnover. The remaining players on the offensive line make up easily a bottom three O-line and Fitzpatrick should feel the force all day long.

A QB who throws it up whenever possible, an extremely sub-par O-line and a rookie head coach who we are yet to see what he can bring on offence. All of this makes The Baltimore Ravens my number one stream of Week 1.

The Philadelphia Eagles (Vs  The Washington Redskins)

The Eagles are a close second when it comes to the ideal match ups for week one. The Washington Redskins appear limited in offensive weapons, their key lineman Trent Williams appears to be locked into his hold out and there are question marks around the quarterback position.

Case Keenum has been named the starter for week one over first round rookie Dwayne Haskins. This appears to be the right move for the long term view of The Washington Redskins as Haskins has come into the NFL with limited experience and throwing him straight into the lineup against an elite defence would do nothing for his confidence. 

That being said Keenum could well be regarded as one of the poorest starting QB’s in the NFL and is on his third team in 3 years. In Denver last year, he threw 15 INT’s & was sacked 34 times in 16 games. 

Derrius Guice has the ability to be an elite running back dependant on his recovery from the ACL injury. The remaining offensive weapons are made up of misfits and rookies. Terry McLaurin may become a good wide receiver in the future due to the chemistry he already has with Haskins from college. Jordan Reed has the ability to be an elite TE however injury again appears to be setting him back for 2019.

The Eagles have an aggressive pass rush and an aggressive secondary, they should be able to eat Sunday against The Redskins offence who finished 2018 28th in yards and 29th in points scored and arguably have a weaker QB and a much worse O-Line.

The Seattle Seahawks (Vs  The Cincinnati Bengals)

A former powerhouse who’s defence took them to multiple Super Bowls. Many of the old guard from the previously top defence have gone with Frank Clark and Earl Thomas leaving this past offseason. The Seattle Seahawks appear to be out of favour in the fantasy community with under 50% ownership. This may be a mistake with a tasty matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Seattle are a perennial Top 10 DST and have not finished below the top 8 since 2011. For at least week one we should see Seahawks easily in the top 5 once again with this match up. Andy Dalton is another lower tier QB and his top weapon in AJ Green is missing due to injury.

The Bengals are also ravaged on the O-line. First round pick Jonah Williams is out for the year with injury and the surprise retirement of Clint Boling now leaves a makeshift line tasked with keeping Dalton upright and avoid Joe Mixon being stuffed in the backfield. This week may not be that week with the pass rush of newly acquired Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah primed to terrorise the offence from start to finish.

The Bengals are now starting Tyler boyd who should provide decent fantasy numbers as the number one target but will also face top coverage. Undrafted wide receiver Damion Willis know for being in Netflix documentary Last Chance U. John Ross the first rounder who has only shown speed and injury proneness in his first two seasons and Tyler Eifert which no one knows if he will be able to last a full game. None of these secondary pieces strike fear into a Seattle defence that is surging once more.

The Seahawks are likely to stack the box against Mixon and force the pressure onto Dalton allowing the secondary to target Int’s and the pass rush to rack up the sacks. I believe The Bengals will finish under 14 points come the end of the week one matchup.

The Dallas Cowboys (Vs The New York Giants)

The Dallas Cowboys are a prime target off the waiver wire not only for week one but for the week one to three stretch to start the season. They face The Redskins week two and The Dolphins week three who i have already highlighted above as offences to be targeting DST’s against.

The Cowboys face Eli Manning and the New York Giants in the opening week, Manning is a shell of his former Super Bowl winning self and has thrown 24 Ints in the last two years along with being dropped in 2017 before the fan backlash resulted in him being put back in the lineup.

Odell Beckham is gone, Golden Tate is suspended the first 4 games and Sterling Shepherd has been carrying an injury for much of preseason. All of this and the fact the Giants have one of the worst O-lines in the NFL which Dallas know all too well, after registering six sacks in week 2 of 2018.

Manning’s inabilities at QB may not last long into the season with Daniel Jones impressing during the preseason. Eli will have the reins week one which Dallas will be pleased to see. 

Saquon Barkley may well be the consensus number one pick in fantasy and is likely to have a good week as he so often did in 2018 on a poor offence. The remainder of the Giants offence remains poor and Dallas have quietly formed an impressive group of young defensive talent across all areas. They should thrive against the Giants.

The Long and Short Of DST

In my personal opinion you should stream DST’s in your leagues always. Look to your waiver wire and pick up any of the above four DST’s to help towards winning your week one matchup. Look out for the week two DST’s article dropping next week.

Until we meet again Rush Nation, Keep Rushing

– Ash Goddard (Addicted2_FF)