After a season that can only be described as “weird,” NFL football finally returns in full force this week! Along with a loaded slate of games comes the kickoff of 2021 fantasy football leagues everywhere. When it comes to fantasy football streamers, the defense/special teams position is always one to monitor. In fact, many owners opt to intentionally stream the position all season long, playing positive matchups over drafting a highly-regarded unit. For those looking to do just that starting in Week 1, this article is for you!
Read on for three D/ST fantasy football streamers for the opening week of the NFL season. In some cases, one might still be able to claim these defenses off of waivers. If your league is drafting late, consider using a late pick on one of these defenses to kick off your season of streaming the position.
Week 1 Fantasy Football D/ST Streamers
New York Giants (vs. DEN)
Something tells me that the Giants defense will be a popular option among weekly fantasy football streamers all season long. New York nearly won the NFC East last season. Considering the rough year it was for Daniel Jones and the rest of the offense, that fact should go a long way in telling you how capable the defense is. Joe Judge is a defensive-minded head coach and a former assistant of Bill Belichick. This unit will be rock-solid again in 2021. Week 1 sees the Giants take on a very talented Denver Broncos offense. Of course, the main question mark for the Broncos is at quarterback. It’s tough to envision Teddy Bridgewater lighting up the Giants through the air on the road. Largely undrafted, the G-Men are a solid fantasy football play to open the year.
Carolina Panthers (vs. NYJ)
In the first NFL Draft with Matt Rhule as their head coach last year, the Panthers spent all of their selections on the defensive side of the football. Rebuilding the unit from its deteriorated state is still a work in progress. However, Carolina ranked right near the middle of the NFL in adjusted efficiency against both the pass and run last season. With a year of experience under their belts, many of those young players will help the unit take another step forward in 2021. It may not be enough to have the Panthers consistently on the D/ST fantasy football radar, but a Week 1 home tilt against the New York Jets could prove fruitful. In general, fading a rookie quarterback in his first career start (especially on the road) makes sense. That is exactly why the Panthers make the fantasy football streamers cut this week.
Green Bay Packers (vs. New Orleans Saints)
Like the Panthers, it’s hard to envision the Packers defense being one that is a strong fantasy football asset on a weekly basis this season. Normally, one would have no business streaming any defense in a road game against the New Orleans Saints. Green Bay’s Week 1 matchup offers some sneaky fantasy upside though. For starters, it is no longer a true road game. Thanks to the ongoing hurricane season, the teams will face off in Jacksonville.
The second key factor to consider is new Saints starting quarterback, Jameis Winston. There’s a real chance that the former No. 1 overall pick lights up the Packers’ secondary on Sunday. If his last season in Tampa Bay was any indication, Winston might throw both three touchdown passes and three picks. There’s also a possibility that he has cleaned up the turnover issues that plagued him with his former team. If he hasn’t, the Packers could surprise as fantasy football streamers this week.
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