Dear Brian Daboll,
You’ve been great to us this season, and as this wonderful year winds down, we – the Defensive Streamers of America – want to thank you for your work as offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Without you, dear Brian, we would’ve been lost, left to seek other, riskier options in our everlasting search for waiver wire fantasy defenses. Perhaps it’s your sweet memories of 2010 that drive your decision making, but your unexplainable love for Peyton Hillis and refusal to use Jamaal Charles in large doses helped us rack up an absurd amount of fake football points against your offense, which, clearly, was an affront to pigskin fans everywhere.
Remember that time Peyton Hillis threw not one, or even two passes – but three! – in a single game? Oh yes, we do. Remember all those times you employed a pass heavy attack against soft front sevens? Remember using Shaun Draughn and Hillis on third downs all year, as Charles watched helplessly from the sidelines? We thank you for all these things, Brian. You were a reliably awful offensive coordinator, and combined with a roster almost completely void of game-breaking talent, your offense was a blessing to those of us who shun elite defenses for dreamy streamers.
Let’s review, Brian.
I went back and added all the points fake football defenses have scored against your bunch of misfits. The total, in case you were unaware, was 184, as your team gave away the football 37 times through 16 weeks, for a league-worst turnover differential of -25. That means that if fantasy footballers simply plugged in every defense that faced your Chiefs, they would’ve scored more defensive points than any team in the NFL besides the Chicago Bears. Using every defense that faced your abomination of an offense was impossible of course, since several were owned in 100 percent of fantasy leagues, but I think you get the point.
(A side note: I counted 13 defenses that faced Kansas City this season and were available on more than 40 percent of waiver wires.)
It’s crazy, right? Yes, Brian, it is. An owner who only used defenses against your squad – which allowed more than 12 fantasy points per game to opposing defenses – would’ve outscored the Broncos’ defense by a whopping 20 points. That same owner would have scored 58 more fantasy points than an owner who so stupidly drafted the 49ers’ defense in the middle of their 2012 draft and played them each and every week without regard for matchup.
Your ineptitude as a play caller and your atrocious roster were, in short, a key to so many fantasy football championships this year. And you were so very generous – perhaps inspired by the Christmas season – in Week 16, allowing the middling Colts’ defense to rack up 10 points, thanks to an early pick for a touchdown.
Have a lovely holiday season, Brian, and please fight for your job as Chiefs’ coordinator. We need you Brian. You are a godsend.
President, Defensive Streamers of America
Now, onto more pressing issues. Some of you have titles on the line in fantasy’s wackiest week, when backups and backups for backups will get a ton of playing time.
The unpredictability of Week 17 is fun and maddening all at once. I’m writing this on Monday afternoon, so things could change as the week moves forward and head coaches give clear signals about how they’ll use their studs on Sunday. I’ll update you on Twitter as things develop throughout the week. Just be sure to pay close attention before committing to a streaming defense for this final week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Falcons – It hurts me to my soul to recommend the Buccaneers’ defense, plagued by a sieve of a secondary that made Sam Bradford look like Kurt Warner for stretches of Week 16’s game. They’re bad, and effort was lacking last week – perhaps a sign of the team once again giving up on their head coach, Greg Schiano, as they did with Raheem Morris in 2011.
Thanks to Atlanta’s domination of the Lions last Saturday, the Falcons will have the luxury of resting key cogs in their dominant aerial attack. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White – he of the balky knee – and the rest of the team’s offensive pieces are likely to sit for at least a good portion of Sunday’s game, if not the entire contest.
If Mike Smith rests his studs, it’ll be Luke McCown, Jason Snelling, and Harry Douglas anchoring the offense against Tampa. The Bucs’ secondary is bad enough to let even a replacement level guy like McCown have a nice day, but let’s take our chances and stream the Bucs for this ridiculous final week of the NFL regular season.
I’m going to level with you. Tampa’s defensive fantasy points are uninspiring: They’ve scored a grand total of 19 fantasy points over the past six weeks. Against second and third stringers though, they could be serviceable.
Buffalo Bills vs. Jets – The Bills’ defense, for as good as they looked in the month after their Week 8 bye, are officially zombies. The defense’s effort was nonexistent during most of Week 16’s game against the Dolphins, as Reggie Bush led fake footballers to championship glory on the strength of three scores against this pulseless defense.
Greg McElroy is expected to start for Gang Green once again. The Jets did a bang up job of hiding McElroy for much of last Sunday’s loss to the Chargers, allowing Mark Sanchez’s backup to throw just 24 passes, most of which came in a desperation comeback attempt. If they had secured a lead, McElroy wouldn’t have thrown more than a dozen passes.
This, once again, is a streaming play that could give you Week 17 ulcers, as the Jets’ running game has somehow looked competent even with a total lack of passing threat. New York is giving up 12.5 fantasy points per game to fantasy defenses, however, including nine in double digits. Fake football defenses have tallied 43 points against the Jets over the past two weeks.
Hold your nose and plug in the Bills’ defense if you’re out of better options.
Here are my complete Week 17 rankings. They’ll be updated on Wednesday.