I’ll look ahead, not behind, because I know you’re a group of planning, scheming degenerates. I love that about you.
Readers and Twitter followers every day ask for a long-term defensive streaming plan, pitching ideas and mulling options in their leagues of varying sizes. Likely these owners have locked up a fantasy playoff spot, or something close to it. That would make sense, since they’re peering beyond Week 10 matchups into a fantasy future paved with league mates’ cold cash and salty tears.
Planning ahead of snagging defenses who have the best machups in Weeks 14-16 has won more than a few fantasy titles, though it’s important not to take a proactive streaming stance if it means draining your bench of position player depth. Those in leagues with short benches should sit tight more often than not. I’ve been forced to do as much in a couple leagues with four-player benches.
Here are the best defensive streamers for Weeks 14-16, according to the rotoViz Streaming D app and my own analysis and degenerate intuition. Remember that injuries, benchings, and generally unpredictable interventions of fate will make some of these defenses unplayable, while others become must-starts.
I’ve listed these streaming options in no particular order.
|Week 14||Week 15||Week 16|
|KC (at WAS)||NO (at STL)||DET (vs. NYG)|
|HOU (at JAC)||CAR (vs. NYJ)||CLE (at NYJ)|
|MIA (at PIT)||KC (at OAK)||TEN (at JAC)|
|GB (vs. ATL)||BUF (at JAC)||GB (vs. PIT)|
|SD (vs. NYG)||CIN (at PIT)||CIN (vs. MIN)|
|BAL (vs. MIN)||WAS (at ATL)||DEN (at HOU)|
Let’s jump into Week 10′s over-unders and see what Vegas is telling us with their numbers.
|Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers||47|
|Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans||41|
|St. Louis Rams at Indianapolis Colts||44|
|Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons||44.5|
|Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens||44|
|Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers||43.5|
|Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears||52|
|Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers||43|
|Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers||58|
|Houston Texans at Arizona Cardinals||41|
|Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints||54|
|Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Bucs||41.5|
* Warning: don’t get cute with any defense from the Broncos-Chargers and Cowboys-Saints games. Vegas says point scoring will likely wipe out any fantasy points gained from turnovers. Again, both games present defenses and special teams that will rely on touchdowns to post decent fantasy lines.
* Vegas projects Pittsburgh to score 23.5 points against a Buffalo defense with a top-10 pass rush (the Steelers are among the NFL’s worst pass blocking teams). That’s a tad concerning, though I still like the Bills as a decent option in deep leagues. They have a high fantasy ceiling and a nightmarish floor.
* Vegas projects a measly 14 points for Jacksonville, which resumes life without Justin Blackmon against one of the NFL’s most suffocating pass defenses. If you were able to pluck Tennessee from your local waiver wire, you’re playing them. Don’t think. Just do.
* Quite a few of you love the Cardinals this week. I didn’t — and still don’t — understand the mass appeal, but Vegas seems to lean your way. The Texans-Cardinals game is expected to be among the lowest scoring of Week 10. I’m just not wild about a torchable Arizona defense going against a quarterback ready and willing to use his offensive weapons the way they were meant to be used.