Dreaming of Streaming Week 13: Advice From Vegas
November 30, 2013 | C.D. Carter
‘Tis the season for over-thinking.
I’m as guilt of it as you, and I think it’s natural this time of year to over analyze our weekly fantasy decisions because, unlike Week 2 or 5 or even 8, Week 13 and beyond seem to carry a new weight — a sort of gravity that comes with elimination games and desperate lunges toward that final playoff spot.
Perhaps there’s no position that inspires more over thinking than team defense. We consider every option half a dozen times before Sunday’s kickoff because there’s usually a half-baked argument for three or four or five waiver wire options. You can read advice columns until your eyeballs glaze over, but make sure you have a valid reason to deploying your defensive unit of choice.
And this cannot be said enough in the latter stages of fantasy football season: Process trumps results, every time, no matter what. Be as roboticly objective as humanly possible, choose a defense with confidence, and have no regrets on Sunday night.
Let’s look at the best fantasy playoff defensive options before we delve into Vegas’ Week 13 advice. As per usual, I used the rotoViz Streaming D app to identify the most favorable waiver wire plays.
|Week 14||Week 15||Week 16|
|Houston Texans (at JAC)||Buffalo Bills (at JAC)||Cleveland Browns (at NYJ)|
|New York Jets (at OAK)||New England Patriots (at MIA)||Buffalo Bills (vs. MIA)|
|Tampa Bay Bucs (vs. BUF)||Philadelphia Eagles (at MIN)||Tennessee Titans (at JAC)|
|New England Patriots (vs. CLE)||Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. BUF)||San Diego Chargers (vs. OAK)|
Week 13 over-unders
Now here’s a rundown of this week’s over-unders, which give us at least some insight into which games will be defensive slug-fests and which will be better for skill position players.
|Titans at Colts||45|
|Broncos at Chiefs||49|
|Jaguars at Browns||40.5|
|Buccaneers at Panthers||41.5|
|Bears at Vikings||50|
|Dolphins at Jets||40|
|Cardinals at Eagles||48.5|
|Rams at 49ers||42|
|Patriots at Texans||47.5|
|Bengals at Chargers||48.5|
|Giants at Washington||45.5|
|Saints at Seahawks||47|
- The lower than low over-under in the Dolphins-Jets game might make both defenses a legit Week 13 unit. I prefer Miami, but Gang Green’s defense has played better at home than on the road. The Dolphins’ porous offensive line always leaves room for sacks and pressured throws from quarterbacks (Tannehill) prone to that sort of thing. New York’s back end should make everyone more than a little nervous — safeties and corners are being burned with alarming regularity, and now face Mike Wallace, the one-trick deep-ball pony.
- I’d do everything possible to avoid the Bears’ defense this week. While many streamers’ eyes will bulge when they see their shot to stream against Christian Ponder, remember that there has been no worse run defense than Chicago’s over the past month. And they play Purple Jesus this week. I’ve ranked them outside my top-20 Week 13 defenses. The Bears’ defense has scored less than five fantasy points in three of their last five.
- The Jaguars-Browns over-under is a touch higher than I thought it’d be. Vegas has projected Jacksonville’s improving offense to score 16.7 points against the so-so Cleveland defense. I’m not backing off the Browns, however, after the dead on arrival Houston defense basically fell out of bed last week and posted eight fantasy points against Chad Henne and company.
- The Saints-Seahawks over-under might make Seattle owners take a peak at the waiver wire before Sunday’s kickoffs. Vegas projects New Orleans to score 20.8 points on Monday night — enough to make even the most avid Seattle defense diehard reconsider their every-week defensive play. Seattle is projected for 26.3 points. You can do a whole lot better than the Saints’ defense.