Dreaming of Streaming: Week 15 December 14, 2015  |  Chet


Fantasy defenses are so fickle, unpredictable, and volatile because their output is contingent on so many factors outside of their performance. The latest evidence: the Detroit Lions in Week 14.

The Lions snuffed out the Rams’ woeful offense for the entire first half and some of the third quarter, keeping Todd Gurley in check like recent Rams’ opponents have. The Lions’ offense couldn’t manage to build any sort of lead, however, leaving the game script neutral. That failed to force the Rams into obvious passing situations in which Detroit linemen could pin back their ears so the secondary could simply wait for the next Case Keenum errant throw.

St. Louis was able to keep pounding away at Detroit with Gurley well into the second half, leading to an eventual explosion from the dominant rookie that sank the hopes of those who streamed the Lions’ defense. Perhaps Vegas offered a quiet warning when it favored St. Louis in this one and projected the Rams to score 20.5 points.

Here’s how defenses with top-5 streaming scores fared in Week 14. Defenses with top streaming scores are now averaging eight fantasy points per week.


Defense Week 14 Streaming Score Week 14 Fantasy Points Week 14 D/ST Rank
Lions 5.5 5 21st
Jets 5 11 9th
Cardinals 4.5 10 10th
Broncos 4.5 7 14th
Colts 4.5 9 12th


Now onto Week 15 defensive streamers — the ones that might make our break you on your way to a shot at a championship next week.


Defense Opponent Week 15 Streaming Score
Patriots Titans 5.5
Rams Bucs 5
Chiefs Ravens 4.5
Bucs Rams 4.5
Seahawks Browns 4.5


  • If you have Seattle’s defense on your roster, you’re playing them this week. Streaming scores be damned (which is what this column might be called in 2016).


  • It’s noteworthy, I think, that St. Louis has a higher streaming score than the Bucs. A lot of proactive streamers nabbed the Tampa defense off the waiver wire last week in anticipation of this matchup. They’re still well worth deploying against the Rams, but given the choice, I would lean St. Louis’ way. Jameis Winston is what I would call — in technical terms — not good. He ranks 32nd in accuracy on aimed throws this season, just better than Ryan Mallet and Nick Foles. Winston has taken more sacks than all but 11 signal callers. Only five quarterbacks have thrown more picks than the Tampa rookie. The Bucs are giving up 8.3 fantasy points per game to opposing defenses when they lose. That’s a not-insignificant amount. If you think the Rams can hang tight and keep game script from unraveling — and Vegas thinks they can — then you should use them instead of the Bucs on Thursday night.


  • The Chiefs’ defense is a force of nature right now (more than 15 fantasy points in four of its past five games) and take on a lifeless Ravens team. Gird your loins. Kansas City’s defense could (should) be a difference maker in Week 15 matchups.


  • Fantasy footballers are hungry as hell to deploy the Pittsburgh defense against the suddenly vulnerable Broncos. Brock Osweiler benefited from fantastic or neutral game scripts in his first three games as Denver’s starter, but the script was flipped last week against Oakland. The Raiders seized a lead and the Broncos were forced to go one dimensional on offense. It was good news for Oakland’s defense — they racked up 14 fantasy points. Vegas has the Steelers as heavy favorites here (six points), meaning we could see Osweiler — who has middling accuracy on aimed throws — face negative game flow once again. I think that gives the Pittsburgh defense a nice floor. The Steelers’ front seven has put tremendous pressure on the quarterback over the past month. Only four teams have more sacks than Pittsburgh. They’re fifth in interceptions, too. I like the Steelers over every other streaming option, including Jacksonville.


Defense Opponent Week 15 Streaming Score
Bills Washington 4
Bengals 49ers 4
Falcons Jaguars 4
Packers Raiders 4
Jaguars Falcons 3.5
Jets Cowboys 3.5
Cowboys Jets 3.5
Panthers Giants 3.5
Texans Colts 3.5


  • I mentioned as much in last week’s column, but the Jags make for a rock-solid Week 15 play against the ghost/zombie of the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons, having long given up on the 2015 campaign, are now great targets for anyone who works a touch of Narrative Street into their defensive decisions. Defenses have scored an eye-popping 54 fantasy points against Atlanta over the past four weeks. Even better for Jacksonville’s Week 15 prospects: the Falcons’ offense has been particularly odious on the road. I don’t expect the Jaguars to shut down Matt Ryan and company, though I think turnover potential is clear and present in this matchup. The Jags delivered for us in Week 14. I think there’s a good chance they do it again here. Jacksonville has posted double digit fantasy points in four of its past six.


  • The Jets are still available in 59 percent of leagues. Prioritize Gang Green if they’re out there in your league. Streaming scores still haven’t caught up to just how turnover prone Matt Cassel is/might be if the Cowboys are ever forced to the air for more than the last few minutes of the game. Only Denver has more quarterback hits than New York in 2015. Cassel should be under immense pressure in this one. There will be blood and turnovers.


  • I’m going to hedge, big time, on the Bills here. Their defense hasn’t played well on the road this season and Washington has allowed a grand total of seven fantasy points to defenses in home games. Nothing here spells game script nightmare for Kirk Cousins’ crew, keeping me firmly away from Buffalo in Week 15.


Defense Opponent Week 15 Streaming Score
Cardinals Eagles 3
Vikings Bears 3
Saints Lions 3
Giants Panthers 3
Washington Bills 3
Bears Vikings 3
Dolphins Chargers 2.5
Chargers Dolphins 2.5



8 Responses

  1. Cindy Thomas says:

    Patriots will burn titans.. just for doing so..
    Dolphins slam dunk the Chargers
    Seahawks blast Browns

  2. Mr. Snuffleupagus says:

    I know you don’t seem to answer questions here. More of a dump your article location. But I thought I’d ask anyway:

    DEN or PIT?

    In your podcast you indicated DEN was a sit.

  3. Mr. Snuffleupagus says:

    I know you don’t answer questions here but I thought I’d ask anyway.

    DEN or PIT?

    In your podcast you indicated DEN was a sit.

  4. DJ says:

    Am I blind or do I not see the Broncos and steelers on this list?

  5. bill slu says:

    cheers c.d. !

    may your playoff road be long and smooth.

    me, im still have the broncos ros not only because our rosters are locked, they have a great matchup vs CIN (backup qb) at mile high stadium in week 16 and PIT is sackable in week 15, although the pts against will be iffy at best, because you know PIT gonna score. i like how it is a 4:25 ET game too, a unique time for an eastern zone game.

    but you are right in thinking, if i could take any D, i would use KC
    they are the best D playing the worst O
    Chiefs D is awesome sauce this week

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