Dreaming of Streaming: Week 17 December 29, 2015  |  Chet


We had a crop of lush Week 16 defensive matchups against a who’s who of dumpster fire quarterbacks who were very likely to throw and throw a lot.

That formula worked out in a couple spots, and blew up in our collective face in another. It was the Pittsburgh defense that managed to make the Ryan Mallet-led Ravens look like the love child of the 1999 Rams and the 2007 Patriots. We’ve gone over it: defenses are so hard to forecast because their production is largely contingent on outside factors, like the performance of their team’s offense.

The Steelers’ offense was a parody of itself from the opening gun, leaving the defense in bad spots and allowing Baltimore to deploy a balanced attack and stay away from pass-first situations. At least we had Buffalo’s defense, which took advantage of an almost laughably great matchup.

Here’s how defenses with top-15 Week 16 streaming scores fared. Top-5 streaming scores over the 2015 season notched 9.2 fantasy points per week. That would be good for D/ST4 on the year, or equivalent to Seattle’s weekly defensive output. It’s 0.8 points lower than our 2014 results.

Defense Week 16 Streaming Score Week 16 Fantasy Points Week 16 D/ST Rank
Seahawks 5.5 1 28th
Chiefs 5.5 7 11th
Saints 5 6 13th
Texans 5 23 2nd
Bears 5 7 11th


Now let’s get into Week 17 streaming scores, though some may not truly reflect the extenuating circumstances of what amount’s to fantasy football’s silly season. Stay woke, as the kids say. I’ll update this column throughout the week as we hear more about starters resting in the season’s final week.


Defense Week 17 Opponent Week 17 Streaming Score
Colts Titans 5.5
Panthers Bucs 5.5
Texans Jaguars 5
Washington Cowboys 4.5
Patriots Dolphins 4.5


  • This assumes your league extends into Week 17 wackiness, which, as you know, is the opposite of ideal. But if you’re playing for your league title in a league you should leave in 2016, go out, grab the Colts’ defense and don’t look back. Tennessee, generous to opposing defenses with Marcus Mariota at the wheel, is a gift from the streaming deities with Zach Mettenberger under center. Mettenberger, in an offense void of talent, is completing just 62.3 percent of his throws and has tossed six picks in four games as starter. Defenses that have faced off against the Titans’ backup have averaged an astonishing 17.25 fantasy points per game. That includes the game against New England, in which Mett threw 29 passes in three quarters of action. It does not matter that the Colts’ defense has been picked apart time and again in 2015. It doesn’t matter that the Colts are middle of the pack in quarterback pressures. The Colts are an elite Week 17 play. Brace for silly season with the horseshoe.


  • Washington’s opportunistic defense gets its crack at the team formerly known as the Dallas Cowboys and their unbelievably weak-armed quarterback, Kellen Moore (who makes Chad Pennington’s floaters look like Brett Favre fastballs). Moore has completed 54.9 percent of this throws over the past two weeks. That’s seven points below the league average — a stunningly low rate. And what do we seek? Inaccurate quarterbacks likely to throw a lot. Washington is expected to rest some or all of its starters against Dallas, but I’d still roll with them and trust that Moore is a prime target in Week 17.


Defense Week 17 Opponent Week 17 Streaming Score
Cowboys Washington 4
Chiefs Raiders 4
49ers Rams 4
Rams 49ers 4
Broncos Chargers 4
Bengals Ravens 4


  • Dallas becomes a legit streaming option for a few reasons: they are favored, they are at home and they’ll be playing against second and third stringers in Week 17. Linebacker Sean Lee makes the Cowboys’ defense a fairly strong unit. With Lee healthy for once, I’m willing to throw my lot in with Dallas against something close to a practice squad roster for the playoff-bound Washington football team.


  • I’d be wary of starting the Niners’ defense against the suddenly functional Rams. St. Louis’ offense has hardly been the disaster we all once knew and loved since Case Keenum got another crack at the starting gig. The past two Rams opponents — Tampa and Seattle — have combined for a grand whopping total of two fantasy points. I don’t anticipate a letdown the week after Jeff Fisher won his annual Super Bowl.


  • Andy Reid is being coy about whether he’ll deploy his starters in Week 17. Here’s a comprehensive analysis of what Reid’s decision will be: he’ll rest his starters. Perhaps that gives Oakland’s defense some appeal. Remember: Chase Daniel — Chiefs fans’ favorite player when Alex Smith loses more than one start in a row — isn’t half bad. Daniel hasn’t thrown an interception in either of his career starts for Kansas City. He’s not a great target for streaming purposes.


Defense Week 17 Opponent Week 17 Streaming Score
Giants Eagles 3.5
Bills Jets 3.5
Falcons Saints 3.5
Bears Lions 3.5
Packers Vikings 3.5
Steelers Browns 3
Jets Bills 3
Bucs Panthers 3
Cardinals Seahawks 3
Eagles Giants 2.5
Ravens Bengals 2.5
Jaguars Texans 2.5
Vikings Packers 2
Lions Bears 2



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