Dreaming of Streaming: Week 13
November 25, 2014 | C.D. Carter
More data begets more accuracy begets more confidence in our weekly defensive streaming decisions. The colder the weather gets — and the more information that can be poured into our weekly Streaming Scores — the easier this becomes.
Week 12 was a glorious week for committed streamers who were able to snag one of the defenses with a top Streaming Score, as four of the top five scores notched top-10 performances and three finished as top-5 defensive options. Through 12 weeks, defenses with top-5 Streaming Scores are averaging a D/ST6 finish.
|Defense||Week 12 Streaming Score||Weeks 12 fantasy points||Week 12 D/ST rank|
The above results once again show the importance of home field in our weekly decision making. Home field advantage plays a big role in the calculation of Streaming Scores, and as we found out with the Packers and Chiefs — two defenses that seemed like locked-and-loaded top-end streamers — being on the road can present major obstacles to a defense’s viability.
Fully 59 percent of weekly top-10 fantasy defenses in 2014 have played at home. It’s not quite the edge we found in targeting Vegas favorites, though anything that moves our chances beyond a coin flip is an improvement in optimizing such an unpredictable position ruled by variance.
We once again have quite a few defenses with sky-high Streaming Scores in Week 13, and while it might be an oversimplification to go with the home team over the road squad, I wouldn’t begrudge you for taking that stand as we approach the fantasy playoffs.
A reminder: Defensive streaming playoff strategy can be found here, with updates to come on Friday.
Onto Week 13 streamers…
|Defense||Opponent||Week 13 Streaming Score|
* And after all that bluster about road teams and away teams, we have the Dolphins as a top Week 13 option against a Jets offense that entered official meltdown mode in Week 12. I would play Miami’s defense over everyone if Geno Smith starts, but Michael Vick isn’t exactly a deterrent after being benched as New York was decimated by the Bills. The Rotoviz Streaming D App has Miami pegged as a top-2 option. Gang Green has give up an average of 10.1 fantasy points to opposing defenses in their six 2014 home games.
* The Rams are at home and favored by Vegas in a game projected to be one of the week’s lowest scoring affairs. I’m not going to back off targeting the Raiders after Kansas City’s defense crapped out against Oakland last week. We can’t help that the Chiefs dropped five interceptions — two of which would’ve gone for touchdowns. Derek Carr is terrible, I don’t expect Latavius Murray to look like Bo Jackson now that teams know Oakland is willing to use its best player, and the Rams — available in 46 percent of leagues — are on a tear, notching double-digit fantasy points in four of their past six games. Target the Raiders.
* I would certainly deploy Houston’s defense over Cincinnati this week, as the Texans are at home against a very generous Titans’ offense. Houston is a heavy favorite and they average 14.2 defensive fantasy points at home. They make for a supremely safe play with a superb ceiling in Week 13. The Streaming D App lists them as a top-5 play.
|Defense||Opponent||Week 13 Streaming Score|
* You could do a whole lot worse than the Cardinals this week. Available in 18 percent of fantasy leagues, Arizona takes on a Falcons’ offensive line that has been shredded by tough pass rushes through 2014. Only six quarterbacks are more frequently pressured than Matt Ryan through 12 weeks, and the Cards’ front seven has piled up 18 sacks over their past three games. I think The Cardinals might have a surprisingly low floor in this one, but their ceiling is as high as ever in the Georgia Dome.
* The Bears, with King DGAF behind center, always have the potential to implode, and on a short week on the road against a pretty stout Detroit defense, I see Chicago’s offense as an ideal streaming target. The Bears have been occasionally horrendous on the road, with the team’s defense allowing double-digit fantasy points to opposing defenses in three of those road contests. Detroit boasts a top-2 run defense and a top-8 pass defense even after the whooping they took last week in New England. And this game starts at noon, which is usually when Jay Cutler has his first cigarette. His pregame routine will be blown to hell. Target him and the Bears.
* Everyone knows the Saints are not the same team on the road as they are in the friendly confines of the Superdome, where they’ve also sucked this year. The Steelers’ defense is banged up — as per usual — but I would be OK with deploying them in deep leagues, or if you have a bunch of degenerate league mates who have stockpiled potential streamers over the past couple weeks. Pittsburgh’s defense is owned in just 18 percent of leagues.
|Defense||Opponent||Week 12 Streaming Score|
* Now for some context: The Ravens, at home against the Chargers, are a locked-in top-5 Week 13 option. Their low Streaming Score is reflective of San Diego’s bulldozing of opposing defenses during the first half of 2014 rather than the past few weeks. Philip Rivers may or may not have a severe rib injury limiting his mobility and deep throws. That’s not going to cut it against a Ravens’ front seven ranked by Pro Football Focus as the best in the NFL. Baltimore’s defense averages 9.9 fantasy points in home games, with two straight 13-point outings. They’re favored in a game Vegas expects to be fairly low scoring. Stream them with confidence.