Dreaming of Streaming: Week 15 December 9, 2014  |  C.D. Carter



Defensive Streaming Scores, it turns out, are something less than infallible. We discovered as much in Week 14, when half of our defenses with top Streaming Scores flamed out.

We still had three of the top six scores come in as top-10 Week 14 options, but the failures were of the spectacular variety. The Saints’ defense was the most eye-popping, life-unaffirming defensive streamer of 2014. Once again, we have no algorithm to measure the impact of a total and complete dumpster fire like Sean Payton’s crew.

Here’s how the best Week 14 Streaming Scores fared. The Giants, as you might remember, sported a middling Streaming Score, though I was bullish on their prospects against a Tennessee offense simply going through the motions and looking forward to post-season tee time in some warm locale.

Defenses with top-5 Streaming Scores, through 14 weeks, are averaging D/ST7 numbers.


Defense Week 13 Streaming Score Week 13 fantasy points Week 13 D/ST rank
Texans Jaguars 10 6th
Rams Washington 27 1st
Saints Panthers -2 32nd
Vikings Jets 14 4th
49ers Raiders 1 28th
Washington Rams 4 23rd


Let’s get into Week 15 defensive Streaming Scores. These will require more than a little context, as some of the week’s best streaming plays are buried in the middle of the scores thanks to season-long trends that don’t matter much at all for this week’s matchups.


Defense Opponent Week 15 Streaming Score
Giants Washington 6
Ravens Jaguars 6
Titans Jets 5.5
Cardinals Rams 5.5
Panthers Bucs 4.5


*  If this column has a huge readership, the Cardinals have a higher Streaming Score than the Rams would surely lead to riots in the streets, civil unrest, and the beginning of the end of western society. Don’t get me wrong: Arizona’s defense is legit. They’re fantasy’s No. 5 defense, posting a measly three dud performances through 14 weeks. They’re also owned in 84 percent of leagues. If, somehow, you have the Rams and Cardinals defenses, you’re playing the Rams. The Cards, however, don’t make a bad option despite being on the road against a St. Louis offense that has looked downright functional of late. The Rotoviz Streaming D App rates Arizona as this week’s second best play, for whatever that’s worth.


*  This is an important week for committed streamers not to get wrapped up in the season-long performances of defenses that have great Week 15 matchups. The Titans’ defense is horrendous — they’ve achieved double digit defensive fantasy points just twice this season — but their Week 15 matchup couldn’t be better. The Geno-led Jets are a debacle, giving every opponent a high floor. New York managed to put up 22 points against the Vikings and still allowed Minnesota to rack up 14 fantasy points. The Titans’ defense is not an elite option, but they’re certainly a top-10 play against a Gang Green offense allowing 11.7 schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing defenses.


*  The Ravens are my No. 1 defense for Week 15. The Jaguars have been particularly odious on the road, allowing 15.1 fantasy points per game in those contests. Baltimore is out there in a whopping 59 percent of leagues. They are a must-grab for streamers who want a defense with an elevated floor and an incalculable ceiling. Baltimore’s defense will win semifinal matchups for fantasy leaguers this week.


Defense Opponent Week 15 Streaming Score
Chiefs Raiders 4
Lions Vikings 4
Saints Bears 4
Jets Titans 4
Rams Cardinals 4
Bucs Panthers 4


*  The middle group this week is terribly murky, with an amazing six defenses coming in with the same Streaming Score. I would rank this group of fours like this: Rams, Chiefs, Jets, Lions, Bucs, Saints. New Orleans is nothing but a desperation play and a prayer that Jay Cutler with go full DGAF and throw a pick-six or two in Week 15.


*  Someone joked with me on Twitter this week that they would lobby for their first-born child to be named Rams D. I’m all for this, as St. Louis has blown the roof off in recent weeks. The Rams, after being a forgettable defensive option into early November, are now fantasy’s third highest scoring defense. The Rams have put up ridiculous numbers at home over the past month and a half. They even managed 10 fantasy points against Peyton’s Perfect Machine — and that was before Peyton’s annual December blues. Arizona, even with Drew Stanton at the helm, doesn’t give up much to opposing defenses, but I think the Rams’ defense has changed enough to make them a top-3 option. The Cardinals, by the bye, have allowed double digit fantasy points to precisely one defense — the Seahawks in Seattle — in all of 2014.


*  Don’t fear the Reaper, and don’t fear the Oakland offense on the road. They’re a completely different team away from the post-apocalyptic, nightmarish, terrifying, hate-fueled, freak-infested, blood-soaked confines of their home stadium, as we saw two weeks ago in St. Louis. The Chiefs will dominate this one from start to finish. I think they have the highest ceiling this week of any defense not called the Ravens. Oakland averages a league-low 283.8 total yards per contest. Kansas City is a top-7 matchup play against Derek Carr and company, according to the Rotoviz Streaming D App.


*  The Jets’ defense is a top-10 play, like it or not (you don’t like it, I know). I would play the Titans’ defense over Gang Green only because Tennessee is at home in front of all three dozen of their fans. Jake Locker is expected to start this week, and in case you forgot how fantastic Locker can be for opposing defenses, check out my rundown of how ineffective he’s been. It’ll hearten anyone forced into rolling with the Jets for Week 15.


*  Avoid Tampa’s defense. They’re on the road, they’re an underdog and unless Cam Newton’s car accident is much worse than originally reported, the Panthers’ offense seems to be clicking. I want nothing to do with the Bucs’ vulnerable secondary in this one.


Defense Opponent Week 15 Streaming Score
Broncos Chargers 3.5
Eagles Cowboys 3.5
Browns Bengals 3.5
Seahawks 49ers 3.5
Washington Giants 3
Texans Colts 3
Bears Saints 3


*  Ignore Seattle’s low, low Streaming Score here. They are a clear top-5 play against a 49ers’ offense that has to be in the bottom-3 offenses in the NFL. They don’t even try to score touchdowns anymore. Seattle’s low score has a lot to do with San Francisco’s turnover stinginess. The Niners, before the past couple weeks, had only committed a dozen turnovers. Thanks in large part to an offensive line that has evaporated over the past month, San Francisco is now a prime streaming target, especially on the road, and especially in Seattle’s Thunderdome. If you have Seattle’s defense, you’re playing them. Enjoy your stats.


23 Responses

  1. James says:

    The page is great. I regularly check it for tips. What order would you rank Cleveland, Minnesota, and Tennessee for week 15. Thanks.

  2. Goose says:

    I own Philly D. On waivers are NY Giants and KC Chiefs. Would you go with one of those 2 on waivers over Philly ? and which one for this week. Thanks. I am new to streaming, but a very interesting process.

  3. Aaron O'Brien says:

    I love the column, as it’s helped me get 3 first round byes out of four leagues I play in.

    In one league where return yards are awarded, I’m looking at either St. Louis or Tenssee?

    In another league I’m looking at either Tenesse or Green Bay?

    • c.d. carter says:

      Thanks for reading this year, Aaron. I’d go STL in the one league and the Titans in the other. Green Bay’s floor is scary this week. Godspeed.

  4. Larry says:

    Your article is very intersting to me. May I ask for your suggestions for weeks 16 and 17? The leagues i am in have playoffs 15-17 with week 15 being a bye week for me. The availibility of teams may be limited but the best chance I have to get the best I can get is now.

    In one league I have G.B. @ T.B. for week 16
    Mia vs NYJ. for week 17
    Another league I have StL vs NYG week 16
    Phil @ NyG week 17
    A third league I have G.B. @ T.B. week 16
    Mia vs NYJ week 17
    Do you have suggestions for weeks 16 and 17? I want to be prepared in advance.
    Thanking you in advance for any assistance you can give me.

  5. will says:

    Do you go Bengals or Bucs here if Cam doesn’t play?

  6. Frank says:

    So tough choice here for me to start nyg or tenn this week? Who do you think?

    In my other league i have philly or Texans, think I lean philly bc luck can ruin a fantasy defense in one quarter…agree?


  7. Josh says:

    What about the 49ers DST? Impact of their offense and overall downward slide, how do you rate them against Seattle?

    49ers DST or Giants this week?

  8. Eli says:

    I have the Titans and Arizona defenses, and I wonder what to do there. I need the high floor and am somewhat concerned that STL can get some offense through big plays vs the Jets and without Percy potentially. I’m leaning towards the Jets here but Thurs night games also tend to be more of a slugfest and less scoring. Is the Jets matchup that enticing to roll the Titans out?

    What would you do here?

  9. JC says:

    Hey man Iove the read! I was wondering if you would go NYG, Titans or Philly def this week? Giants is just as good as Baltimore

    Thanks for the insight

  10. Robert says:

    This is my favorite column on the internet. I have streamed for years and have had both the good and the bad, but have been lucky enough to be fielding the Rams the last few weeks.

    Reading your comments above, it sounds like you’d favor the Rams over the Chiefs, but your comments on the Chiefs makes it sound like they are a better option (only the Seahawks have scored double digits against Arizona and only the Ravens have a higher ceiling than the Chiefs).

    How do you rank the 2, and more importantly, if I’m playing for upside, how do you rank them?


    • c.d. carter says:

      Thanks for always reading, Robert. After a lot of thought, I’m going KC over the Rams this week. See my Twitter TL from last night for details. @cdcarter13

  11. Ken says:

    if I’m reading this correctly, you recommend going with the Titans over the Lions D despite a match up against MN?

  12. Randy says:

    Love this column, have used it with great success this season. Picked up Ravens d/st weeks ago just for this matchup. Then Seattle came available on waivers and now i have both. Should i go Ravens or Seahawks this week?

  13. Zach says:

    Okay, picked up both Rams and Seattle on waivers in preparation for playoffs. Who do you go with this week?

  14. Peter says:

    Denny, after being horribly burned by the Saints D last week and taking a huge hit in the playoff standings because of it (we play 3 consecutive weeks of playoffs and total the rotisserie wins)…I’m a bit hesitant to roll out the Titans or the Jets.
    My other option is the Patriots, who aren’t on your Streaming Scores at all.
    Stay safe with NE or try to muster up the guts to start one of the other two?

    • C.D. Carter says:

      Yeah, the streaming scores hated the Pats this week because the Dolphins give up very little to opposing defenses. NE is a pretty safe play, floor wise, but I’d go with the Titans for a higher ceiling. Process, man. Process.

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