Dreaming of Streaming: Week 17 December 23, 2014  |  C.D. Carter



It’s not lost on me that the object of our defensive streaming animus, the Seattle Seahawks’ defense, likely won fantasy championships for their faithful owners in Week 16.

It’s those Seahawks — the defense taken so foolishly in the seventh round of fantasy drafts — that predictably dominated the Cardinals in championship week, thanks to one of the worst quarterbacks in recent memory, Ryan Lindley. Seattle notched 13 fantasy points and beat out every top streaming option.

Seattle, after spending much of the season’s first half as a bottom-10 fantasy defense, collecting neither sacks or turnovers, managed to finish the 2014 season as a top-12 fantasy defense. They averaged 7.5 fantasy points per game, or 2.7 points fewer than our collective top-5 Streaming Scores from Week 1-16.

The final weeks of 2014 were kind to Seattle defense owners. That late run doesn’t change the 4.1 fantasy points the Seahawks’ defense averaged over the season’s first half, or the four performances of less than two fantasy points in September and October.

Seattle’s defense certainly wasn’t the first and won’t be the last to be irrationally selected in the middle rounds of countless thousands of fantasy drafts. It harkens back to the fatally flawed and understandable Best of Everything approach to fantasy football.

Everyone committed to seeking out juicy matchups and trusting that said matchups will produce sacks and turnovers should be heartened to see the final standing of the Seahawks’ defense. We treasure process over results, and anyone who invested in Seattle’s defense with a mid-round pick placed 2013’s results over any semblance of process. Reaching for top-end defensive production almost never works out.

Let’s hope they repeat the mistake in 2015.

Here’s how defenses with Week 16’s top Streaming Scores fared. It was far from spectacular, though unless your opponent had the Falcons, Bengals, or Packers defenses, your streamer’s face plant was something close to a wash.


Defense Wk 16 Streaming Score Wk 16 fantasy points Wk 16 D/ST rank
Eagles 6 6 10th
Patriots 5.5 5 14th
Titans 5.5 5 14th
Browns 5 6 10th
Seahawks 5 13 3rd
Giants 5 8 7th


I couldn’t resist putting Week 17’s matchups into the Streaming Score Machine, so if for some reason you’re playing a title game in the season’s final week, you should have a bevvy of streaming plays with tremendous fantasy ceilings.


Defense Opponent Week 17 Streaming Score
Texans Jaguars 6
Seahawks Rams 6
Cowboys Washington 5.5
Colts Titans 5.5
Cardinals 49ers 5
Ravens Browns 5


* J.J. Watt, in his bid to be the next President of the United States, leads the Texans into Week 17 against a Jags’ offense that has been a streaming treat throughout 2014. I’d be shocked if Houston doesn’t collect five sacks and a couple turnovers in this one. If you have Houston’s defense, you have a marked advantage on your Week 17 opponent.


* The Ravens gets the dissolving Browns at home with an off-the-street quarterback likely to start for Cleveland. Baltimore has a ridiculous floor in this one, and if they seize an early lead and force the Browns to take to the air, the Ravens could go nuclear. Forget that their secondary has been dismal of late. They’ll be my No. 2 defense for Week 17.


* We try to stay away from defenses on the road. I wouldn’t mind deploying Arizona against a 49ers’ offense that is now allowing the third most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing defenses. Lindley impacts the Cardinals’ defense as well, as we saw in Week 16, but Colin Kaepernick and the Niners have checked out for 2014, leaving Arizona to capitalize on one of the most mistake prone teams in the NFL.


Defense Opponent Week 17 Streaming Score
Vikings Bears 4.5
Giants Eagles 4.5
Falcons Panthers 4
Dolphins Jets 4
Saints Bucs 4


* I think the return of King DGAF, Jay Cutler, is a boon for the Vikings’ defense in Week 17. Minnesota’s defense has been good at home this season, including two big-time performances in Week 12 and 13. No one has turned over the football as much as Cutler has in 2014. We have no reason to think ole’ Cutty has seen the light after being benched for future Hall of Famer Jimmy Clausen. The Vikings’ defense could be a league winner in Week 17.


* The Jets, after looking like the best streaming target not called the Jaguars, have been disappointingly functional of late, including Week 16 against New England. New York, when adjusted for strength of schedule, is a middle-of-the-road team in allowing fantasy production to opposing defenses. A pick-six always looms with Geno Smith taking snaps, but remember that the Dolphins once-decent defense scored a meager seven fantasy points against these Jets last month. I think expectations should be held in check for those streaming Miami’s defense until and unless the Phins take a big lead in this one.


Defense Opponent Week 17 Streaming Score
Packers Lions 3.5
Steelers Bengals 3.5
Chiefs Chargers 3.5
49ers Cardinals 3.5
Eagles Giants 3
Broncos Raiders 3
Bucs Saints 3
Titans Colts 3


* Remember, before you go all in on the San Francisco defense, that Bruce Arians’ offensive scheme — no matter who’s under center — is designed to limit mistakes and sacks. I think last week’s performance against Seattle is a testament to that, as the Seahawks scored 13 fantasy points in a game many saw as something close to a guaranteed 20 fantasy points for Seattle’s defense. The Niners’ Streaming Score reflects a capped ceiling more than a low floor.


* Tampa’s defense is one of the sneakiest Week 17 plays. New Orleans has a terrible offensive lines — the seventh worst pass blocking unit in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus — and Drew Brees has become something of a turnover machine, as we saw against the lowly Falcons’ defense. We all know about the Saints’ offensive home-road splits. I think the Bucs could serve as a fantastic cheap play in daily fantasy this week, as well as a desperation streaming play against a Saints team that isn’t the one we’ve always avoided with streaming plays.


One Response

  1. Carters mom says:

    You suck

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