Dreaming of Streaming Week 17: Advice from Vegas
December 27, 2013 | C.D. Carter
So many teams are playing for nothing, whether they’ve secured playoff position or lost postseason hopes a month ago. Starters will be rested, teams will play with more freedom and less fear than they have all season, and some teams will collapse under the weight of their own dysfunction.
There’s quite a bit of guesswork that goes into Week 17 fantasy plays — a less than optimal situation for those vying for fake football glory this Sunday. It was one short year ago that Bernard Pierce seemed a candidate to go bonkers in the season’s final week as he was slated to take Baltimore’s lead back role against the Bengals as Ray Rice rested for a playoff run.
He gained 89 yards on 22 carries against Cincy’s second-team defense.
A lot of my Week 17 guesswork revolves around Andy Reid’s impending decision on how much he’ll play his starters in a meaningless game at San Diego. Reid on Thursday said the plan was to “mix and match” starters and backups in Week 17, which sounds an awful lot like “Jamaal and Alex will play a series or two. Maybe.”
Reid, in similarly meaningless games as head man in Philadelphia, has benched his starters and rested them for the playoffs. I’m more than a little confident he’ll do the same thing against San Diego, making the Chargers’ defense a premiere streaming option in a game they have to win if they’re going to have any prayer at a postseason berth.
I hope this column has helped you in your streaming decisions this season. Examining what the odds makers say about point totals has always been a primary tool in my streaming arsenal, and though over-unders can be deceiving at times, I think using Vegas’ weekly projections is a proven long-term strategy. They know, after all, and we don’t.
Let’s see what advice Vegas is offering this week.
Week 17 Over-Unders
|Panthers at Falcons||45.5|
|Dolphins vs. Jets||41|
|Patriots vs. Bills||47|
|Ravens at Bengals||44.5|
|Jaguars at Colts||45.5|
|Titans vs. Texans||44.5|
|Eagles at Cowboys||52.5|
|Vikings vs. Lions||52|
|Browns at Steelers||44|
|Packers at Bears||48.5|
|Giants vs. Washington||45.5|
|Seahawks vs. Rams||43|
|Saints vs. Buccaneers||47|
|Broncos at Raiders||53.5|
|Chiefs at Chargers||45|
|Cardinals vs. 49ers||42.5|
* * Vegas seems to be on the same degenerate page as those rolling with the Chargers’ defense against the Chiefs. Kansas City is projected for a measly 17.3 points against a San Diego defense giving up 369 yards per game. I see this as a sign that we’re on the right path toward Week 17 streaming defense glory. The Chargers, at worst, are a high-floor play, unless you think Chase Daniel is primed to shred a defense playing for its very life.
* * I have Tennessee pegged as one of the highest-floor plays of Week 17. They’re facing the flaming disaster known as the Houston Texans at home in a meaningless game. This has defensive and special teams scores written all over it, and Houston has allowed an average of 14 points to opposing defenses over the past couple weeks. The Titans’ suffocating secondary should be licking its collective chops with Matt Schaub (or Case Keenum) behind center. The Titans’ defense is an ideal option in large daily tournaments.
* * Don’t fear the Reaper, and don’t fear the Denver-Oakland projected total of 53.5 points. The Broncos are a staggering 11.5-point favorite in Oakland, with the Raiders projected to score 21 points. That seems rather generous, and it doesn’t discount the turnover potential of a Denver defense playing against a quarterback (Terrelle Pryor) who hasn’t had anything close to a decent outing since late October. Roll with your Von Miller-less Broncos.
* * That Dolphins-Jets over-under makes me salivate. Vegas likes Gang Green to score 17.2 points, but remember: The Jets have allowed an average — and average! — of 17 fantasy points to opposing defenses on the road. Miami is ninth in total sacks this season. I expect them to harass Geno Smith from start to finish this week.