Dreaming of Streaming: Week 17
December 24, 2013 | C.D. Carter
The Detroit Lions’ defense in Week 16 was the living embodiment of what it means to have a high fantasy floor.
The Lions’ defense, one of the league’s best for the first half of 2013 — besides a couple pass defense hiccups — almost couldn’t have played worse against the Giants, the most generous team to opposing defenses this season. Big Blue’s offense looked downright functional for much of the Week 16 matchup, with Eli Manning managing 256 yards and a touchdown.
I’ve written quite a bit this season about the luxury of a high fantasy floor for streaming options and why we should prioritize those teams over others with floors that might haunt our most horrific nightmares. Safety should never be underestimated in fantasy football. That’s why Antonio Brown is a staple on daily fantasy teams: his floor is sky high.
Detroit managed nine points against the Giants, thanks to a pair of sacks, an interception, a fumble recovery and a fourth quarter safety. I’m fairly certain nine points was the Lions’ absolute floor in this one, and it’s a lot less than back breaking for fantasy footballers who rolled with Detroit.
Geno Smith stung us for the second time in three weeks, ripping the Browns’ crumbling secondary and making Cleveland one of Week 16’s worst defensive plays. I’m not sure what to say about the Browns besides this: they seem to be looking forward to the offseason.
Let’s get to this week’s streaming options for those who hate themselves and play Week 17 championship games.
Week 17 Dreamy Streamers
San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs: The Chargers just missed my Week 16 streaming selections. Too bad too — San Diego outscored Tennessee’s defense, which performed crappily against the Jaguars.
Playing the Chargers is a prototypical Week 17 ploy. I wouldn’t normally consider them against the Chiefs, a team hardly prone to turnovers, but they are my top streaming option because Andy Reid will likely rest his starters in a meaningless game. San Diego, on the other hand, has everything to play for. It’s impossible to quantify these factors, but they’re there, and we’d be foolish to ignore them.
Only eight teams are tougher against quarterbacks than the Chargers, who have seen their secondary improve tremendously since the season’s first half.
The Chargers, after forcing six turnovers over their past three games, will go full tilt against Chase Daniel, Knile Davis, and Junior Hemingway. Who, you ask? Exactly.
Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets: The rotoViz Streaming D app is madly in love with the Miami defense this week, rating the Dolphins as the second best play of Week 17.
You won’t roll with Miami if you see last week’s decimation of the Cleveland defense as a sign of things to come for Geno and company. You will certainly plug and play the Dolphins’ defense if you remember that Gang Green has given up double digit fantasy points to opposing defenses a whopping nine times in 2013.
New York’s offense is particularly heinous on the road, giving up 17 fantasy points per contest outside of New Jersey. The Dolphins, like the Chargers, have everything to play for in Week 17. Probably they have this week’s highest floor.
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders: Denver, the rotoViz Streaming D app’s fifth rated Week 17 option, gets its crack at an Oakland offense giving up 10.8 points to enemy defenses over the past month.
Denver, averaging 8.6 fantasy points per game over the past three weeks, will go against Terrelle Pryor in his return to the Raiders’ starting lineup. I’m of the mind that Pryor can post a decent fantasy line and the Denver defense can put up top-10 Week 17 numbers. Teams clearly figured out Pryor after a nice start to the season, which included a Week 3 performance that held Denver’s defense to a measly six points.
Pryor was 43-of-86 for an average of 166 passing yards in his final three games as Oakland’s starter. He regressed, and complicated that regression with horrendous decision making.
The Broncos are only available in about 12 percent of leagues, but if they’re on your waiver wire, snatch them immediately.