DST Streaming: Week 16
December 23, 2017 | Scott Cedar
With the last week of the fantasy season here, I want to start by just saying thank you. Writing about fantasy football is a blast, and writing something that gets read is even better, so I appreciate everyone who took the time to tune in throughout the year. (Not including my brother-in-law, who “doesn’t stream defenses” and “just drafted the Jaguars.”).
Now let’s go out and stream against the Browns one more time!
All defenses owned in under 50% of Yahoo leagues.
Chicago (vs. Cleveland)
DeShone Kizer’s end zone fumble and league-leading 18th and 19th interceptions propelled Baltimore to 20 fantasy points on Sunday, the top overall defense heading into Monday Night Football. It was the 11th DST1 finish against the Browns in 14 games, including five top-three finishes. At east Kizer enters Week 16 knowing his coach has his back (no).
My guess is Kizer gets the quick hook after an early turnover. Backup Cody Kessler is much more accurate and careful with the football (64% completion percentage, three interceptions on 218 career attempts), but he takes sacks in droves (11% career sack rate, which would be worst in the league this season). You’re in good shape either way. The important things to remember are: (1) the Browns are allowing 12.7 fantasy points to opposing DSTs, most in the league; and (2) none of this is Hue Jackson’s fault. None. The buck stops anywhere else but there.
As for Chicago, they’re the poster child for how game script matters in DST scoring. The Bears are 5th in the NFL in sack rate, and if they ever played with a lead this could’ve translated to big sack totals and turnovers all season. Instead, with the 5th worst scoring offense in the league, that hasn’t happened much—the Bears have just six DST1 finishes this year.
Even so, the Bears are currently tied for 8th among DSTs on the season. How, you might ask? Well, in the Bears’ four wins their defense has averaged 16 fantasy points and finished top ten all four times. They crush when they’re winning. As 6.5 point home favorites against the winless Browns, this shapes up perfectly for a big week.
Washington (vs. Denver)
Brock Osweiler looked legitimately great on Thursday Night Football. I also looked great playing my daughter in Uno this weekend (draw four, young’un!). The point is we’re not overreacting to one performance against a battered Colts defense that isn’t any good even when healthy.
In Osweiler’s three starts this season, he’s completing 53% of his passes with a grisly 6.0 yards per attempt and four interceptions to three touchdowns. Opposing DSTs scored 8, 11, and 8 points in those three games. The Broncos will be on the road, possibly without Emmanuel Sanders, as 3.5 point underdogs in a game with one of the lowest over/unders of the week (41). At the very least, Washington has a floor.
I think there’s ceiling here, too. The Washington defense has quietly played pretty well of late, with five DST1 finishes in their last eight games. They’re averaging over three sacks per game and have forced 12 turnovers in that span. They’re not a premium option, but if you’ve streamed defense into the finals, Washington is a solid play this week.
Happy streaming. Any questions, hit me up on Twitter @scedar015.