DST Streaming: Week 14
December 5, 2017 | Scott Cedar
We’re at the one-and-done point of the season, where there’s a tendency to play it safe lest your next lineup decision be your last. For most positions, that’s probably good advice.
At defense, it is all about the matchup. Case in point: last week the Broncos putrid offense propelled the Miami Dolphins to 26 fantasy points, making them the top overall defense in Week 13. The Miami Dolphins came into the week as Football Outsiders’ 31st ranked defense, behind only the Oakland Raiders. Yes, those same Oakland Raiders who were a DST1 the prior week against… you guessed it, Frank Stallone! I mean, the Broncos.
So yes, by all means, most of your lineup decisions can be settled by riding the folks who got you there. But at defense, the matchup should trump. Let’s get to it.
Cincinnati (vs. Chicago)
The Bears are doing everything they can to hide their rookie, but Trubisky still does the two things we love. Only Jacoby Brissett and Brett Hundley are taking sacks at a higher rate, and Trubisky is one of the least accurate passers in the league. As a result, the Bears have allowed six DST1 performances in Trubisky’s eight starts. They’re allowing 9.5 fantasy points per game in that span, which would rank 6th most across the entire season.
The Bengals, Monday Night Football collapse notwithstanding, have been a decent unit this season (DST1 in five of their 12 games). They’ve also taken advantage of good matchups in recent weeks, with at least four combined sacks and turnovers in three straight games (vs. Denver, Tennessee, and Cleveland) prior to Monday night.
The 39.5 point over/under is the lowest of the week, and it’s hard to see where the offense comes from in this game. Other streamers offer more upside, but as big home favorites (-6.5), the Bengals are the safest play of the week.
New York Jets (@ Denver)
The first thing you want in the playoffs is safety. During their eight game losing streak, the Broncos have not allowed an opposing defense to finish worse than 13th among DSTs in a week.
The second thing you want in the playoffs is upside. During said losing streak, five defenses facing the Broncos have finished in the top five among DSTs.
The Broncos are allowing 16 fantasy points in this span, which would be most among defenses by a mile across the entire season. As I covered in the intro, the Broncos have made literally the worst defenses into fantasy starters. I try to stay away from bad defenses on the road, but it’s hard to ignore how generous the Broncos have been.
Green Bay (@ Cleveland)
Another bad defense on the road! The case for streaming against the Browns is easy. They’re allowing the most points to opposing DSTs (12.7 fantasy points per game). They have the most turnovers in the league. They’re third in sacks allowed. They’re dead last in points scored. So, yeah, there’s a lot going for Green Bay. Coming off a seven sack performance against Tampa, I expect the Packers to be the consensus top pickup for Week 14.
I have them third because I could actually see this going horribly wrong. Since Kizer’s one-game benching in Week 7, the Browns have played only one home game (against the Jaguars) and have played two other games against top defenses (Vikings and Chargers).
This tough schedule has masked the fact that Kizer is improving (still bad, but inching closer to competent), David Njoku is emerging, Corey Coleman is back, and Josh Gordon IS BACK. That’s a lot of big play weapons to employ against Green Bay’s bottom ten pass defense. I could also see the Green Bay offense struggling on the road–they’re allowing a ton of sacks, and the Browns have an underrated defensive line.
The Packers are only 3.5 point favorites against the 0-12 Browns, telling you Vegas thinks this is a closer game than is consensus. Green Bay is a fine play this week. But if you like the defense you already own, I would probably keep them over the Packers.
Buffalo (vs. Indianapolis)
It looks like Tyrod Taylor will miss this game. Assuming he does, I want no part of the Bills. Opportunity matters bigly for fantasy defenses, and Nathan Peterman will likely tank any opportunity the Bills DST has to take advantage of this prime matchup.
If Taylor plays, this is, well, a prime matchup for the Bills defense. The Colts take sacks at a higher rate than anyone in the league and have been one of the most generous teams to opposing DSTs. Given how the Bills have been gashed in recent weeks, I’d still have them 4th behind Green Bay as more of a deeper league play.
Happy streaming. Any questions, hit me up on twitter @scedar015.