Streaming Defense: Week 12

Mike takes a look at the best streaming options for week 12.

We have finished week 11, and that means most of us are now eyeing the playoffs. Your regular season probably ends in week 12 or week 13, so we need to start thinking about the road ahead. You might just need to grab your playoff defenses a week early, so we need to look ahead at what those matchups will be. Our streamers this week will also have their week 13 and week 14 matchups listed just in case. Ideally, you can grab a streamer and hold them for a few games. Either way, I’ll give you my favorite streamer for this week as we’ve regularly done. We’ll also discuss under-owned teams that should be held right now. Let’s get ready for a long playoff run leading in an eventual championship. Here’s how week 11 shook out.


Rank Team % Owned Opponent Sacks INTs Fum Rec Fantasy Points
1 Atlanta Falcons 2% Carolina Panthers 5 4 0 26
2 New Orleans Saints 81% Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2 4 0 17
3 Cleveland Browns 48% Pittsburgh Steelers 4 4 0 16
4 Baltimore Ravens 83% Houston Texans 7 1 1 15
5 San Francisco 49ers 94% Arizona Cardinals 4 0 2 14
6 Oakland Raiders 64% Cincinnati Bengals 5 1 1 13
7 Kansas City Chiefs 31% Los Angeles Chargers 2 4 0 11
8 New England Patriots 98% Philadelphia Eagles 5 0 1 11
9 Buffalo Bills 91% Miami Dolphins 7 0 1 10
10 Indianapolis Colts 38% Jacksonville Jaguars 2 1 0 10
11 Los Angeles Rams 94% Chicago Bears 3 1 0 9
12 New York Jets 40% Washington Redskins 6 1 0 9


Once again, we managed to find the leaderboard with our stream of the week. We went with the Oakland Raiders based on their reliable play, their capable defense, and their terrible weak opponent (the Bengals). The 13 points from the Raiders puts us at 106 for the season, or good enough for 4th place right now as we head into crunch time. Sure, things have been good so far. We need to step it up for the playoff run though. I want to help you win a championship…not just to say we did pretty well.

How did our other teams fair? The Vikings, Panthers, and Jaguars were our under-owned teams, and they finished with four, two, and six points respectively. Our other streamers were the Cowboys and Jets, and they finished with three and nine points. We really hit the jackpot in rolling with the Raiders, and now we move on to week 12. So what’s waiting for us?


Under-Owned Teams


Pittsburgh Steelers (@Cin, 83%)


It’s important as the season rolls on not to get stuck in the mud with our opinions. If you asked me during the first five weeks, I could have accurately told you that the Steelers were playing like trash. They went 1-4 with their only win coming over the hapless Bengals. However, something changed. Minkah Fitzpatrick arrived via trade. Fitzpatrick joined the Steelers in week 3, and the change on the Pittsburgh defense has been clear. Before the trade, they gave up over 30 points per game and after they have given up only 17.6 per game. The Steelers defense has put up 10+ fantasy points in 7 of their last 8 games. They are downright good, and they get their favorite punching bag…the Bengals. I love the Steelers this week after last week’s Browns game, and I think they come out strong. Grab them if you’re lucky enough to find them, and hold them. They play Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Arizona in their next three matchups.


New Orleans Saints (vs Car, 81%)


With or without Drew Brees, the Saints have been one of the best teams in the NFL this year. They are 8-2 and 2-1 in their division, and this is largely thanks to a defense that knows how to limit opponents’ scoring. They play the Panthers this week. Here is what Carolina has allowed per game over their last four outings: 4.5 sacks and 2.5 turnovers while scoring less than 16 points. Basically, the Panthers are in mid-collapse and I don’t think they right the ship against a playoff-bound Saints team. Grab the Saints for a safe pick, though I don’t expect them to have the highest upside this week. Still, they are a good option.


Oakland Raiders (@NYJ, 62%) 


I mentioned my surprise at listing the Steelers after how their season started, and I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention the Raiders. I doubted them hard, but I am starting to believe. Jon Gruden has this team playing hard, and it all starts up front. Josh Jacobs is averaging 4.8 yards per carry and the whole rushing attack looks great. On defense, they have been getting to the opponent’s quarterback and forcing mistakes. They are forcing 4 sacks and 2.3 turnovers per game over their last three outings. The Jets are another great matchup, and Oakland should keep rolling. Grab the Raiders if you can and enjoy a likely win here.


Streaming Options


Tennessee Titans (vs Jax, 16%)


I think “average” or “middling” describes the Titans’ season pretty well. They are 5-5, they sit at third in their division (1 game out of first and 1 game out of last), and they have scored almost exactly the same number of points that they’ve given up. Their defense has looked good at times but disappeared at others. They recently beat the Chiefs but lost to the Panthers. The secret to Tennessee’s success is running the football and sitting on a lead. Jacksonville gives up piles of rushing yards to everyone they play, and I expect Derrick Henry to capitalize. I imagine the Titans jump to an early lead and Jacksonville is left chasing. With any luck, we get a couple of turnovers and this becomes a runaway. I like this matchup, and it should lead to good things.


Detroit Lions (@Was, 7%)


Welcome to the battle between the stoppable force and the movable object. The Lions defense has given up almost 24 points per game over their last 3 games. They forced only one turnover in that time and about two sacks per game. They look pretty bad. Bring on the Redskins offense. Washington has scored 35 points total over their last four games–good for less than nine per game. They have been sacked more than four times per game in that span, and they have struggled. Since week 3, the Redskins have only topped 15 points twice: against the Dolphins and Jets. I think the Lions are better than those teams, and I think they come away with an easy win here.


Atlanta Falcons (vs TB, 3% stream of the week) 


We finish up with what looks like a real bottom-of-the-barrel choice here in the Falcons. From weeks 1-8, Atlanta gave up more than 30(!) points per game. They averaged less than one sack per game and 0.5 turnovers per game. That is a terrible team. Going into the bye week, I thought Atlanta was lucky to not be considered the worst…considering the wealth of other terrible teams this year. However, it’s been a different story since the bye. In the Falcons’ last two games (against the Saints and Panthers), they have given up only six points per game, tallied 5.5 sacks per game, and forced 2 turnovers per game.

Looking at the Buccaneers, here are some Jameis Winston stats: he’s thrown 13 interceptions in his last five games, including four multiple-interception games in that span. He’s fumbled the ball in six straight games. He’s been sacked 3+ times per game in that span. I think the Falcons are turning things around, and I expect them to pound the Buccaneers. Maybe it isn’t a blowout, but I expect some big mistakes by Winston. I’m rolling with the 3% Falcons as my stream of the week.


(Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire)

One response to “Streaming Defense: Week 12”

  1. Ethan says:

    I thought the Raiders were a good play at first but it’s worth noting that the team is traveling literally across the country this week and I’m hesitant to use them. Both of their really good performances came from back to back weeks at home.

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