Streaming Defense: Week 17
Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire
We have come so far and we are almost at the end of this year’s journey. If your league finished in week 16, I hope everything went well en route to a championship run. If you are still going, we will take a look at one last week of streamers to hopefully finish you out strong. And what if you are already out of it? Well you can pick up some teams to leave your championship contenders in a bad spot. Whatever your reason for playing on, let’s see what we happened last week:
|Team||Opponent||Fantasy Points||Percent Owned||Interceptions||Sacks|
|NY Jets||Green Bay||8||10%||0||4|
As usual, we had a mix of proven commodities (Baltimore, Jacksonville, Tennessee, New England, Los Angeles, Chicago) mixed with as many “surprises” on the list. Atlanta is the first surprise on our list, and it’s safe to say any team playing Carolina while Carolina is missing Cam Newton is a good choice. Atlanta’s defense has now showed well in three of the last four weeks with 15 sacks, 8 forced turnovers, and 2 defensive scores over that stretch. I will gladly start them against Tampa Bay if I can find them out there. Next up was Dallas taking on Tampa Bay, and they predictably shut down a bad opponent. We had Dallas on our short list, and this paid off in a big way if you grabbed them. Oakland popped up with 12 points, but I have almost no faith in them. This season has gone nowhere, and it’s clear Jon Gruden wants to rebuild from scratch. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him move Derek Carr in the offseason in order to further the trend he’s already started. We finish up with the last three streamers on the list in Miami, the Jets, and San Francisco. We had Miami on our radar thanks to a wonderful matchup against Jacksonville’s inept offense. The Jets and 49ers were more surprising. Both had matchups against good teams, and both got the better of their opponents fantasy-wise. I’ll ignore the 49ers, but the Jets are interesting if their offense can stay out of trouble. So how about this last week of the season? Let’s see.
Let’s start out quickly with the Houston Texans. Houston has been a good defense this year, despite low point totals in the last couple weeks. They are playing against a bad offense (Jacksonville), they have something on the line (they pretty much must win to take the division), and they are playing at home. There are so many things I like here that this would be an easy top-5 overall choice for me this week. Still, they are out there in 10% of leagues. Check it out just in case.
Like the Texans, Seattle is in a great matchup against an Arizona Cardinals team that gives up the second most point to opposing defenses. They are not playing for as much (they will either be the 5 or 6 seed…a playoff spot is guaranteed and the division is out of reach), but that actually means something with the 5-seed meaning they would avoid the Bears in the first game. I expect Seattle to come out strong at home and wipe away their division opponent. This is another great option if you believe in this new version of the Legion of Boom.
Our last under-owned team really comes down to a “this or that” situation between the Titans and the Colts. They are both 9-6 and the winner will make the playoffs while the loser goes home. The Colts have dominated the Titans in recent years (Andrew Luck is 10-0 against them) and they have been playing well with 3 wins in a row, and 8 of their last 9. Still, Tennessee has gone 6-1 at home this year and this battle is in Tennessee. So, it really comes down to who you think wins. I personally expect the Titans to break their Luck-slump, but I could easily be talked into this one.
Kansas City (41%, stream of the week)
Kansas City is our first true streamer on the list, and they check all the important boxes for us in week 17. Playing at home? Check. Playing against a bad offense? Oakland, so check. This game matters? If the Chargers win and Kansas City loses, then L.A. steals the division. That’s another check. Kansas City generates plenty of pressure up front with multiple sacks in every game since week 3. I like them against Oakland and they are my streamer of the week.
Buffalo (34%), Miami (32%)
Our next two choices are a classic case of bad offense VS bad offense in a game that doesn’t really matter to anyone involved, except for maybe changing draft position. Buffalo and Miami are both dead in the water, though the Dolphins could finish the year at 500, which I guess counts for something. Still, Miami is 1-6 over their last 7 road games and 1-5 over their last 6 Buffalo contests. While I think Miami is currently the better team, I can’t ignore the Dolphins road struggles. So, I expect Buffalo to take this one, though both defenses could very well be serviceable. Pick the team you prefer and see what happens.
As I mentioned earlier, the Falcons defense has been good over the last 4 weeks. They have held opponents to 21 points per game over that stretch, but they have really made their money through sacks, turnovers, and defensive scores. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers have allowed 3 sacks per game over their last four contests in addition to allowing 5 turnovers in that time. I expect another Falcons win to finish their season while I imagine things will end quietly for Tampa Bay and their Merry-Go-Round at the quarterback position.