Welcome to week 15 and the playoffs! Congratulations on making it this far and good on you if you didn’t make it but you’re still trying to remain competitive to either avoid last place or just for some pride. I’ve noticed more of an all-or-nothing ownership trend in Yahoo versus a more spread-out rostering in ESPN. I also think this is going to be the last week of major ownership percentage changes as those who did not make the playoffs are going to lose interest in streaming defenses in addition to playoff rosters that have ridden defenses like the Bills, Cowboys, 49ers, etc. But first, let’s be accountable: Another coin flip week as two teams came through for us, the Bengals and the Raiders got the job done. The Steelers tried, but in the end, it wasn’t much of anything to note with a paltry three points. But hey, at least it was positive points. If you went with the Titans who actively hurt your team’s score with negative points, I am sorry. You would have been better off leaving that spot empty if your league allowed it. Two teams got it done, two teams did not. It’s below what we were hoping for but honestly, I’m not too bothered by it considering six teams were on bye. Fortunately, we’re past all the bye weeks so we should have some variety to pick from again. As always, we’re looking for teams rostered around 50% or lower rostered.
Please note that there is a good chance better teams are out there in your league than these four, but we cannot assume they’re out there for every league. Stay active and monitor the league home page, there is also a chance someone will drop a defense after the waivers clear for this week as well.
Green Bay Packers
Opponent: vs. LA Rams
ESPN % Rostered: 37%
Yahoo % Rostered: 36%
Hosting a team from Los Angeles featuring Baker Mayfield in the tundra that is Lambeau field in December at night? This should be interesting. It is still a full week out, but temperatures are looking to be around 10 degrees at game time. The Packers are coming off a bye week with some extra time to prepare for this one. The Rams are giving up the second most fantasy points to opposing defenses this season. Led by Jaire Alexander, who is top five on the season in both interceptions and passes defended, Green Bay has had at least one interception in six of their last seven games. The Packers are in the top five of completions and passing yards allowed this year as well as the best team defensively in yards allowed after the catch. Green Bay also has the second-highest blitz rate in the NFL and looks to increase their sack count against a Rams team that has given up 15 sacks in their last four games.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) December 4, 2022
Opponent: vs NY Giants
ESPN % Rostered: 35%
Yahoo % Rostered: 28%
Now we move to the rematch for the Commanders who have had three weeks now to prepare for the Giants if you consider they were on a bye and their previous game was against New York before that as well. Don’t look now, but Washington is a top-10 defense in fantasy. Led by Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne who are both tied for second in tackles for loss on the year in the NFL, the Commanders are top 10 in rushing yards allowed and have allowed the second-fewest rushing touchdowns in the league. They are a team with the most quarterback knockdowns in the league to go with their fourth-highest pressure rate on the season and will host Daniel Jones. Washington has accumulated 10 sacks in their last three games, including five sacks in their previous matchup against the Giants two weeks ago.
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) December 4, 2022
Opponent: vs Cardinals
ESPN % Rostered: 34%
Yahoo % Rostered: 43%
Here we are taking a look at another top defense that is hosting backup quarterback Colt McCoy. Denver is top ten in passing yards allowed and top three in yards per completion and passing touchdowns allowed. They have the second most blitzes in the league which has resulted in six sacks in their last two games. More impressive is their five interceptions in those same last two games. Now they host an Arizona team that has been sacked 10 times in their last three games including six last night against the Patriots. If you like turnovers, well the Cardinals have turned it over 5 times as well in their last three games.
SECOND INT OF THE GAME FOR @josey_jewell!!
📺: CBS pic.twitter.com/NSUfBVwrur
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) December 12, 2022
Opponent: vs Ravens
ESPN % Rostered: 27%
Yahoo % Rostered: 20%
Lamar Jackson is questionable to start the week and Tyler Huntley remains in concussion protocol. This pick is more if the Ravens are going to have to start undrafted rookie Anthony Brown or practice squad call-up, Brett Hundley. Fun fact, the only game in which Cleveland did not register a sack this season was the game they scored three defensive touchdowns. In their last three games, the Browns have 5 sacks and 5 turnovers (including that aforementioned zero-sack game). Myles Garrett is third on the season in sacks and sixth in tackles for a loss. Baltimore has only had one game this season (week 2) where they did not allow at least one sack. In their last three games, Baltimore has allowed 7 sacks and turned the ball over 4 times.
Jadeveon with the tip, Deion with the INT 🤟
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 11, 2022
These teams did not meet the consideration threshold for the main highlight section, but you should check to see if they’re available in your league:
Kansas City Chiefs – ESPN: 61% Y!: 90% (Come on ESPN teams, I believe in you)
Footnote: I went back and forth considering adding the Jets here as they are a top defense who have the misfortune of hosting the explosive Lions. A lot of factors both for and against led me to just leave them as a mention here for you to consider if nothing else is to your liking.
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Photos by Zach Bolinger & Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire | Design by Michael Packard (@designsbypack on Twitter @ IG)