Fantasy Football

2017 Fantasy Football Week 15 Defenses: Stream-O-Matic

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Alright, you have made it another week here in the fantasy playoffs. If you are still with me, that means the Stream-O-Matic has been working well enough for you. Well, ‘well enough’ isn’t our goal here at Stream-O-Matic HQ. Knowing this, I plan to cover 21 of the 32 possible streaming defenses in this article. You want more – YOU GOT MORE!

Disclaimer: I do feel sorry for the exhaustion your brain will feel after reading a piece this long about defenses. But hey, it’s the fantasy playoffs so I gotta turn up. Starting… NOW!

Here’s what caught my eye in Week 14:


  • There is the Kansas City Chiefs defense we all drafted in the preseason! Was this more a product of good defense or poor offense provided by Derek Carr and the Raiders? I don’t want to find out since they attract a hot Chargers offense in Week 15.
  • Speaking of, how about the dominance displayed by the Los Angeles Chargers this past Sunday? They held a strong Washington offense to just 200 total yards. While the fantasy points weren’t as fruitful, the performance spoke volumes about how far this unit has come this season. I would search waivers for a better option considering the Chiefs aren’t a fun offense to stream against. You could certainly do worse, though.
  • If you started the Los Angeles Rams defense, you got your touchdown but not much else. That saved an otherwise dreadful outing. I don’t think this week will be much different against the Seahawks, making them a risky start.
  • The whole ‘stream against the Browns’ trick once again didn’t disappoint. The Green Bay Packers staged a huge comeback in the second half in large part to their defense. An incredibly terrible throw by DeShone Kizer gave the Pack an interception in overtime that set up the game winning touchdown. You got your glory, now drop the Green Bay DST like their hot. They face the Panthers and Vikings the next two weeks.

Put on your swim trunks and flippy-floppies, because we are about to deep dive into Week 15 on the defensive front.

2017 Fantasy Football Week 15 Defenses: Stream-O-Matic

Scoring

I use a traditional rotisserie scoring style commonly used in fantasy baseball season-long leagues to give point totals to each team.

Categories

The categories for the chart are listed below along with links to websites that I use to find this data.

  • Own%: Ownership percentages based on ESPN leagues. This gives me an idea of which fantasy football defenses might be available in differently sized leagues. This doesn’t factor into the standings.
  • Location: Generally speaking, defenses play better at home than on the road. Thus, I will give a five-point advantage to all home teams.
  • Wind: The only weather element that has shown a direct correlation with point totals is winds in excess of 15 MPH. I have added another five-point bonus to both teams playing in such a windy condition.
  • Vegas: Using Vegas odds, I will look at the spread and over/under to generate the game score the bettors go against. This game score depicts what the game flow could look like and, therefore, which fantasy football defenses are in a good position to succeed.
  • oSAC%: To gauge how good (or bad) an opposing offensive line might be, look at the sack percentage for that team’s offense. Not only are some offensive lines bad, but the quarterbacks they have don’t show the ability to avoid the sack and that shows in this statistic.
  • oINT%: The opponent’s interception percentage obviously helps in streaming a defense. I didn’t use turnover percentage because fumbles can be a little fluky and turnover percentage uses both fumbles and interceptions.
  • FPPG: I used ESPN defensive scoring rankings to determine a ranking of the fantasy football defenses.
  • DVOA: The defenses will be ranked by how well they have performed this year by DVOA efficiency ratings.

Defenses on Bye Week: NONE!

Stream-O-Matic Chart

RkDefenseOwn%OppLocationWindVegasoSAC%oINT%FPPGDVOAOverall
1Jaguars98.0HOU503128283232156.0
2Ravens83.9CLE0528.526323131153.5
3Saints34.4NYJ5031.2530122527130.3
4Panthers61.2GB502431202125126.0
5Vikings75.8CIN5030.7522161924116.8
6Broncos62.2IND0024.2532152223116.3
7Eagles85.8NYG0028.511102930108.5
8Redskins8.5ARI50252726718108.0
9Lions56.2CHI50262419276107.0
10Rams78.7SEA001015213028104.0
11Chargers74.6KC0517.51962826101.5
12Dolphins7.0BUF0018.75292317996.8
13Bills32.4MIA5018.751329121693.8
14Colts2.4DEN5015253061293.0
15Bears29.2DET007.52111262287.5
16Packers50.5CAR009.25172713.51783.8
17Cardinals33.6WAS009.5239112981.5
1849ers2.8TEN5020.2518313481.3
19Titans53.2SF0014.52018161179.5
20Seahawks88.6LAR5017.583242178.5
21Falcons15.4TB0025121313.51376.5
22Browns12.7BAL558.59254.51976.0
23Cowboys32.1OAK0020.75617201073.8
24Steelers80.5NE506.75101232065.8
25Patriots74.7PIT0013.2522215759.3
26Texans57.5JAX004.7578181552.8
27Buccaneers10.0ATL504.54248146.5
28Raiders14.0DAL509.7514141245.8
29Chiefs49.9LAC5514.5179.5345.0
30Giants7.3PHI508.51642540.5
31Bengals72.4MIN003559.5830.5
32Jets6.9NO001324.51424.5

Snooze-a-palooza of the Week

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There are a couple of games that could be low-scoring this week. Starting on Thursday night, the ColtsBroncos contest should be particularly ugly. At least it’s indoors instead of in a snowstorm, right? Well, no, that’s what made the Colts actually fun to watch last week. Anyway, neither of these offenses have the goods offensively to light up a scoreboard. The Broncos are going to have a hay-day against that porous Indy o-line and should have a glorious fantasy showing. The Colts worry me a little defensively; they are better left for the DFS lunatics.

Next up, we have my ‘sleeper of a sleeper’. The LionsBears matchup seems like a defensive struggle. Can’t harp enough about how impressed I am at times of the Bears defense. With a better offense/team record, that defense is talked about more. Speaking of poor offense, Detroit DST should feast on sack potential. The Bears offense showed promise last week, but it was against a broken Bengals team. Just like in the first game, you can play the Lions defense in your playoff matchup and the Bears defense in a DFS setting.

Barn-Lighting Scoreboard-Burner

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I’ve got a trio of games that should end up in shootouts. If you were trying to get cute and play one of these defenses, stop right there! Well, don’t actually stop, like keep reading and stuff.

There is reason to believe the  Cowboys and Raiders will run up the point total. Obviously, no one is thinking about playing the Raiders as a DST option. However, some are thinking of using the Dallas DST as a streamer. Really? You are going to put the fate of your playoffs in the hands of the seventh worst DVOA defense in the league? Have fun with that.

Stray from the defenses in this FalconsBuccaneers rivalry as well. I know neither quarterback has looked himself this year, but these defenses won’t be able to capitalize. This game should be a slugfest with both offenses trying to match each other in Tampa.

The Patriots and Steelers will battle it out for the top seed in the AFC. If you watched football last week, you know that both of these defenses looked sorry as hell. The Steelers made Alex Collins look like a five-time Pro-Bowler despite snagging the win. Not to be outdone, New England didn’t have any answers for Kenyan Drake and the Miami offense in a loss. Are you really going to trust either of these defenses against the offenses in this game? I’m expecting this game to have the highest point total of the week.

Shoulder Shrugger of the Century of the Week

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I have two games pegged as personal shoulder shruggers in Week 15. One matchup is an easy choice, as the Dolphins and Bills have been dislocating shoulders all season. As mentioned, the Dolphins pull out a miraculous upset over the Patriots last week. In the process, they have us wondering if Tom Brady was suffering from food poisoning. The Bills walk victoriously in the winter wonderland that was New Era Field last week. How do they stack up against each other this week?

Let’s play the weekly ‘in-or-out’ game again for the Bills. If Tyrod Taylor is playing, I like this to be a close, possibly low-scoring matchup. However, if Nate Peterman plays, suddenly the script flips. The Dolphins absolutely wrecked the Broncos a couple of weeks ago with their incompetent quarterback. This could make for a similar result. I would prefer the Dolphins DST this week if you can’t find a better option.



The next weird game is between the Titans and 49ers. I know, doesn’t Jimmy Garrapolo look awesome? He hasn’t quite become a fantasy stud yet, but he definitely completes that offense. While the 49ers are on the upswing, the Titans are on the downswing. Marcus Mariota looks pretty terrible and the offense has sputtered. Will the trends continue this week?

I know these defenses are ranked right by each other, but like I said the recent trends would suggest they shouldn’t be. The 49ers have been a much better team the last few weeks. The Titans just put up seven points against Arizona. Call me crazy, but I think the 49ers win by double digits this week. I wouldn’t dare stream the Niners defense in my playoff matchup, but I would consider them as a contrarian play in DFS tournaments.

Notables

New Orleans Saints, DST3 (34.4%)

The Saints defense has been the most improved unit in football from 2016 to 2017. I have talked about it almost ad nasuem this season – a fantastic draft set up this defense for a few years. This makes the Saints a completely different team, one that can run the ball down a team’s throat and make games seem more out of reach than they are.

That was, until last week versus the Falcons. Now, there were plenty of questionable moments from the referees and bad play-calling on offense. However, I just wanted to show how solid this defense is – despite all the penalties against them and a struggling-ish Drew Brees, they still held their own. They kept Julio Jones in check and forced timely turnovers. All this to say, you shouldn’t be discouraged from what you saw in the New Orleans DST last Thursday night.

This week, the matchup couldn’t be any juicier. The Jets come marching in to the Superdome reeling after an injury to upstart quarterback Josh McCown. With Bryce Petty under center, we can expect plenty of Kizer-esque chucks into the vicinity of defensive backs. With that in mind and Vegas pegging them as a 16-point favorite, the Saints should be an auto-start at DST in Week 15.

Carolina Panthers, DST4 (61.2%)

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The Panthers defense that showed up against a normally rock-solid Vikings offense is one I can get behind. Sure, they let Adam Thielen run rampant, but who doesn’t these days? (Boy, who thought we would be saying that before the season started.) The run game was completely shut down and Case Keenum looked his worst in 2017. This was a very promising performance and leads us to Week 15 scratching our heads.

They play the Packers this week, which has been a nice offense to pick on in recent weeks. This, of course, because Brett Hundley has been acclimating himself to NFL game speed for the first time in his career. With Aaron Rodgers potentially returning this week though, what the hell happens here? Does he come back firing bullets like the good ol’ Rodgers? Or is he rusty and make bad decisions by trying to force plays to happen?

Let me make this easy for you. If Hundley starts, play the Carolina DST and expect a top 10 week if not better. The Packers were down 21-7 to the Browns late in the fourth quarter for pete’s sake. However, if Rodgers is out there, I don’t want my fantasy dreams ending because I played a defense against one of the greatest to play the position. I am sitting the Panthers defense in that scenario and streaming someone else. I will be keeping a close eye on this developing situation.

Washington Redskins, DST8 (8.5%)

You probably saw this ranking and uttered ‘eww’ aloud in your cubicle by accident. No? Just me? Alright, good talk.

The Redskins have been abysmal on defense for most of the season. To emphasis this point, all I need to say is that they’ve allowed 30+ points in six of their last eight games. I want to be clear here – this is a subpar defense at best.

So why am I recommending them this week? Well, their opponent this week, the Cardinals, are not nearly as good as teams they’ve faced in those last eight games. The schedule included the Eagles, Cowboys (2), Seahawks, Vikings, Saints, and Chargers. Those are elite offenses in my book and far ahead of what Arizona puts out there. The Cardinals have scored one touchdown in their last two games. They simply cannot move the ball with enough consistency to scare any defense.

You are playing for ceiling here, which is risky in a playoff matchup, but what is there to lose? If the Titans can hold them to 12 measly points, why can’t the Redskins? I agree with the chart here and have them in my top 10.

Week 16 Preview

Just as I did last week, I will give a preview of the following week in case you are looking ahead. As mentioned last week, come playoff time, there’s no shame in rostering two defenses. If you are lucky enough to make it to the championship weeks, then you will be ahead of the curve on streaming a defense. There are a few options next week that could be available or dropped by another owner in your league.

Here are the way-too-early Stream-O-Matic rankings of the top 12 defenses in Week 16:

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  1. Ravens (vs. IND)
  2. Bears (vs. CLE)
  3. Rams (@ TEN)
  4. Steelers (@ HOU)
  5. Jaguars (@ SF)
  6. Vikings (@ GB)
  7. Chargers (@ NYJ)
  8. Eagles (vs. OAK)
  9. Redskins (vs. DEN)
  10. Saints (vs. ATL)
  11. Patriots (vs. BUF)
  12. Lions (@ CIN)

Similar to this week with the Panthers, make sure that Rodgers isn’t dressing for the Packers in Week 16 before trusting the Minnesota DST. The Bears are an obvious stash while the Redskins could have consecutive useful weeks for you and help you save a roster spot.


Check out the rest of our 2017 Fantasy Football content from our outstanding team of writers.

About Tyler Thompson

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