We’ve arrived in Week 17 and our last IDP streamers of the regular season. While most leagues conclude in Week 16, there are several that take their leagues to the very end. There are several good options this week, especially along the line, but first, as always, let’s review how we did last week. Our linemen had their ups and downs. Steelers lineman Stephon Tuitt got us on the board with a sack while Cowboys end Tyrone Crawford had a solid three quarterback pressures but no sacks but did manage to record a pass defensed. Our linebacker, the 49ers Brock Coyle, led his team in tackles with eight while our defensive back, the Panthers Mike Adams had a solid six tackles himself.
But that was then and this is now. Let’s see who’s on tap for our last streamer opportunity of the season.
Because it’s Week 17 we’re going to get a little crazy and recommend either of the Seahawks pass-rushers. Both Clark and Bennett have put in solid seasons with Clark totaling nine sacks and Bennett 8.5. They’ve been able to reach those totals because of the amount of pressure they’ve created this season. Clark is 14th among defensive ends with 54 quarterback pressures on the season while Bennett is eighth with 64. Both will have plenty of opportunity to get to the quarterback as Arizona is third in the league with 37.6 pass attempts per game.
Speaking of the Cardinals, streaming against them has been akin to picking against the Browns this season in your suicide pool — if you did, you’re always going to win. Giving up two sacks last week was a highlight after giving up 20 (!) over the previous three weeks. They’re third-worst in the league in sacks allowed per game at 3.4 and have the second-worst pass-blocking unit according to PFF’s offensive line rankings. No one on their offensive line has a PFF grade of above 50, which means Clark and Bennett should eat in a must-win game where they’ll be extra motivated.
While fellow Patriots lineman Trey Flowers is owned in too many leagues to be classified as a streamer, that is not the case for Wise. His playing time just isn’t consistent enough to be a full-time fantasy starter after reaching a high of over 80 percent of defensive snaps one week down to 20 percent the next, Wise is a gamble but should pay off this week.
For starters, he’s coming in hot with two sacks over his last two games. And while those were his first two since way back in Week 5, Wise has actually been quite consistent at getting to the quarterback where he currently ranks 25th among ends with 35 quarterback pressures. He now goes after Jets quarterback/stopgap Bryce Petty, who was sacked three times last week. Even before Petty took over two weeks ago, the Jets haven’t been able to protect their quarterback. They have the sixth-worst offensive line when it comes to pass protection, according to PFF, and they give up the sixth-most fantasy points to edge rushers. The Patriots are still playing for home-field advantage, so they’ll give the Jets everything they got, which should mean a lot of pressure on Petty.
Undoubtedly, the highlight of Clayborn’s season was sacking Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott six times in Week 10, a feat out of the ordinary for Clayborn, who had more than six sacks in an entire season just once. But while the sack totals aren’t high, he’s been one of the most productive pass rushers in the league. His 11.4 percent pass-rush productivity percentage ranks eighth while his 53 quarterback pressures rank 15th. He will square off against a Carolina team that ranks eighth in fantasy points allowed to edge rushers.
But, Carolina ranks only 27th in the league in pass attempts so it’s not as if Clayborn will have many sack opportunities. They do, however, rank second in the league in rush attempts at 31.1 per-game. So it’s a good thing Clayborn is an excellent tackler, ranking 10th in tackling efficiency, and allowing just one missed tackle the entire season as he could be running into a lot of Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey.
Sheard hasn’t had quite the sack totals of his previous seasons but he’s been, by a fair margin, the best pass-rusher on the Colts this season. His 4.5 sacks lead the team and are, literally, 50 percent more than the next-best Colt. However, the Colts face the best possible team to stream against when it comes to rushing the quarterback and Sheard, who plays on 80 percent of the defensive snaps for the Colts, should have plenty of opportunities.
Not only is Houston’s offensive line dead-last in PFF’s pass-blocking grades, but they give up the most fantasy points to edge rushers in the entire league. If that wasn’t enough, they’re fourth-worst in turnovers per game at 1.8 and they’re second in the league in sacks allowed with 3.5 per game and are currently in the midst of a month-long stretch of not giving fewer than three up in any game. If Houston’s game script calls for the run, they’re currently 10th in the league in rush attempts, Sheard can also contribute there to as he’s fourth in the league with 29 run stops. Either way, Houston is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to edge rushers like Sheard.
Ever since Burgess took over for the injured Jamie Collins, Burgess has blossomed in the Browns burgeoning linebacking corps. Since moving in to the starting lineup in Week 10, Burgess ranks near the top of several defensive metrics including fourth in run-stops (18); ninth in run-stop percentage (10.3 percent); and 12th in quarterback pressures (6). It’s impressive anytime a player finishes near the top of one of these categories let alone three.
Now, those numbers won’t help IDP players but the 29 targets he’s seen in the passing game do, creating more opportunity for passes defensed or interceptions. Luckily for Burgess, Pittsburgh ranks fourth in the league in pass attempts and should be playing to win as they are still in contention for home-field advantage. The other number important to IDPers is his 52 tackles over these last seven weeks, averaging 7.5 per-game. Pittsburgh also ranks fifth in offensive plays per game, which should give Burgess plenty of chances to equal is average or exceed it.
There are a handful of IDP options on the Rams defense but one of the lesser-known, and less owned, is Johnson. Much like Burgess, he’s not a household name but has quietly been one of the better safeties in football totaling 70 tackles while only really starting full-time since Week 5. Beyond the raw numbers, his 6.5 percent run-stop percentage is third among all safeties while he’s 10th in tackling efficiency.
He now draws the red-hot 49ers, who will want to close out the season on a high-note and should be expected to continue relying on the passing game. Not only do they rank second in pass attempts per game with 38.3 but new starter Jimmy Garoppolo has yet to throw less than 30 pass attempts in each of his four starts. The 49ers have also had 15 passes defensed during Jimmy G’s tenure which is great news for Johnson who’s totaled 11 passes defensed this season, good for second on the Rams defense.