We’re back again for our weekly report highlighting the top streaming defenses of the week. We can’t all be so lucky and own the New England Patriots defense, a legitimate league-winner. And, I’m sure, not all of you listened to me earlier in the year and held onto the 49ers or Steelers — likely top-three defenses all year. For everyone else, you may want to consider streaming defenses.
This offseason, I recommended this approach, and outlined my preferred strategy for streaming defenses week-to-week. Obviously, we’re looking to target good defenses against bad or inexperienced quarterbacks. Bonus points are awarded to defenses heavily favored and/or playing at home. Beyond that, the stats that matter most are opposing passer rating vs. passer rating and sacks per dropback vs. sacks per dropback allowed.
Each week in this space we’ll be looking at the top team defenses available on your waiver wire (roughly 50% owned or less on Yahoo) to add for the upcoming week.
Here are the defenses you should be looking to add in Week 14:
Green Bay Packers (48%)
vs. Washington Redskins (-14.0)
This is an especially tough week for streaming defenses, mostly because three of the four recommended defenses from last week’s article now have an ownership percentage well above 50%, and all three have top matchups. However, so too does the fourth defense we mentioned – Green Bay.
The Packers took advantage of a soft matchup last week, intercepting three passes and scoring 10.0 fantasy points against the Giants. Now, they draw a Washington offense that worst in points scored per game (14.4) and sixth-worst in fantasy points per game allowed (10.4) to opposing defenses. Of 36 qualifying quarterbacks, Dwayne Haskins ranks worst in passer rating (58.5), interception percentage (4.5%), and sack rate (13.3%). As 14.0-point home favorites, Green Bay feels like a lock for top-six production.
Houston Texans (26%)
vs. Denver Broncos (-8.0)
Drew Lock performed better than expected in his debut, but when he averaged just 4.8 yards per attempt, that says more about our expectations than anything else. And those low expectations were warranted, after Lock graded seventh-worst of 74 qualifying quarterbacks this preseason. Without Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt, Houston’s defense isn’t much to write home about, but given the matchup, they’re a safe bet to finish top-10 this week.
Indianapolis Colts (27%)
@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5)
Similarly, Indianapolis’ defense isn’t anything special, and they are road underdogs, but the matchup is strong enough to consider them as a top-12 option. Tampa Bay ranks fifth-worst in fantasy points per game allowed (10.7), on the back of Jameis Winston’s league-leading 20 interceptions and nearly league-leading (off by one) 40 sacks.
Seattle Seahawks (39%)
@ Los Angeles Rams (-2.5)
Unlike the other defenses on our list, Seattle is well above average, ranking 10th in fantasy points per game (8.5). Los Angeles, meanwhile, is giving up the 11th-most fantasy points per game (8.0) to opposing defenses. Even after his big game last week, Jared Goff has now recorded a passer rating below 83.5 in 11 of his last 15 games. For perspective, Kyle Allen’s 83.6 passer rating ranks just 29th of 34 qualifying quarterbacks. Like Indianapolis, they should be viewed as a borderline top-12 defense this week.