We’re back again for the penultimate edition of our weekly dive into 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 15:
Seattle Seahawks (41%)
@ Carolina Panthers (-5.5)
Seattle has an easy top-10 valuation this week, ranking ninth in fantasy points per game (8.5) while Carolina ranks 10th-worst in fantasy points per game allowed (8.8). Kyle Allen has regressed significantly in recent weeks, averaging 3.0 turnovers per game and 5.3 sacks per game since Week 11. Over this span he also ranks as PFF’s third-worst-graded quarterback. Over the last four weeks (14.0), or seven weeks (12.1), Carolina ranks bottom-five in fantasy points per game allowed.
Kansas City Chiefs (31%)
vs. Denver Broncos (-11.5)
Drew Lock stole the show in Week 14, but he’s still a third-string rookie quarterback who averaged just 4.6 yards per attempt in his only other career start, after grading out bottom-seven (of 74 qualifying quarterbacks) this preseason. Kansas City’s defense has also been much better than their ownership implies, ranking eighth in fantasy points per game (8.6). In games they’ve won by seven or more points, they’re averaging 13.2 fantasy points per game. As 11.5-point home favorites, they should be in store for a big Week 15.
New York Giants (6%)
vs. Miami Dolphins (-3.0)
Death, taxes, and defenses playing the Miami Dolphins.
Miami is giving up 11.7 fantasy points per game to opposing defenses, which ranks third-most among all offenses. Among all defenses, only New England (15.8) and Pittsburgh (12.5) are averaging more fantasy points than Miami is allowing. Miami also ranks worst in sacks allowed per game (4.1), third-worst in turnovers per game (1.9), and third-worst in points scored per game (17.0).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4%)
@ Detroit Lions (-4.0)
Typically we want to play the teams facing Tampa Bay, but third-string quarterback David Blough is the more enticing target in this matchup. Tampa Bay has exceeded 15.0 fantasy points in two of their last three games, while Detroit has surrendered 15.0 or more fantasy points in two of their last three games.
Looking ahead (Week 16): Indianapolis vs. Carolina, Kansas City @ Chicago, Seattle vs. Arizona, Denver vs. Detroit, Washington vs. New York Giants