The best defenses to stream in fantasy in Week 14
Looking for a defense to run out there in the first round of your fantasy playoffs? Mike Tagliere has some ideas.
The best defenses to stream in fantasy in Week 14
There are some weeks during the season when drafting a quarterback in the first round works out for fantasy players, and even though their process wasn’t ideal, they reaped the rewards. There are other times where you are laughing at those who took an early-round quarterback while beating them with your waiver-wire quarterback, because you had David Johnson in your lineup racking up 150 total yards and two touchdowns.
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Streaming your defense is the same concept in that you don’t want to draft one early (before the last couple rounds), but there are some points in the season where the Broncos defense will make you question your decision not to draft them. Heading into Week 14, it’s not the best-case scenario for streamers, as there aren’t many obvious choices. Fortunately, I’m here to help you along the way, giving you some of the best matchups to find on your waiver wire. Remember that these are all defenses that are owned in less than 60 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Detroit Lions (vs. Bears)
If you watched the offense of the Bears last week, you likely understand why the Lions are here, but what most don’t know is how well the Lions have been playing as of late. You’d actually have to go all the way back to Week 6 in order to find a game where the Lions allowed their opponent more than 20 points. It’s funny, because the Lions wouldn’t have been on many wish lists coming into this week had they gotten stomped by the Saints on the road. They not only won that game in the Superdome, but they won it handily, holding Drew Brees touchdown-less while intercepting him three times. Coming into that game, the Saints hadn’t scored fewer than 23 points at home since back in Week 2 of 2015. You’d have to go back to 2009 to find the last time Brees was held without a touchdown pass at home. The Bears don’t present much of a threat, now without their top three wide receivers, top tight end and top two quarterbacks. On top of that, they recently sent Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long to injured reserve. When you take a look at the opponents the Bears have played with Matt Barkley as the starter, you can’t draw many conclusions, as the Titans had allowed 29 points per game over their last six coming into the Bears game, and the 49ers had allowed 34.4 point per game over their last 10 games. So when you match them up with a playoff team like the Lions, who may just be getting DeAndre Levy back this week, that’s a streaming defense you want.
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Cincinnati Bengals (at Browns)
Here is a defense that was drafted pretty high in most redraft leagues, and while they’ve been dropped in plenty of leagues, they are a team that might provide a spark in the first week of the fantasy playoffs. They draw arguably the best matchup in all of fantasy, and despite their struggles, you should really consider them to occupy your D/ST slot when they play the Browns in Week 14. We’re being 13 weeks into the NFL season, and there has been no defense to score fewer than five fantasy points against the Browns in standard leagues. There have been eight teams that have been able to total at least eight fantasy points, which is usually enough to get into the top 12 for the week. It’s not just one thing, either, as the Browns have scored just 16.4 points per game on the season, their quarterbacks have been sacked 3.8 times per game, and they allow 1.7 turnovers per game, which ranks fifth-most. After seeing left guard Joel Bitonio go down in Week 5, the Browns run game has been non-existent, with Isaiah Crowell failing to run for more than 44 yards in seven of his last eight games (includes Week 5). Well, they’ve now lost their right guard John Greco as well. He was graded as PFF’s No. 20 guard in all of football, among 138 graded. Not only was Bitonio’s loss felt in the run game, but since the start of Week 6, the Browns have allowed a league-high 32 sacks (5.3 per game). Add in the loss of Greco and it’s going to be a treat for a Bengals defense who’ve actually intercepted 10 passes over their last six games.
Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Vikings)
This isn’t the most exciting play of the week, but when you are looking for a team with a solid floor, the Jaguars can fill that need. They haven’t intercepted a pass since way back in Week 4 and Sam Bradford has thrown just three interceptions all season, so they’ll have to get points from another source. Fortunately for them, the Vikings offensive line has been used and abused this year, allowing 29 sacks in their last 11 games, including five games where they have allowed three or more. This is great news for a Jaguars pass defense that has started to come together over the last five weeks, allowing just four passing touchdowns and 166.8 passing yards per game in that span. On top of that, they’ve totaled 10 sacks over the last three games. The biggest area where the Jaguars have struggled this year is against the run, and it just so happens that it’s where the Vikings have struggled as well. As a team they have averaged just 2.97 yards per carry. Some may wonder if the running backs will be able to do some work in the passing game, but the Jaguars are one of just four teams to allow less than 360 yards receiving yards and no touchdowns to running backs on the year. In a week with limited options on the waiver wire, you can definitely do worse than the Jaguars.