The best defenses to stream in fantasy in Week 16
If you’re reading this, you have likely advanced to your fantasy championship, or at the very least you’re in play for third place. Let’s be real, nobody is coming here if they are playing for last place in their league. So congrats to those of you who’ve advanced by streaming defenses.
It’s been a good season for streamers, as five of the top eight defenses were drafted outside of the top 16. The only team that was drafted inside of the top 10 who exceeded their draft position was the Chiefs, who were drafted fifth, but rank second (large in part to their special teams). Fortunately for you, there are plenty of defenses who are less than 60 percent owned as we head into your championship week. So for one last time this season, let’s take a look at which of those defenses you should be targeting.
San Diego Chargers (at Browns)
Despite losing its top safety (to free agency) and its top two cornerbacks (one to injury, one to free agency), the Chargers defense has been able to rank as a top-12 fantasy defense this year. A big reason is because they went from the No. 32 run defense in 2015 all the way up to No. 6 this season. They are holding opposing running backs to just 3.9 yards per carry on the season, despite having one of the more difficult schedules in the league. The only way that the Browns have been able to move the ball this season is through the run, and they’ve failed to even do that over the last two months. Ever since losing right guard Joel Bitonio in Week 5, the Browns run game fell from averaging 5.5 yards per carry over the first four games, to averaging just 3.7 yards per carry since that time. On top of that, they lost their right guard John Greco in Week 12. The Browns have also allowed 3.8 sacks per game this year, which is easily the most in the NFL, where the closest team allows 2.9 per game. They have allowed at least four sacks in five of their last six games, including 22 in their last four games. So the Browns aren’t running the ball well and they aren’t pass blocking, yet they are playing against a defense who stops the run, and have two of the top seven edge rushers (graded by PFF) in football, how are they going to put up points? Their implied team total sits at 18.5, which is generous. Considering the Chargers have at least one interception in 12 of their 14 games and that the Browns have given the ball away 21 times this year, you’ve got yourself a high-floor option for championship week.