Fantasy Football Defensive Streaming: Week 13 Edition
Week 12 was relatively fruitful for disciples of the defensive streaming way, with three of the top five defenses for the week having close to or less than 50% ownership in most leagues.
Last week also marked a high point for this weekly article series as well. Indianapolis, San Diego, and Chicago all finished in the top-six defensive scorers, with Green Bay being the major letdown, scoring just four points, good enough for 19th on the week.
A continuing theme from week to week is targeting teams that are heavy favorites who are also playing at home. Low Vegas over/unders are an added bonus, and when we can combine all three together, we should feel fairly confident that our process is correct and will produce results.
We once again look towards Jacksonville as a streaming target, and also a few teams who meet the criteria I laid out above. For some, Week 13 is the last chance to secure a playoff spot in your fantasy leagues – let’s help you get there.
New York Giants
Owned - ESPN: 4.5%, Yahoo: 14% Week 13 numberFire Rank: 1st
The Giants are this week’s contestant on "Who Wants to Face Jacksonville’s Horrendous Offense?" When that game show actually gets made, I’m claiming royalties – you are all witnesses.
In all seriousness, any defense facing the Jaguars is a legitimate streaming option on a weekly basis, and is most time the top option. Last week, Jacksonville made Indianapolis, a mediocre defense, the fourth-best fantasy defense of the week.
The Jags managed to score just three points, and at this point, it’s simply unwise to not target the them.
The Giants are nothing special defensively; ranking 24th in Adjusted Defensive Net Expected Points (NEP), but the matchup basically supersedes their relative lack of interest on the defensive side of the ball. The Giants are 2.5-point favorites on the road, in a game featuring a 44 point over/under.
Another fun fact: no defense has scored fewer than eight fantasy points against Jacksonville all season.
St. Louis Rams
Owned - ESPN: 24.1%, Yahoo: 46% Week 13 numberFire Rank: 8th
As a team, St. Louis has been the definition of inconsistent this season – they’ve alternated wins and losses for the past seven consecutive weeks. I can only imagine what that does to a Rams’ fan. Woof.
From an efficiency standpoint, however, St. Louis’s defense has been adequate, ranking 14th in Adjusted Defensive NEP, but mistakes have proven costly for the team as a whole.
But for streaming purposes this week, we can place our faith in them as they take on the perennial punching bags residing in Oakland. Despite upsetting the Chiefs last week, the Raiders have been a bad football team all season, especially on offense, meaning targeting them in our streaming efforts is a wise move.
While no one envies Derek Carr’s current situation, the fact remains that he has completed fewer than half his pass attempts in each of the last two games, and has failed to eclipse 200 yards passing in his last four.
Oakland ranks 30th in Adjusted Offensive NEP, and has allowed an average of 8.3 fantasy points to opposing defenses. St. Louis plays at home as 7 point favorites. Stream away.
Owned - ESPN: 15.7%, Yahoo: 16% Week 13 numberFire Rank: 7th
While most people expected the Vikings to get shelled last week against Green Bay, Minnesota actually kept the game close, eventually falling 24-21.
The Vikings’ defense held Aaron Rodgers to just 207 yards passing, the first time he’s been held under 250 passing yards since Week 5. The Packers did rush for 155 yards, with 125 coming from Eddie Lacy.
On the season, Minnesota ranks 15th in terms of Adjusted Defensive NEP, and rank in the top 12 at stopping the pass. The Vikings’ next opponent, Carolina, has had trouble producing consistent results on offense all year long.
The Panthers rank 25th in offensive efficiency, and have been horrendous running the ball, ranking 30th in the league from an efficiency standpoint. This plays directly into the Vikings’ hands, and should force Cam Newton into uncomfortable situations. Newton ranks 24th in passing efficiency among quarterbacks with at least 200 drop backs, and hasn’t really looked comfortable all season.
Minnesota is a three-point home favorite in a game with a low projected total (43 points) – certainly worth a look.
Carolina Panthers (vs. Minnesota), Oakland Raiders (vs. St. Louis)