Fantasy Football Defensive Streaming: Week 14 Edition

Against a solid Falcons offense, do the Packers make for a good streaming defense?

If you were able to start St. Louis’s defense last week, you reaped the rewards to the tune of a whopping 32 fantasy points. The Rams have been red-hot lately, but their game against Oakland was further proof that the Raiders offensive ineptitude should continue to be targeted, especially away from home.

Minnesota was another team that had home-run potential against a struggling Carolina offense, and they came through finishing as the third-best fantasy defense for the week, scoring 22 points.

But leave it up to the New York Giants to spoil everything I believed in regarding streaming defenses. By scoring just seven points on Sunday, the Giants’ defense became just the third team defense to fail to score double-digit points against the Jags all season. As it turns out, Jacksonville’s defense was the better option in that matchup.

Crunch time is upon us folks. If your playoffs don’t start this week, they will in Week 15, and everything we’ve done all season has led up to this.

Let’s bring home some titles.

Minnesota Vikings

Owned - ESPN: 21.3%, Yahoo: 42%
Week 14 numberFire Rank: 26th

Even though our rankings aren't very high on the Vikings this week, I believe there are several reasons why they make a fine streaming option.

First, the New York Jets, in an attempt to limit mistakes by re-crowned starter Geno Smith, ran the ball 49 times while attempting just 13 passes against Miami last week. The Jets totaled 277 rushing yards against a tough Dolphins’ defense, but managed just 10 points, eventually losing the game.

Unless the Jets show more faith in Smith to actually attempt to keep defenses honest, the success they had on the ground last week may not always happen.

Minnesota has struggled against the run this season, ranking 30th according to our metrics, but have been stout against the pass, ranking 11th. So while the Jets may have some success on the ground, it's easy to see Smith throwing multiple interceptions if they reigns are taken off a bit.

The game is in Minnesota with the Vikings currently favored by six points. The over/under is barely above 40. Looks like a pretty safe bet.

Green Bay Packers

Owned - ESPN: 47.9%, Yahoo: 54%
Week 14 numberFire Rank: 11th

Last week’s showdown between Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady failed to live up to the high-scoring hype, ending in a 26-21 Packers’ win.

With the scoring total falling way under the 58-ish projected points, not only were those who bet the under thrilled, but it should also show us that Green Bay’s defense can be shut-down caliber, even against one of the best offenses in the league.

While Green Bay has been middling on defense this season, ranking 16th according to our metrics, they have shown the ability to be dominant at home. Away from Lambeau Field, the Packers’ defense averages a measly 2.3 fantasy points per game. At home however, Green Bay averages 12.8 fantasy points per game, including three 17-plus point performances.

While the Falcons possess the 6th best overall offense in the league, the also own the 31st-ranked defense. If (When) Green Bay gets a big lead early, expect multiple turnovers coming from Matt Ryan in catch-up mode.

New Orleans Saints

Owned - ESPN: 7%, Yahoo: 6%
Week 14 numberFire Rank: 24th

This one comes with a moderate level of risk.

After turning a corner under the guidance of Rob Ryan last season, the Saints’ defense has seemingly regressed this season. The Saints have been downright porous at times this year, and currently rank dead-last in overall defense according to our rankings.

So why on earth would that make a decent streaming option, you might ask?

Three words: The Carolina Panthers.

Carolina ranks 26th in overall offensive efficiency according to our metrics, and has shown no real signs lately of bouncing back. Cam Newton ranks 28th in Passing NEP among 32 quarterbacks with at least 200 attempts, and the Panthers’ leading rusher, Jonathan Stewart, ranks 29th in Rush NEP per attempt among 42 backs with at least 90 carries.

As 9.5-point home favorites, the Saints’ represent a good, albeit moderately low-floor streaming option this week.

Deeper Streamers

New York Giants (vs. Tennessee), New York Jets (vs. Minnesota)