3 Fantasy Football Defensive Streamer Options for Week 12
This is a busy week. Many of us have to cram a ton of work into a shortened couple of days, and we will then likely be traveling or cooking and cleaning for Thanksgiving celebrations on Thursday. There are bigger implications to this strange week on the fantasy calendar, though: the new Pokémon video game came out, and I can’t focus on that until Saturday.
Yeah, sure, having multiple games early on Thursday throws a huge wrench into your plans for your time allotment, but what about the quality time I could be spending with my new grass cat friend? Why conquer carving a roasted bird when I could catch one instead and use it to roast my rivals in Paldea? Ugh. Life is hard, and there’s never enough time to both “catch 'em all” and catch all the NFL action on a holiday week.
Never fear, though! I’ve got the perfect walkthrough to Week 12’s fantasy football defensive streaming slate. Not every exciting choice might be available in your version of the game, but I’ll help you streamline the tough decisions and help you on your path to becoming “the very best, like no one ever was.”
Which defenses under 40% rostership should you look to stream in Week 12?
Cincinnati D/ST at PIT: 0 points, 21st
Washington D/ST at HOU: 21 points, 1st
Houston D/ST vs. WAS: 1 point, 20th
I don’t know what to say here. It was a tough slate before we even started last week, but the results were far more ridiculous than we could’ve imagined. Three games saw the loser held to just three points, and six teams won by 10 points or more. Week 11 was bad, and it will be good to put it in the rearview mirror as soon as possible.
The Washington Commanders were the sole usable defense in our recommendations last week. They absolutely ravaged the hapless Houston Texans, holding them to single-digit yardage in the first half of the game. The Commies added five sacks and two takeaways to the absolute box score domination, resulting in the top fantasy defense on the week.
For what it’s worth, I started the Cincinnati Bengals defense in my own redraft league and paid the appropriate price myself. What should’ve been a low-scoring slugfest became a 67-point total shootout, and neither defense was usable.
Houston looked like they would be in a position to keep their game close, as well, but they let up 17 offensive points and over 300 yards with goose eggs across the box score. That truly wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been, but it wasn’t, as the kids say, “good.”
vs. Houston Texans
Spread: MIA -12.5
Roster Percentage: 26%
For a unit that has scored the 10th-fewest average fantasy points this season, you might be surprised to see how well the Miami Dolphins have played on defense over the last month. With matchups against the very exploitable Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago, and Cleveland, only one of those games resulted in fewer than eight fantasy points.
In that span of time, Miami has allowed an average of 21.5 points, 1.0 forced turnover, and 2.0 sacks per game. They’re a surprisingly stable defense outside of the weird blowup performances by the sneakily potent Lions and Bears offenses.
Heading into Week 12 and coming off of their bye, Miami will face a Houston Texans team that has allowed an average of 12.0 fantasy points per game over the last month. In their last four games, the Texans have been held to 10 points and fewer than 175 yards twice, all while allowing an average of 3.8 sacks and 2.3 turnovers.
Quarterback Davis Mills, in fact, is allowing the fourth-highest pressure rate among 38 quarterbacks to drop back 100 times or more in 2022. Forget how mediocre Miami was earlier this season; this is a picture-perfect streaming spot for them.
Our model projects the Miami D/ST for 9.2 fantasy points, the most among defensive streamer options in Week 12. The Texans have given up the fourth-most points to opposing defenses this year, and the Dolphins’ improving defense should put them on the back heel once again.
vs. Los Angeles Rams
Spread: KC -14.5
Roster Percentage: 47%
It’s strange seeing a Kansas City game projected for anything less than 50 total points, let alone one against the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. Week 12 features a contest with a tame 44.0-point total, however, with KC afforded a favorite status by more than two touchdowns.
This game is a perfect streaming process play, much like the aforementioned game. Kansas City is a huge favorite, they are the home team, the total is fairly low, and -- even better -- Los Angeles is expected to have to roll out a backup quarterback.
The Rams have been wracked by injuries lately, losing star wide receiver Cooper Kupp (likely) for the regular season with a high ankle sprain. Then, in two consecutive appearances, quarterback Matthew Stafford was forced out due to taking helmet-to-helmet hits and displaying concussion-like symptoms. Add in that backup John Wolford suffered a neck injury in Week 10, and it’s looking increasingly like third-stringer Bryce Perkins will be forced to spot start.
Just looking at the past three weeks, when Stafford was out for part or all of the game, the Rams have averaged under 16.7 points scored, 3.3 sacks allowed, and 0.7 takeaways. That equates to an average of 7.8 fantasy points to opposing defenses.
Our model projects the Kansas City D/ST for 9.2 fantasy points, the second-highest fantasy projection of the week. The total is a little higher than we would like, and the rostership would normally disqualify them, but L.A. likely starting its third-best quarterback makes this a must-start unit in fantasy. Expect the Rams to limit Perkins’ exposure, making the ceiling a bit lower than it could be, but injuries give the KC defense a very high floor.
vs. Denver Broncos
Spread: DEN -2.5
Roster Percentage: 3%
Nobody wants to think about the Carolina Panthers right now, and I’m truly sorry for even bringing them up. Unfortunately, they are a sad fact of life, and so is the potential that their defense is borderline streamable in Week 12.
The reasoning here is that the Denver Broncos offense is an absolute trash fire, and -- while no one would accuse the Panthers of being good -- Carolina is far from horrendous on the defensive side of the ball this season. Solidly middle of the pack by our streamer rankings in individual quality, Carolina has the 11th-lowest passing adjusted net yards per attempt (ANY/A) allowed, and though they are bottom-10 in both pressure and sack conversion rate, they have still averaged three sacks per game over the last month. That’s not terrible.
Denver, as previously alluded to, is. For the season, they are allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to their opposing defenses. They are averaging just 14.5 points per game, have allowed two sacks or fewer just twice (3.3 per game), and are allowing a turnover per game, as well. Perhaps this is a “get-right” environment for the Broncos, but I’m more willing to believe in a safe environment for you to stream the Panthers' defense.
Our model projects the Carolina D/ST for 7.7 fantasy points this week, which is the 11th-highest in our defense rankings. The remarkably low projected game total, and the fact that they are at home, means the floor should be higher than usual. But buyer beware: they are still the Panthers and are home underdogs for a reason.