Fantasy Football Defensive Streaming: Week 17 Edition
Week 17 is here.
Although most fantasy leagues will have crowned their respective champions by the time this hits the interwebs, for those with roster decisions to make and league titles to win, I’m here for you.
Week 16 was one of those instances where if you didn’t have Arizona (33 fantasy points) or Houston (22 fantasy points) in your starting lineup, it put you at a pretty big disadvantage. If you didn’t have that luxury and you went with one of the streaming options from last week’s article instead, it certainly didn’t crush your chances.
Minnesota was the best call of the three, finishing as the fourth-best fantasy defense on the week, as they dismantled the Odell Beckham-less Giants’ offense.
The other two options, Detroit and Oakland, finished as the 13th- and 16th-best defenses on the week, both notching a respectable 6 fantasy points.
If your fantasy season is officially in the books, thank you for taking the time to read my articles each week. I hope I brought some helpful insight to the decision-making table.
For those with titles still on the line, read on for some Week 17 streaming options.
Owned – ESPN: 5.4%, Yahoo: 17%
numberFire Positional Rank: 6th
As we’ve gone over so many times throughout this season, streaming options are not always “good” defenses. Because of ownership percentages, we’re often forced to consider sub-par defenses in plus matchups.
The Indianapolis Colts in Week 17 are a prime example.
The Colts have been tough against the run according to our metrics here at numberFire -- 12th-best -- but have been torched by opposing quarterbacks, ranking 26th in pass defense efficiency when adjusted for strength of schedule.
The good news for Indianapolis is that they get to face Zach Mettenberger, proud owner of a 62.7 percent completion rate through six games played this season. Mettenberger has also been sacked 12 times and has thrown 6 interceptions during that span, making him a viable streaming target.
The Colts are six-point home favorites in a game currently without an over/under – likely due to the uncertainty at quarterback for Indianapolis.
Nonetheless, the Colts make for a decent streaming option this week.
Owned – ESPN: 9.1%, Yahoo: 9%
numberFire Positional Rank: 7th
This recommendation falls out of our comfort zone a bit, as Washington is on the road and currently a three-point underdog. But again, Week 17 presents us with some wacky situations that we are forced to deal with.
At this point, the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback situation is bordering on comical. Tony Romo's status as the team’s MVP should no longer be in question, but now with Kellen Moore slated to start on Sunday, Washington’s defense is a strong streaming candidate.
Washington ranks 18th against the pass according to our numbers, but it’s unlikely to matter against Moore, who has completed just 50 percent of his throws in his two starts this season, with just one touchdown to four interceptions. He simply isn’t a legitimate starting NFL option, and we should be ready to take advantage.
There is some concern that Washington may rest their starters with a playoff berth already clinched, but that’s a risk we should be willing to take based on the matchup and strong turnover potential against Dallas.
Owned – ESPN: 41.4%, Yahoo: 32%
numberFire Positional Rank: 11th
Following a 49-17 drubbing of the Giants last week, the Minnesota Vikings’ defense has posted four double-digit fantasy-point finishes in their last five games -- the one exception being their Week 14 matchup against the offensive juggernaut known as the Arizona Cardinals.
Over the last two weeks, they’ve registered nine sacks and five forced turnovers and currently rank 13th in overall team defensive efficiency according to our metrics here at numberFire.
The Vikings are on the road this week in Green Bay, a place where opposing defenses have historically gone to die, but given the current state of the Packers’ offense, our worries should be quelled a bit.
Aaron Rodgers' recent struggles crescendoed last week against Arizona, as he was sacked nine times. The Packers’ leaky offensive line will likely struggle again this week against the Vikings, who are tied for fifth in the league with 38 sacks on the season.
Road underdogs are normally tough to trust for streaming purposes, but this is a play on a good defense facing an offense in shambles.
Minnesota is certainly worth a look.