Streaming Defenses: Week 13 Targets

Streaming Defenses: Week 13 Targets

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last update Nov 25, 2014

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John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, finished as runner-up in 2011 and 4th in both 2012 and 2015 for a total of five Top 5 seasons in the last six years. Cumulatively, John was the most accurate expert from 2010-15 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate draft rankings. 

Follow John Paulsen on Twitter: @4for4_John.

For those new to Streaming Defenses (also called Defensive Team By Waiver Wire, or DTBWW), the strategy goes like this: Each week, you target a mediocre defense on the waiver wire, looking for a good matchup (i.e. bad quarterback, suspect offensive line, etc.), preferably at home. You will typically get good defensive production without having to burn a semi-valuable pick on draft day. Or if you do draft a defense and they start to disappoint, you can stream the rest of the way.

Note: For more on selecting a defense each week, read Chris Raybon’s excellent piece about what factors go into an attractive defensive matchup. I have come to some of the same conclusions over the years, but he added a few new factors to consider.

I have been writing this streaming feature for five years -- offering readers several available-on-the-waiver-wire defense picks each week -- and they averaged DT5, DT6, DT7, DT10 and DT8 numbers from 2009 to 2013. Generating top 10 DT numbers off the waiver wire allows fantasy owners to basically ignore the position on draft day, instead focusing on more important areas.

Generally, defenses have to be available on the waiver wire in at least 40% of Yahoo fantasy leagues to be eligible. This ensures that we are talking about defenses that are readily available.

Last week, the Colts (16.5 FP, DT3), Bears (16.5 FP, DT3), Chargers (13.0 FP, DT7) were great, while the Buccaneers (5.0 FP, DT19), Packers (4.0 FP, DT20) and Cowboys (4.0 FP, DT20) were not. On the season, our streaming picks are averaging 9.2 FP, which equates to DT9-type numbers. The top pick has averaged 11.5 FP, or DT2-type numbers.

Let’s take a look at the top streaming picks for Week 13…

Note: Owners shouldn’t cut the Colts, who have another great matchup (WAS) at home this week.

Dolphins (@ NYJ)
I’m fudging the ownership restrictions here – Miami is available in 37% of Yahoo leagues – but I don’t want anyone to dump the Dolphins looking for a better matchup. The Miami defense didn’t do much in Week 11, but that’s usually the case against the Broncos. This week, the Dolphins face Michael Vick and the Jets, who have been a top matchup for opposing defenses all year. They don’t have a great matchup in Week 14 (BAL), but the game is at home, so Miami will be usable again next week as well.

Rams (vs. OAK)
The St. Louis defense has played better of late. The Rams have posted 15 points against the Chargers in Week 12 and have scored 12.5-plus in three of their last four. The Raiders have yielded 11-plus in three of their last five games and the game is in St. Louis. Enough said.

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