Streaming Defenses: Week 14 Targets

Streaming Defenses: Week 14 Targets

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last update Dec 2, 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 Rams (32.0 fantasy points, DT1) and the Vikings (21.5, DT3) posted stellar numbers, while the Dolphins (7.5 FP, DT14) Giants (7.0, DT15) and Bengals (6.5, DT18) were serviceable. The Cowboys (3.0, DT25) and Panthers (3.0, DT25) were pretty brutal. On the season, our streaming picks are averaging 9.4 FP, which equates to DT8-type numbers. The top pick has averaged 11.2 FP, or DT3-type numbers.

Let’s take a look at the top streaming picks for Week 14…

Note: The Rams are no longer eligible for this list, but owners will be happy to hear that they have another great matchup this week against Washington. Also, the Broncos (not eligible) have a good matchup against Buffalo and scored well against the Chiefs last week. I’d start both ahead of any of the defenses listed below.

Vikings (vs. NYJ)
Geno Smith (or Michael Vick).

Packers (vs. ATL)
The Green Bay defense has played better of late (with two 19+ point efforts in the last four weeks), and the Falcons typically don’t play as well on the road. The Packers should also be startable in Week 15 (@ BUF) before another good matchup against the Buccaneers (in Tampa) in Week 16.

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