Streaming Defenses: Week 15 Targets

Streaming Defenses: Week 15 Targets

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last update Dec 9, 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 Giants (26.5 FP, DT2), Vikings (13 FP, DT5), Ravens (9.5 FP, DT12) and Titans (8.0 FP, DT16) posted decent-to-great numbers, while the Packers (3.0, DT25), Cowboys (4.0 FP, DT22), Bengals (0 FP, DT32) Saints (0 FP, DT32) were bad to brutal. On the season, these picks are averaging 9.3 FP, or DT8-type numbers.

Our top pick is averaging 11.3 FP, or DT2-type numbers.

Before we take a look at the top streaming picks for Week 15, one housecleaning item: Owners who have been riding the Rams should continue to do so. St. Louis faces Drew Stanton this week and then hosts Eli Manning in Week 16. Don’t change now.

Ravens (vs. JAX)
The Jaguars have been the top matchup for opposing defenses this season, yielding an average of 13.3 FP. Meanwhile, the Ravens have averaged 10.2 FP in their last 10 games. As icing on the cake, the game is in Baltimore. This looks like great play.

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