Streaming Defenses: Week 16 Targets

Streaming Defenses: Week 16 Targets

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last update Dec 16, 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 was a pretty stellar showing for our streaming picks, as the Ravens (20.0 FP, DT1), Chiefs (15.5, DT5), Panthers (10.5, DT12), Giants (10.5, DT12), Colts (10.0, DT14) and Titans (7.0 DT19) all posted solid-to-great defensive numbers. The Bengals (17.0, DT3) were a bonus pick that also produced great numbers. On the season, these picks are averaging 9.4 fantasy points, which equates to DT9-type numbers.

Our top pick is averaging 11.9 FP, or DT2-type production.

Before we look at the top picks for Week 16, owners who played the Ravens last week will be happy to hear that they have another nice matchup against the Texans, who are having all sorts of QB problems. Baltimore is my #4 defense this week.

Panthers (vs. CLE)
Carolina is still in hunt for an NFC South title, so they have plenty to play for. The Browns are a good matchup with Johnny Manziel under center and the Panthers have averaged 10.8 FP over the past two weeks.

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