Streaming Defenses: Week 16 Targets
When it comes to drafting a defense, I’m not someone to start the run. I’d rather wait until the end of the draft and play the defense with the great matchup. This practice is commonly known as streaming defenses. Every week, you target a mediocre defense with a great matchup against a weak QB or offensive line.
We have been writing this streaming feature for six years -- offering readers several available-on-the-waiver-wire defense picks each week -- and they averaged DT5, DT6, DT7, DT10, DT8 and DT7 numbers from 2009 to 2014. 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 during the draft.
We’re now headed into Week 16, and defenses like the Broncos, Chiefs and Cardinals have emerged from the stream and are weekly starters. If you’re still streaming, target a defense playing a below average QB. A home matchup is nice, but not absolute.
In Week 15, the Minnesota Vikings finished as a DST8 with 11 points. Through 15 weeks, our defensive streaming suggestions are averaging nine fantasy points per week, on par with DST10 numbers.
Generally, defenses have to be available on the waiver wire in at least 40% of Yahoo fantasy leagues to be eligible. This ensures we are talking about defenses that are readily available.
Now, let’s take a look at the defensive targets for Week 16:
Miami Dolphins (vs. Indianapolis Colts)
The Dolphins are in a good spot matchup wise, as they get the struggling Colts at home. Miami had a rough go against an offense that woke up in the Chargers, but the Colts aren't fooling anyone this week.
Olivier Vernon continues to be a nightmare for opposing offensive lines and QBs. He's notched three sacks and at least 3 or more QB hits in three straight games. Ndamukong Suh also produced his first sack since Week 10.
Kelvin Sheppard leads the linebacker group with 92 tackles, including 10 tackles for a loss.
Reshad Jones is Miami's leading tackler and also has produced a turnover in three straight games. Brent Grimes has turned in a solid season at corner, recording four picks and 14 defended passes.
Andrew Luck has been declared out for this game and this Colt offensive line is giving up the sacks and struggling in pass protection. This defensive unit has 27 sacks and 13 picks and draws a Colts offense that’s 27th in aFPA to opposing defenses.