Fantasy Football Defenses to Stream for Week 15
Whether you’re continuing your march through your league playoffs, or simply extending your Fantasy football season by playing some daily games, finding a Fantasy defense that you can use this week continues to be an integral part of creating an effective lineup.
I like the Chiefs against the Titans this week, but they are likely to be widely owned in season- long leagues at this point. The Vikings are another widely owned Fantasy defense, and they should continue to provide you with positive Fantasy points, especially with Colts quarterback Andrew Luck being limited, and receiver Donte Moncrief (hamstring) possibly sitting out this week. The Falcons, who scored 26 Fantasy points against the Rams in Week 14, are likely to be available on your league’s waiver wire. They have a good matchup against the 49ers, but your aversion to risk will determine whether you want to use them this week or not.
At this time of year, weather should always be taken into consideration. Wind might affect the Texans – Jaguars matchup (19 MPH gusts expected) and the Bears and Packers will have to contend with 16 MPH wind gusts and game time temperatures near zero degrees.
This late in the season, smack dab in the middle of Fantasy football playoffs, it’s going to be difficult deciding which team defenses to stream, but I’ve identified five that could be in play for the upcoming weekend. Good luck!
New York Giants
Matchup: vs. Detroit Lions
Weather: 49 degrees with light rain, WSW winds 9 MPH
In previous columns, we’ve described how the Giants’ defense has steadily improved this season. Last week, on national television they provided the NFL with the recipe that will make Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott look like…a rookie. Defensive end Romeo Okwara, playing in place of the injured Jason Pierre-Paul, emerged as a legitimate pass rushing threat and kept the pressure on Prescott, as the Giants secondary, led by CB Janoris Jenkins, stuffed WR Dez Bryant all game long. It could end up being a difficult day for the Lions, who are playing a tough road game in the rain against a Giants defense that has given up the seventh-fewest average points per game (18.8). Having to face a Giants secondary that is tied for having given up the second-fewest passing TDs (13) will be hard enough, but with Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford possibly having to wear a glove on his throwing hand to protect his dislocated middle finger, things could get ugly for Detroit. The Lions may not have running backs Theo Riddick and Zach Zenner in their lineups this weekend, which means that it could be up to Dwayne Washington to try to run the ball. It won’t be easy for any Lions running back to move the ball on the ground since they’ll be facing a Giants run defense that is giving up the third-lowest average rushing yards per attempt (3.6).
Matchup: @ New York Jets
Weather: 39 degrees foggy, SSW winds 6 MPH
The Dolphins’ defense takes on a Jets team that has scored the fourth-fewest average points per game this season (17.6) and once again, they’re a good streaming option. Rookie quarterback Bryce Petty leads a Jets passing offense that leads the league in interceptions (19). In fairness, Petty has only thrown four, but he has started just two games this season. DE Cameron Wake and the rest of the Dolphins’ pass rush must be looking forward to their matchup against a Jets’ offensive line that has been besieged by injuries and allowed Petty to be sacked six times in Week 14. Wake has been hot as of late with eight and a half sacks and three forced fumbles in his last eight games. The Dolphins should also get a boost, as MLB Kiko Alonso is expected to return to action this week. Although Petty’s favorite receiver has been Robbie Anderson, and the fact that Brandon Marshall is so banged up that he will be on a snap count, won’t make things any easier on the Jets’ quarterback. The Jets may also be without RB Matt Forte, who was diagnosed with a torn meniscus. Bilal Powell is a capable backup, and although the Dolphins give up a robust average of 133 rushing yards per game, running backs have scored just five rushing TDs against them.
Matchup: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Weather: 38 degrees and clear, N winds 19 MPH
The Texans take on a Jaguars team that is third in the league in giveaways. Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles can’t stop himself from throwing the ball to the other team, and has racked up 15 interceptions this season. Despite injuries to their secondary, the Texans still have one of the better pass defenses in football. With the emergence of CB A.J. Bouye, they’ve given up the fourth-fewest average passing yards per game. The Texans are also a much better defensive team when they play at home. They give up an average of just over 24 points per game when they play on the road, but when they play at home that number dips to just over 17 points per game.
Matchup: vs. Cleveland Browns
Weather: 26 degrees foggy, W winds 12 MPH
It’s been a bit of a tumultuous week in Buffalo. There were rumors that head coach Rex Ryan was going to be fired, and you also had Ryan originally hinting that Bills QB Tyrod Taylor might be benched, only to later confirm that Taylor would indeed get the start against the Browns. At this stage of the season, I don’t need to tell you the reasons that the defense playing opposite the Browns’ offense is generally a good start. You already know that the Browns are a bad, bad team. If the Bills’ players haven’t totally given up on Ryan, their defense should be a good play this week.
Matchup: vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Weather: 46 degrees light rain, WNW winds 12 MPH
Carson Wentz is going to be a fine quarterback in the NFL someday but for now, he’s guiding an Eagles offense that has been sputtering and scored an average of just 16 points in their past four games. Wentz began his career throwing seven touchdowns against one interception through his first five games but since then, he has been a bit more accommodating to Fantasy defenses. He has thrown six touchdowns versus 11 interceptions since Week 6. The Ravens have the kind of pass rush that capitalizes on opportunity, and they should have a good chance of getting to Wentz, who has been sacked nine times in his last three games. Wentz has been relying on TE Zach Ertz to lead the Eagles’ passing offense recently. He’s had 19 catches in his past two games, but the Ravens’ defense has been tough against tight ends, yielding the seventh-fewest Fantasy points against them and only allowing three touchdown receptions. If the Eagles want to try their hand at running the ball, it looks like they’ll have to rely on a combination of Ryan Mathews or Kenjon Barner, but they are likely to struggle against a defense that has yielded the fewest rushing touchdowns, and the lowest average yards per carry (3.4).
Fantasy Football Kickers to Stream for Week 15
Josh Lambo, San Diego Chargers
Matchup: vs. Oakland Raiders
Weather: 61 degrees and clear, ENE winds 7 MPH
The last time these two teams met they combined for 65 points. Odds makers expect this to be another high scoring affair giving Lambo, who is owned in just 37 percent of CBS Sports Fantasy leagues, multiple possible scoring opportunities.
Kai Forbath, Minnesota Vikings
Matchup: vs. Indianapolis Colts
Since signing with the Vikings in Week 11, Forbath has been perfect on 10 field goal attempts. He is owned in just 17 percent of CBS Sports leagues and with the Vikings only being able to convert 45 percent of their red zone possessions into touchdowns, (fourth worst in the league), he should have additional scoring opportunities this week.
Will Lutz, New Orleans Saints
Matchup: @ Arizona Cardinals
Lutz is still available in over 50 percent of CBS Sports Fantasy leagues and should have some upside this week. Some analysts are down on QB Drew Brees and the Saints this week, but they’re playing in a dome (just like home) and should still be able to move the ball against the Cardinals. The Saints’ offense may not be as explosive as they are at home but they will provide Lutz with scoring opportunities.