As you make your last-minute preparations for your Fantasy championship weekend, there are some things you should consider. With two anemic offenses battling it out this week, the matchup between the Rams and 49ers is expected to be a low-scoring game, and you might be tempted to start one of these team defenses. I’d stay away in season- long formats but consider experimenting with them in DFS slates.
The Patriots’ defense is widely owned, but if by some chance you can get a hold of them, they have a very nice matchup against a Jets offense that continues to turn the ball over. The Chiefs are another top team defense that is unlikely to be found on most waiver wires, but they have scored at least 11 Fantasy points three times over the past four weeks. Again, if they are available, grab and start them.
Despite the fact that they’ve had to deal with several injuries this season, including the loss of DE J.J. Watt and CBs Kevin Johnson and Johnathan Joseph, the Texans have the number one ranked defense in football and given up a league-low 306.5 total yards per game. I like their chances against the Bengals this week, but per NFL.com, they are owned in over 70 percent of Fantasy leagues.
There are a few other Fantasy team defenses that are still not widely owned, that could help you in your quest to win you Fantasy Super Bowl. I’ve identified four that could be in play for the upcoming weekend. Good luck!
Green Bay Packers
Matchup: vs. Minnesota Vikings
Weather: 30 degrees mostly cloudy, W winds 7 MPH
The Packers’ defense has been on a roll, scoring an average of just over 11 Fantasy points per game over their past four matchups. They are surging at just the right time, as they are fighting for their playoff lives, and that can also help you to win your Fantasy championship. After picking off eight passes over the past two games, they are now second in the league with 16 interceptions overall. The Packers face the Vikings at Lambeau Field, where they have limited them to just over 13 points per game in their last six matchups. Much has been made about how bad the Vikings’ offensive line has been this season. Yes, it has hindered their running game, but it’s also allowed quarterback Sam Bradford to be sacked 35 times this season, fifth-most in the league. The Packers have recorded 10 sacks in their last four games, which does not bode well for the Vikings. They will have to be prepared to guard against Packers DT Mike Daniels, who has 7.5 sacks in his last seven games against the Vikings.
Matchup: @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Weather: 68 degrees partly cloudy, N winds 3 MPH
According to NFL.com, the Titans’ defense is owned in just under seven percent of Fantasy leagues. They have a favorable matchup against a Jaguars team that has the third-most turnovers in the league, with 10 fumbles and 16 interceptions. The Jaguars have done a better job of protecting their quarterback this season, but the Titans have an adaptable pass rush that takes advantage of individual situations, as well as weaknesses in their opponents’ offensive lines. Titans LB Brian Orakpo, will be looking for his third straight game with a sack, and DT Jurrell Casey has four sacks in his last five meetings against the Jags. Together, they’ll help lead a Titans defensive line that has the league’s sixth-most sacks and 90 quarterback hurries. The Titans hope that by keeping the pressure on Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, they’ll force him to throw the ball before he’s ready and add to his interception total.
San Diego Chargers
Matchup: @ Cleveland Browns
Weather: 36 degrees mostly cloudy, WSW winds 11 MPH
As usual, we turn to the Browns’ opponent and look to their defense as a possible streaming target. This week the Chargers, led by Pro Bowl CB Casey Hayward, will look to keep the Browns in check. The Chargers’ defense is underrated and leads the league in interceptions with 17. Although the Chargers haven’t had much of a pass rush this season, they’re likely to develop one against a Browns team that has let their quarterbacks get sacked a league-leading 53 times.
Matchup: @ Buffalo Bills
Weather: 32 degrees drizzle, WSW winds 13 MPH
Despite being a warm weather team playing their Week 16 football in the freezing temperatures in Buffalo, I think the Dolphins have a good chance at scoring some Fantasy points for you. The Bills have allowed their quarterbacks to be sacked 38 times, second-most in the NFL. The Dolphins will look to take advantage of the generosity of the Bills’ offensive line. Miami leads the league with 115 total team defensive hurries, and Dolphins DT Ndamukong Suh will look to increase his streak of recording at least one sack against the Bills to three straight games. Although the Bills are last in turning the ball over, they’ll have to stay alert, since the Dolphins have the fourth-most total takeaways this season (25), which includes 16 interceptions.
Fantasy Football Kickers to Stream for Week 16
Graham Gano, Carolina Panthers
Matchup: vs. Atlanta Falcons
Weather: 52 degrees and overcast, SW winds 6 MPH
Gano is owned in 62 percent of CBS Sports Fantasy leagues and might be available on your season long league’s waiver wire. With odds makers expecting the Panthers and Falcons matchup to be one of the higher scoring contests of the week, Gano could have multiple scoring opportunities.
Nick Novak, Houston Texans
Matchup: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Weather: 68 degrees and mostly cloudy, SE winds 9 MPH
With Tom Savage handling the quarterback duties for the Texans this week, there is hope that he’ll help his team do a better job moving the ball downfield. The Texans own the second-lowest red zone TD conversion rate in football, which means that Novak may be given the opportunity to add to his 32 field goals, which places him one behind league leaders Caleb Sturgis (Eagles) and Justin Tucker (Ravens).
Dustin Hopkins, Washington Redskins
Matchup: @ Chicago Bears
Weather: 32 degrees, overcast, W winds 2 MPH
Despite being fourth in the league with 31 field goals, Hopkins is only owned in 64 percent of CBS Sports Fantasy leagues. He faces the Bears who, believe it or not, have given up the fourth-most Fantasy points to kickers.