These Week 16 fantasy football defenses are the key to unlocking big winnings in your NFL contests!
I struggled mightily to justify the deployment of any defense besides the Ravens in Week 15. I looked for any reason to pay up for other defenses with tasty matchups, and in the end, I simply could not turn up my nose at Baltimore.
The Ravens’ defense, after all, was among the five cheapest defensive options last week. They came through in a big way too, posting 20 fantasy points against the Jaguars thanks in large part to an early blocked punt for a touchdown.
Our other Streaming Score all-star, the Kansas City Chiefs, delivered on their high Week 15 price with a dominant defensive performance against Oakland, aided by a punt return score that made them a top-3 play.
Even our tournament play, the Patriots, came up big against a Dolphins’ offense that hadn’t been very generous to opposing defenses in 2014. Miami imploded, to the delight of those who went with New England in tourneys. The Pats ended up just a couple points behind the Ravens in Week 15.
There are plenty of appealing Week 16 defensive plays available, and as per usual, we’re going to use my defensive Streaming Scores to pinpoint which units have the best matchups.
A team’s Streaming Score doesn’t incorporate how stifling or generous a certain defense has been. It’s entirely matchup based.
Week 16 Fantasy Football Defenses for Cash Games
New England Patriots ($3,150) at New York Jets
The Patriots are once again criminally under-priced DraftDay as they head into a mouthwatering matchup with Geno Smith’s Jets. Only seven defenses are priced lower than New England in Week 16.
The Patriots sport the week’s second highest Streaming Score, and for good reason: New York has given up at least eight fantasy points to opposing defenses eight times in 2014. It might be worth noting, however, that they held the Patriots’ defense to a meager two fantasy points back in October. The Patriots have gotten a lot healthier since then, and with their offense clicking, I expect Geno to be forced to the air early and often. That’s exactly what we want.
I’ll be hard pressed not to deploy New England’s defense in cash games and tourneys this week.
Buffalo Bills ($8,000) at Oakland Raiders
I downright refuse to pay the exorbitant asking price for the Seahawks’ defense, but I can stomach paying a little less for a dominant Bills’ defense going against a mostly lifeless Raiders’ offense. Oakland is better at home, it’s true, but that might not matter here.
Buffalo allows the fifth fewest total yards per game to opposing offenses. Opponents are barely cracking 200 passing yards against Buffalo when the Bills are on the road this year. The Bills average 2.9 takeaways per game on the road. Defenses average 9.9 fantasy points against Oakland. That’s a solid formula for a healthy fantasy floor and a ceiling that could be among the highest we’ve seen in 2014.
Buffalo’s defense, which has a top-5 Streaming Score this week, might be the safest play in Week 16. You’ll have to pay a pretty penny for that comfort though.
Week 16 Fantasy Football Defenses for Tournaments
Jacksonville Jaguars ($3,000) vs. Tennessee Titans
It’s not very often we get a defense priced at the minimum with a Streaming Score that puts them among the week’s seven best matchup plays. That’s precisely what we have here with the Jaguars in a matchup against the imploding Tennessee Titans.
Ideal defensive plays face off against an historically inaccurate quarterback who will be forced to throw quite a bit. I think that’s in the cards for Charlie Whitehurst on Thursday Night Football, as the Titans have no running game of which to speak and the Jags’ run defense isn’t all that bad.
The Titans, over the past month, have transformed into a preeminent defensive streaming target. They’ve given up 2.8 turnovers per contest since late November, and have averaged just 289 total yards over the past three weeks. I think that gives Jacksonville a reasonably high floor, though that doesn’t really matter in tournaments.
The Jags’ low price allows for incredible lineup flexibility in Week 16. Roll them out in large-field tournaments and trust the matchup.