by Ray Kuhn
When it comes to defenses, there are multiple strategies that are prevalent in fantasy football. One such strategy, is streaming defenses. To follow this, fantasy owners must look ahead a week or two into the future and play the matchup game when selecting their starting defense for the week. Here are some options to consider for Week 14. They might not be the best, or most prolific options, but they are readily available.
Oakland Raiders at New York Jets, 10.8% ownership in ESPN.
This is more about the Jets offense than the Raiders defense. In a lot of cases, that is what happens when you fill your defense on a week to week basis. The Jets just cannot do anything when they have the ball. Talent is pretty much nonexistent, as is any firepower or explosiveness. Whether it is Matt Simms or Geno Smith at quarterback, Oakland has the advantage. They are traveling to New York for the game, but thanks to playing on Thanksgiving, they are well rested. While the Raiders only have seven interceptions so far on the season, that is likely to change this week regardless of who is under center. And if it doesn’t change, that will likely be because the Jets are just not passing the ball. The last two weeks, New York has shown no ability at all to move the ball, and I don’t expect that to be different this week.
New York Jets vs. Oakland Raiders, 13.3% ownership in ESPN.
Just because the Jets offense has been horrific, we should not hold that against their defense. Generating turnovers are not their forte, but the Jets do have 33 sacks on the season. My guess is that this will be an ugly game that will come down to field position, and with Oakland’s running backs banged up, there should not be too much offense. The one issue the Jets have had is in their secondary with the deep ball, but I don’t see that being an issue against the Raiders this week. I wouldn’t expect too much out of New York’s defense, but they should be a solid option that won’t give up too many points.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Detroit Lions, 4.5% ownership in ESPN.
I will admit, this one very well could be considered a stretch. The Eagles defense has not been great this season (just 29 sacks and 5 interceptions), but some of their early season struggles can be attributed to the offense. In the beginning of the season, Chip Kelly’s offense could not stay on the field, and that put undue stress on the defense. Now that the offense has found their groove with Nick Foles, the defense has been doing better. Granted the Lions and their explosive offense Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush are not the best matchup, but this is a dome team playing in Philadelphia in December. The problem though, is that the inclement fall weather didn’t really impact Stafford too much a few weeks ago in Pittsburgh. The one positive here, is that Stafford does turn the ball over as he has 14 interceptions so far this season.
New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers, 44% ownership in ESPN.
We are going with another home team here, but since the Saints play in a dome, weather will not be a factor. Rob Ryan has engineered a big turnaround in New Orleans as this year the Saints defense is worth considering from a fantasy standpoint. They get after the quarterback, 37 sacks, and for once have played a role in the Saints’ success. The problem they sometimes have to deal with, is that with Drew Brees and the prolific offense, teams are often forced into passing situations, and the prevent defense yields yards and points. Cam Newton’s value lies more in his legs, as he has just 19 passing touchdowns on the season, so I don’t see the Panthers putting up a lot of points, which at a minimum, makes the Saints a decent option if you are looking to minimize risk.