Week 14 Fantasy Football DEF/ST Strategy
If you advanced to the fantasy football playoffs, congrats! Now the games really count. The one trend that carried from Week 12 to Week 13 was unpredictability. The top two D/ST from Week 13, Tampa Bay and Kansas City, were only owned in 27% of fantasy leagues combined, great for streamers with incredible foresight. The rest of us can only play the matchups and cross our fingers. Here are my (hopefully better) predictions for which DEF/ST will get you through Week 14.
Week 13 Top Performances
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ JAX
2%. That’s how many leagues even owned the Tampa Bay D/ST. The Buccaneers sacked the QB five times this week and forced four turnovers. Those four takeaways were the most by any DEF in Week 13 and they took one of their fumble recoveries back for a TD. Five sacks, four takeaways, and a TD will get you the crown most weeks and that is where Tampa Bay finds themselves.
Week 14 Matchup: vs IND
Tampa Bay has looked solid the last two weeks but that was preceded by six awful weeks, which explains their 2% ownership. The Colts do give up the 15th most fantasy points to D/ST, so you could do worse if you’re streaming but they would not be my 1st choice.
Kansas City Chiefs vs OAK
Oakland could not do anything right in this game and, if not for a last-minute TD, this could have been a bigger day for Kansas City’s DEF. The Chiefs recorded two sacks, two interceptions, a fumble recovery, and a blocked kick. They took one of those picks back for a TD and that was good enough for the 2nd best D/ST performance this week.
Week 14 Matchup: @ NE
The Patriots give up the 7th fewest points to fantasy DEF/ST and this game has shoot-out written all over it. No way you can start either DEF here.
Los Angeles Rams @ ARI
After the worst possible Week 12 performance, this was quite surprising. The Rams slowed Kyler Murray down in the way they hoped to do Lamar Jackson a week earlier. Arizona only scored seven points and gave up six sacks and an INT. That INT was taken back for a pick-6 in the 3rd quarter and that put the cherry on top of the #3 performance in Week 13.
Week 14 Matchup: vs SEA
This is a gamble either way. The Rams have shown their ability to score fantasy points on defense and the Seahawks don’t mind fumbling the ball away. On the other hand, Russell Wilson can still score at will and the last time these two faced off, the Rams D/ST finished with two fantasy points. I’d look elsewhere with my playoffs on the line.
Week 14 Starts
New York Jets vs MIA
At home vs the Dolphins is just about a sure-fire recipe for my Start of the Week. The Jets defense had been solid for four straight weeks coming into last week’s dud against Cincinnati. The last time they played Miami, they scored six fantasy points and sacked Fitzpatrick four times. If they can add some turnovers this time around, top-5 is within the realm of possibility.
Philadelphia Eagles vs NYG
Philadelphia needs a bounce back after embarrassing themselves in Miami. The Giants give up the 2nd most points to fantasy defenses. With the Eagles at home, that sets the table pretty nicely for a top-10 finish. New York as allowed opposing DEF to score 10+ fantasy points in seven of their last eight games.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ ARI
The Steelers showed up big against Cleveland and should be able to do the same against Arizona. The Cardinals give up the 11th most fantasy points to D/ST and have given up 10+ fantasy points in each of their last two games. This would be the Start of the Week if the Steelers were at home.
Stream of the Week
Green Bay Packers vs WAS
The Packers DEF just beat up on one NFC East team in bad weather and it should be two weeks in a row after Week 14. The Redskins come to town on a two-game winning streak but should find things tougher against Green Bay than they did vs Detroit or Carolina. Washington gives up the 6th most fantasy points to D/ST and has allowed 25 sacks in their last six games. The Packers DEF is available in 51% of fantasy leagues.
Other Streaming Options: DAL, HOU, TB, TEN
Week 14 Sits
New England Patriots vs KC
I don’t care how many games the Patriots DEF has won you this season, with the playoffs on the line vs Patrick Mahomes, bench them. Unsurprisingly, the Chiefs give up the 2nd fewest points to fantasy DEF and this is not the week to gamble on that changing.
Chicago Bears vs DAL
Dallas allows the 4th fewest points to fantasy defenses and these are not the 2018 Bears. Chicago hasn’t scored 10+ fantasy points since Week 4 and is safely dropable in all leagues.
San Francisco 49ers @ NO
Not too often I tell people to bench both of the year’s top two D/ST but with the playoffs on the line, you don’t toil with Drew Brees. The Saints give up the 5th fewest fantasy points to DEF and are at home in this game. In their six home games this season, the Saints have allowed a total of 28 fantasy points to the opposing D/ST.
Top DEF/ST Year-to-Date
|Team||Fantasy Points||Weeks in Top 12||Points Allowed||Sacks||Int||Fum Rec||Def/Ret TD||Safety||Blocked Kick||Rank vs Pass||Rank vs Run|