Fantasy Football

2018 Fantasy Football Week 16 Defense Stream-O-Matic


Hello everyone and happy championship week! If you’re like me, you’ve been streaming defenses all year using the chart and now need the final option to take home the ‘ship.

Well, you’re in luck because there are lots of options this week on the waiver wire, even after Waiver Wednesday.

There are three tiers of defenses according to the chart this week. The elite tier has three teams in the Titans, Bears, and Rams that are in near-perfect situations. Next up is the safe tier with three defenses that are all available in many leagues. More on them later. Finally, we have a group of defenses that are very streamable. The Jaguars, Vikings, and Broncos have been startable all year and that doesn’t change this week, but there is one more team in this tier that I will discuss later.

Let’s check out the chart and talk about these notable defenses!

2018 Fantasy Football Week 16 Defense Stream-O-Matic


I use a traditional rotisserie scoring style commonly used in fantasy baseball season-long leagues to give point totals to each team.


The categories for the chart are listed below along with links to websites that I use to find this data.

  • Own%: Ownership percentages based on ESPN leagues gives us an idea of who is available. This doesn’t factor into the standings.
  • Location: Generally speaking, defenses play better at home than on the road. Thus, a five-point advantage is given to all home teams.
  • Wind: The only weather element that has shown a direct correlation with point totals is winds in excess of 15 MPH. Another five-point bonus is awarded to teams playing in such windy conditions.
  • Vegas: Using Vegas odds, the spread and over/under generates a projected game score that the bettors go against. This game score portrays what the game flow could look like and, therefore, which fantasy football defenses are in a good position to succeed.
  • oSAC%: To gauge how good (or bad) an opposing offensive line might be, look at the sack percentage for that team’s offense. Not only are some offensive lines bad, but some quarterbacks don’t show the ability to avoid the sack.
  • oINT%: The opponent’s interception percentage obviously helps in streaming a defense. Turnover percentage is not used here because fumbles can be a little fluky and turnover percentage uses both fumbles and interceptions.
  • FPPG: I use ESPN defensive scoring rankings to determine a ranking of the fantasy football defenses.
  • DVOA: Probably the most popular tool for evaluating defenses, the DVOA efficiency ratings are utilized to give a strong baseline to the rankings.

Stream-O-Matic Chart


Defenses on Bye Week: NONE!

Optimum Score: 170


Indianapolis Colts, DST4 (22.8%)

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There are so many interesting stories coming from the AFC playoff picture in the final two weeks of the NFL regular season. The most interesting one to me is the battle between the Texans and Patriots for the No. 2 seed. This is particularly important because one team will get a bye week while the other must face the red-hot Colts if they win out.

The Colts are winners of seven of their last eight games and have won five straight at home. They are still in the hunt for a wild-card berth AND an AFC South title if things break right. They had the most impressive win of Week 15, shutting out the Cowboys who were also on a hot streak. This is a team that’s playing with a fire unmatched in the league and it only grows bigger this week with Darius Leonard getting snubbed for the Pro Bowl. Not that anyone watches that garbage anyway.

Anyway, they’ll host a Giants team this week that just got shut out by the Titans. Without Odell Beckham Jr. on the field to compliment Saquon Barkley, this offense is stagnant and tough to watch. The Titans defense laid out the blueprint to contain the Giants last week and that should continue this week for the Colts. I’m expecting the Colts to jump out to a quick lead, forcing Eli Manning to drop back more often and increase those pass attempts. As fantasy defense streamers, we like that.

New England Patriots, DST5 (56.5%)

With the Patriots coming off a tough loss in Pittsburgh, they’ll be itching to bounce back. With the Bills and Jets left on the schedule, this will give them a great opportunity to pull it back together before the playoffs.

Looking specifically at the Bills, New England has to be salivating. They’ve beaten them in 14 of their last 17 meetings by an average score of 30.3 to 19.9. The Vegas projection pegs this game as a 28.8 to 16.2 game in favor of the Patriots. You don’t have to be a data nerd to see what sort of game context this portrays. Although Josh Allen has been playing well, he’s still very erratic and loves throwing deep. The Patriots corners should have a field day against the likes of Robert Foster and Zay Jones.

I’m going to err on the side of history here and say that the Patriots clobber the Bills. Bold prediction: the defense will step up and get you a score. Is this even that bold?

Dallas Cowboys, DST6 (40.2%)

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After an embarrassing loss at Indianapolis, the Cowboys will be dying to get back out there. The matchup this week against Tampa Bay seems like a great opportunity to ‘right the ship’, which seems backward when you think of the opposing mascot.

While Dallas hasn’t been as opportunistic this year with turnovers as other defenses, that’s typically a fluky situation. They are an above-average defense by DVOA and ESPN fantasy scoring despite not having scored a single touchdown this season. It’s sort of like Julio Jones not catching a touchdown in X amount of weeks and finally breaking through and scoring them like crazy. The Cowboys just need that first one and they’ll start coming in bunches. This week, Jameis Winston arrives and will present that opportunity. The Bucs are in the bottom third of the league in sacks allowed and turnovers since Week 10. Don’t waste this chance, Dallas!

The Vegas line tells a story of a large Cowboys win at home. This plus everything I mentioned previously gives the Cowboys a great floor for Week 16. If they could just break through for a defensive score…

Cleveland Browns, DST10 (15.5%)

Who would’ve thought the Browns defense would be an option for your fantasy championship?

This game is a tale of two extremes. The Browns started off slow, fired their terrible coach, and have since been on a hot streak. However, the Bengals started off hot, hired the terrible former coach from the Browns, and are now limping into Week 16 with injuries to their top players. Cleveland has a one-game advantage on the Bengals this season head-to-head and now host them at the Dawg Pound.

Similarly to what the Colts are up against, a good running back can only do so much. Joe Mixon will be fed in this one, but Cincinnati will be forced to throw with Jeff Driskell. That bodes well for a Browns defense that ranks 3rd in pass defense by DVOA ratings this season. The Browns are a high risk/reward play this week that could win you an important matchup.


Check out the rest of our 2018 Fantasy Football content from our outstanding team of writers.

About Tyler Thompson

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