Let’s Stream Defenses: Week 14 (2020 Fantasy Football)
Save for the handful of leagues that don’t start the playoffs until Week 15, the fantasy playoffs are finally here. If you’re reading this, that probably means you’re in, so congratulations. It also means you don’t stash that sixth WR or that second TE. It’s time to part ways with Jerry Jeudy for now – he’ll be waiting for you in the draft next year. Use that extra space to handcuff your running backs, and if you still have an open spot, stash a defense for later playoff weeks.
Teams to Stash
Below is a list of defenses that I think will be useful after this week, for the remainder of the season. I’ve grouped them by when they have good matchups, and the order within each group is a rough ranking of the teams. The main difference from last week is a few teams that are only usable this week have dropped out of the chart, and I’ve removed Washington as a team to target. While I’m still happy to start a good defense against them (SF) this week, the rest of their opponents aren’t as interesting, especially if Antonio Gibson is back. He might not play this week, but I assume he will in Week 15. I’ve also emboldened the names of teams on this list that are usable this week.
|Two Good Week 15-16 Matchups|
|Good Matchup in Week 15|
|Good Matchup in Week 16|
|Good Matchup in Week 17|
Week 14 Ranks
This is a very good week for streaming. Not only are there several teams I’d be happy starting, but unlike last week, two of my top choices are widely available at less than 20% rostership. Those rostership numbers are from Yahoo, and reflect Tuesday morning before Week 14 waivers have cleared. You can find me on Twitter.
|The Start Them With Confidence Tier|
|The Still a Fine Choice Tier|
|The Surely you Can Find Something Better Tier|
- SEA vs NYJ: The Jets are determined to go 0-16. In case you missed it, they were 12 seconds away from beating the Raiders when they called an inexplicable Cover-0 blitz against a Hail Mary, throwing away their best chance at a win. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. The Jets fired defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for it, but he is almost certainly the fall guy for an intentional effort to secure Trevor Lawrence with the #1 pick of the 2021 draft. A few weeks ago, Seattle’s defense looked like the worst in the league. Since then they played very well against the Rams and Cardinals, and met expectations in two good matchups against the Eagles and Giants (even if their offense couldn’t), holding both to 17 points. They’ve progressed to the point where I’m not worried about starting them against bad offenses, and the Jets are the worst.
- ARI @ NYG: After missing Week 13, it’s not clear yet if Daniel Jones will start this week, or if we’ll get Colt McCoy again. This is a win-win situation for Arizona – Jones is certainly the better quarterback, but he’s still a great target for an above-average defense like The Cardinals.
- DAL @ CIN: While The Cardinals are an above-average defense in a good matchup, The Cowboys are a below-average defense in a great matchup. Brandon Allen has started two games since taking over for the injured Joe Burrow, and the Bengals have 24 total points in those games. With Joe Mixon also absent, I would be extremely surprised to see the Bengals score more than 20 points this week.
- NO @ PHI: Last week, the Eagles benched Carson Wentz for Jalen Hurts. It’s unclear if Hurts will start in Week 14, but similar to the Giants, this is a good situation either way. Wentz has been a disaster this season. We’re always interested in starting defenses against new QBs like hurts, though that situation carries a little more uncertainty, which keeps the Saints out of my top tier. While Hurts only played about half a game last week, it’s a good sign for New Orleans that he was sacked three times in just 26 snaps (42% of the team total).
- SF vs WAS: Washington’s offense has shown some upside – they blew up for 41 points against Dallas two weeks ago. That’s unlikely to happen this week for two reasons: (1) Washington’s offense is based on their run game – Alex Smith has still not had a game with more than one passing touchdown. That run game looked totally lost last week when Antonio Gibson was ruled out, and we don’t know yet if he’ll play in Week 14; (2) San Francisco is much better on defense than Dallas, and they’re especially effective against the run.
- GB @ DET: The Lions’ offense is hard to predict. They’re wildly inconsistent, and when they go off, it doesn’t seem to have very much to do with the quality of the opposing defense. In the last six weeks, Stafford had his best games of the season against Washington and Chicago – both excellent defenses – and played horribly against Carolina and Minnesota who, like Green Bay, are close to average. With the Packers this week, you’re betting that Stafford that the Lions can’t do it two weeks in a row, and I think that’s a reasonable bet.
- LAR vs NE: The Patriots went off against the Chargers last week, and in classic Cam Newton style, they did it almost entirely on the ground. I don’t expect that to repeat, because the Rams are by far the superior Los Angeles defense. In particular, they are among the best run defenses in the league.
- TEN @ JAC: The Jaguars are starting Mike Glennon again, even though he turned the ball over three times last week, and Gardner Minshew appears to be healthy. The Jags probably can’t get the No. 1 pick in the draft after the Jets’ come-from-ahead loss, so I can’t really see a reason for this decision. It might be inexplicable, but it’s good news for the Titans, and by extension us.
- HOU @ CHI: We’re two games into a new era of Mitch Trubisky starting for Chicago, and he’s back to his old self, and by that I mean fumbling. Houston is a low-end start because they aren’t amazing on defense, and Trubisky does occasionally play up to his draft pedigree, but those games are more the exception and the rule.
- CAR vs DEN: After his first half-dozen starts, my assessment of Drew Lock as a DST target was that there was low upside, because he didn’t score much, but also didn’t get sacked or turn over the ball. In eight games since then, only half of that is still true. While he remains one of the least-sacked QBs in the league, he’s become an interception monster. He’s on a 7-game streak of at least one INT in each game and has thrown 14 in that span.
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