Let’s Stream Defenses: Week 13 (2021 Fantasy Football)
Early this season, the streaming DST landscape was dominated by rookie QBs that weren’t living up to their draft pedigree. Now, in Week 13, that has shifted to falls from grace – we’re starting to see teams show up in my recommended targets that would have been unthinkable a year or two ago. The Seahawks have looked pretty bad in the last three weeks since Russell Wilson came back. The Saints have been a mess without Jameis Winston, going 0-4 with Trevor Siemian before finally turning to Taysom Hill this week. The Steelers and Falcons are both learning that their once-good quarterbacks are not Tom Brady and can’t keep it up late into their 30s.
If you’re thinking about stashing defenses for the fantasy playoffs, last week, I listed the teams that had good-looking fantasy playoff schedules, and that hasn’t really changed. It’s worth monitoring whether or not the Saints and Seahawks continue to look like good matchups.
We have four teams on bye this week – CAR, CLE, GB, and TEN – but none of them are among our frequent DST targets, so this week feels pretty good. You might have to reach all the way down to Minnesota at 17% rostership, but I feel better about them than I typically do for my 10th ranked team. Rostership numbers are on Yahoo. 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|
- PHI @ NYJ: With Zach Wilson under center, the Jets are the best DST target in the league. It’s true that most of Wilson’s interceptions were in the first three weeks of the season, but his sack rate remains high, and it will take a few more games to make us think we should expect less than an interception per game on average. (The Jets’ projected 1.5 turnovers breaks down into about 0.95 interceptions for Wilson and o.55 fumbles for the team.) The Jets don’t have the best defense, but they’re good enough not to doubt in an excellent matchup like this.
- MIA vs. NYG: The Jets’ projections are on another level, but the Giants lead the pack for teams playing on Earth. This matchup just checks all the boxes: projected points under 20? check. QB with a high sack rate and an above-average INT rate? check. A decent defense playing at home? check.
- IND @ HOU: Tyrod Taylor‘s pattern for sacks this season is interesting. He had five in Week 19 against Miami, none in Week 11 against Tennessee (one of only three games this season where Houston’s opponent wasn’t a top-12 defense), and back up to five last week against the Jets, who have the worst defense in the league. It’s been a few years since Taylor had an extended stretch as a starter, but he took a lot of sacks back then too. It seems like there’s a lot of variation – another game like Week 11 is possible – but on average I expect a lot of sacks for any Houston opponent, including the Colts this week.
- LAR vs. JAC: Jacksonville actually has the lowest points projection of the week, but they are held back slightly by Trevor Lawrence not taking quite as many sacks as other high-end QB targets. That’s really their only redeeming quality, though – the Jags haven’t exceeded 23 points in a game this season.
- ARI @ CHI: Last week, the Lions were so bad that they managed to give even Chicago a win, so the Bears will still have Matt Nagy in charge for at least another week. Don’t let that fool you into thinking Chicago has an offense, they still only scored 16 points. I fully expect them to get crushed by Arizona, an actually good defense.
- TB @ ATL: Like Tyrod Taylor, Matt Ryan is boom-bust when it comes to sacks. He had five in Week 9, none in the two following games, and then back up to four last week. The opposing team finished as the top defense in both of those zero-sack games, so he can’t seem to get all cylinders firing at once. The Buccaneers are quite good on defense and destined for another Super Bowl win, so the odds of another big day for Atlanta’s opponent is high.
- KC vs. DEN: Against all reason, the Broncos have the highest point differential in their neck-and-neck division. I’m not a believer – their easy early-season schedule is the only reason they’re still in the hunt. I’m not expecting much out of their offense against KC, and with a projection of 18.5 points – tied for 2nd-lowest in the league this week – Vegas isn’t expecting much either.
- SF @ SEA: The Seahawks have been quite bad since Russell Wilson returned from injury in Week 10, going winless and scoring just 28 points over the course of three games. Wilson has always taken a lot of sacks even when he played like a Hall-of-Famer. Now that the offense is less scary, that adds up to a pretty good profile for fantasy defenses to face. There is, of course, risk – the old Wilson could return at any time – but at this point the odds of that happening aren’t particularly worrying.
- DAL @ NO: Speaking of once-great teams, as far as we know the Saints are finally going to start Taysom Hill, though I’ll believe it when I see it. I don’t expect many interceptions because I don’t expect Hill to throw the ball much (though if he does, the sky is the limit), but there’s a reason the Saints have been so hesitant to start him. The Trevor Siemian era was just such a disaster that they don’t seem to have much of a choice.
- MIN @ DET: The Lions managed to keep their winless streak alive even against the Bears, which is impressive. Jared Goff doesn’t take the most sacks or throw the most picks, but he also doesn’t lead a very functional offense. I would start pretty much anyone against Detroit, and “pretty much anyone” describes the Vikings perfectly.