Week 13 waiver wire: Streaming defenses to target


Week 12 brought us another round of strong streaming performances, with five of the seven recommended teams last week scoring six or more fantasy points. The Giants also sit atop the defensive scoring rankings with one game yet to play, but that was easy to call because, Browns. Week 13 doesn't offer us the same luxury as the Browns (and Titans) are on their byes. Nevertheless, there are six low-owned defenses in great spots to post solid fantasy totals this week.

As always, I'll rely on the streaming D/ST qualifications previously established by Matt Harmon and Matt Franciscovich in this column: good matchups, home teams, favorites, and obviously talented defenses. Let's get to it.

Week 13 Streaming Defenses

Baltimore Ravens D/ST (32.4 percent owned) vs. Miami Dolphins

The Ravens ownership percentage is creeping higher and higher each week, and for good reason. This unit has four double-digit fantasy outings in its last five games and is among the league leaders in many statistical categories. Miami's offense has struggled against better defenses, and could be missing three starting offensive lineman for the second week in a row. As a result, Tannehill has been sacked six times in the last two games after only being taken down three times from Week 6 to Week 10 (four games). If the Ravens are still available, give them a look this week on waivers. They could find some success playing at home against a banged up offense.

Atlanta Falcons D/ST (5.6 percent owned) vs. Kansas City Chiefs

The Falcons defense hasn't been stellar from a real-life perspective, allowing nearly 26 points per game over their last four. However, in fantasy that often doesn't matter. The Falcons' pass rush has been active recently, with multiple sacks in five straight games. While the Chiefs put up 30 points on Sunday Night Football, nine of those came from the defense and special teams as the offense was inept for large stretches of the game. Alex Smith refuses to challenge defenses deep, and that could play into the Falcon's favor. With the home crowd and an emerging pass rush in tow, the Falcons could post a decent fantasy line even if Smith somehow manages to challenge their depleted secondary now that star corner Desmond Trufant is headed to IR.

Jacksonville Jaguars D/ST (2.2 percent owned) vs. Denver Broncos

It might seem hard to believe considering Jacksonville is on a six-game losing streak, but the defense down in Duval County has been playing pretty good football of late. Over the last four games the Jags allow 21.25 points per game after allowing 28 during their first seven games, and average 2.75 sacks per game after managing a measly 1.85 per game to start the year. While the Denver offense has been efficient overall in recent weeks, the offensive line is a mess. Trevor Siemian has been sacked 11 times in the last two games alone, which doesn't bode well against the aforementioned improving Jacksonville pass rush. The Jaguars are a lower-end streaming option, but those in deeper leagues or playing DFS could give them a look.

San Francisco 49ers D/ST (3.1 percent owned) at Chicago Bears

Matt Barkley and the Bears foiled our streaming plans with the Titans in Week 12, but there's no reason to not return to the well in Week 13 when the 49ers travel to Soldier Field. Barkley threw two red-zone interceptions against the Titans and is a constant turnover risk as an unproven starter. And even if Jay Cutler heals up enough to start, well, it's not like he's much of an improvement in the turnover department. The 49ers defense hasn't racked up fantasy points over the last month (just eight total points), so there's definite risk in streaming this unit. However, a play like this is banking on big turnovers, which the Bears are prone to committing. If you feel the risk is worth the reward, give the 49ers a call off waivers this week.

Green Bay Packers D/ST (23.7 percent owned) vs. Houston Texans

I know, I know. The Packers have allowed 153 points in their last four games, with each team scoring more than 30. They've had two negative fantasy outings in that span, and have scored one combined fantasy point over those four weeks. However, their injury-ravaged defense gets a much-needed respite next week with a home date against Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans. The Texans offense ranks near the bottom of the league in almost every statistical category, and Osweiler is regressing as the year goes on. He has four interceptions and just one passing touchdown over his last two games, and has yet to throw for more than 270 yards in any game this season. There's certainly risk, even against the Texans, in starting the Packers defense. But if there was ever a "get-right" game for the Green and Gold, this is it.

New Orleans Saints D/ST (2.9 percent owned) vs. Detroit Lions

Every game, all season

The Saints defense was (deservedly) a punching bag for much of the 2016 season as offenses rountinely waltzed through this unit. However, they've patched up some of the cracks, unearthed a pass rush, and started accumulating fantasy points in recent weeks. Since Week 8, the Saints have finished as a top-12 defense four times in five attempts, and could make it five of six when the Lions come to the Superdome in Week 13. The Lions are 3-1 in their last four games, but the offense has averaged just 16 points per game (a couple defensive touchdowns have helped secure wins). Matthew Stafford has just four touchdowns and one interception in that span, and has been sacked seven times. The Saints defense has 12 sacks and eight turnovers over the last month, and could be ready to take advantage of a sputtering Lions offense in front of a raucous home crowd.

-- Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexGelhar