One of the biggest strategies in fantasy football is streaming defenses. Each week owners will look at matchups and make waiver wire acquisitions to find their starting defense. Here are fantasy football defenses to stream in week 16. (Note: All defense mentioned are owned in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues)
1. Arizona Cardinals
This season, the Cardinals have the 17th-ranked fantasy defense. They have three double-digit scoring performances this year and two negative scoring performances. In week 15, they were able to score seven points against the Philadelphia Eagles, despite a great game from Jalen Hurts.
Their matchup this week is with the San Francisco 49ers. Nick Mullens has struggled at quarterback recently and the team has a lot of injuries. The Cardinals should be able to take advantage, as they team looks to make a push to the playoffs. They are owned in 31.8 percent of ESPN leagues.
2. Houston Texans
The Texans have not played well defensively this year and rank 27th for fantasy. They have six negative scoring performances and average 1.6 points per game. Houston does have one really impressive performance against the Lions, which resulted in 15 fantasy points.
It is all about the matchup for the Texans this week. They play the Cincinnati Bengals, who are down to their third starting quarterback on the season and don’t pose a huge threat to score a lot of points. Although the Bengals looked to have some life against the Steelers, they will be on a short week after playing on Monday Night Football. The Texans are available in over 90 percent of ESPN leagues.
3. Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia, like the rest of the NFC East, has struggled, but they have a solid fantasy defense, ranking 10th. They have two double-digit performances and two negative performances this year. The Eagles haven’t had a negative scoring performance since week 5, although they did score 0 points against the Cardinals in week 15.
Their game will be a little easier this week, as they play the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas is already without Dak Prescott, but this past week they were without Ezekiel Elliot as well. Both teams are fighting for a chance at the playoffs, but the Eagles’ defense should be able to hold Dallas in check. The Eagles are owned in 22.4 percent of ESPN leagues.
4. Kansas City Chiefs
The offense gets all the headlines, but the Chiefs’ defense has been solid this year too and rank 12th in fantasy. They have four double-digit games and three negative scoring games. Kansas City has a boom or bust defense, so they are a risky play for fantasy owners.
The Chiefs play the Falcons this week, who can put up some points, but could be without Julio Jones. Atlanta is also out of the playoff picture so they may elect to start sitting out players who have nagging injuries, like Jones. If a fantasy manager is desperate, the Chiefs could be a pickup that could boom right when they need them too. The Chiefs are owned in 49 percent of ESPN leagues.
5. Los Angeles Chargers
While the Chargers’ defense isn’t having the year they expected, they do rank 20th in fantasy scoring. They have two double-digit scoring outings and no negative games. The Chargers do have five times of scoring 0 points this year. There is talent on the defense and they could have one of their better games in week 16.
This week the Chargers play the Broncos. Denver’s offense has been inconsistent this year, as quarterback Drew Lock has had some good and bad games, as well as missing some due to injury. The Chargers could score some points this week if Lock has one of his down weeks. They are owned in 25.8 percent of ESPN leagues.
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