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 17. (Note: All defense mentioned are owned in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues)
1. New England Patriots
New England is a top 10 fantasy defense this season. They have three double-digit scoring performances on the season, including a 28-point performance against the Chargers in week 13. The Patriots do have one negative scoring performance, which came against the Texans.
They have had injuries and opt outs, but the Patriots still battle hard and produce as a fantasy defense. In week 17, the Patriots play the Jets. While the Jets are on a two-game winning streak, they still haven’t shown enough signs that they can be trusted against Bill Belichick. The Patriots are owned in just under 50 percent of ESPN leagues.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
While they haven’t had the season that they would’ve hoped for, the Eagles have a solid fantasy defense, which ranks in the middle of the league. They have two double-digit games, with one coming against the 49ers and the other against the Cowboys. The Eagles have three negative scoring games, including in week 16 against the Cowboys.
This week, the Eagles play Washington, who will either be starting Alex Smith off of an injury or Taylor Heinicke after releasing Dwayne Haskins. This will probably make it a low-scoring game with some turnovers, which means the Eagles are worth playing. They are owned 24.4 percent of ESPN leagues.
3. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings made a push, but won’t make the playoffs. Part of the reason is their defense, which ranks near the bottom of the league in fantasy. They have two double-digit scoring outings, which came against the Bears and Jaguars. Minnesota also has three negative scoring games, including this past week against the Saints.
In week 17, the Vikings play the Lions. This will give them a chance to score some points, especially with Matthew Stafford likely out for the finale. Minnesota has had some injuries and opt outs as well, but they should be able to have one more good game. They are owned in 34.4 percent of ESPN leagues.
4. Dallas Cowboys
Dallas has had a tough year defensively, but more recently they have played better. They have three double-digit scoring performances, two of which have come in the last three weeks. The Cowboys have five negative scoring outings, but none have come since week 13.
For the regular-season finale, the Cowboys are taking on the Giants. The Giants don’t have the most high-powered offense and the Cowboys will want to be at their best, as they can still make the playoffs. Dallas is owned in 14.2 percent of ESPN leagues.
5. New York Giants
The Giants haven’t been a good team this season, but do have a solid fantasy defense. They have four double-digit scoring games this year with all of them coming after week 5. The defense does have two negative scoring performances, including in week 16 against the Ravens.
Their week 17 matchup is the Cowboys, who look a lot better lately. The Giants did score eight points against Dallas the last time they played and they may be able to replicate that success. They are available in over 80 percent of ESPN leagues.
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