This is it: The final week of the regular season. In 16 weeks of NFL action, we’ve seen defenses lockdown their opponents and explode on the scoreboard. We’ve seen low-scoring battles and games with endless turnovers. We’ve even seen games where both teams looked like they were trying to set the Guinness record for most yards given up in a single game. But no matter what type of performance we’ve seen on the field, one thing is clear: defenses—as hard as they are to predict in fantasy—can mean the difference between you winning a fantasy title and you curling up in the fetal position and weeping softly underneath your coffee table.
So here are some of the top defensive streaming options for Week 17. May you stick to New Year’s resolution though January before you inevitably abandon it in February.
Seattle vs. Arizona
Seattle is not the defensive MVP of the fantasy game this season. But from a value standpoint, they’re not far off. Likely undrafted in most leagues, they’ve averaged 15 points per week and 21 over the past four. That ain’t so bad. And this week they get a John Skelton-led Arizona team that has been anything but threatening on offense this season. The Seahawks posted 16 standard points against the Cardinals earlier this season and could do even more this time around.
There are a number of things that could explain Tim Tebow’s four-interception performance in Buffalo on Christmas Eve. Maybe God was punishing him because he received more than he gave during the holiday season. Maybe he was distracted because he knew he had to help Santa Claus deliver toys later that night. Who knows? But what we do know is that the Broncos’ offense is suddenly turnover-prone, something you can expect the Chiefs to try to exploit as they try to play spoiler on Sunday.
Denver vs. Kansas City
Nobody knows Kyle Orton better than the Denver defense. They stared down the neckbeard every day in practice during the early part of this season, learning its reads, tendencies, growing patterns, shaving preferences and line calls. They’ve likely intercepted it numerous times, and they’ve been waiting for months to finally be able to hit him. Sure, Orton could go off against the team that unceremoniously dumped him for Timmy Ballgame and this matchup could explode in your face. But if it doesn’t, the Denver defense could have a field day in a must-win game.
Jacksonville vs. Indianapolis
Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville
I mean, why not, right? The Jaguars are bad on offense but almost mediocre on defense. The Colts are atrocious on offense and have played slightly less than decent on defense recently. Neither of these teams offers great options, but both offer plays that won’t make you vomit that much on Sunday. If you for some reason never got a hold of a stud defense or can’t get your hands on one of the above options, these two wouldn’t kill you as desperation plays. Maim, yes. But kill? No.