With the fantasy football season just about wrapped up now, week 17 is the last week to make some moves. Week 17 is one of the hardest weeks to predict a players performance because NFL teams know what is possible and if they’re already eliminated from playoffs then they will most likely rest their starters. Creating a difficult situation for fantasy players in week 17 which is the reason why a lot of fantasy leagues switched their championship week to week 16. The streaming options you should be considering will be on teams that still have something to play for this season. Teams that are close in their division or are still fighting for the #1 overall seed. Below you will find the best defenses to pickup for week 17. All defenses listed in this article will be rostered in under 55% of fantasy leagues. All statistics used in this article can be found at https://www.lineups.com/nfl.
Kansas City Chiefs Defense vs Los Angeles Chargers – 43.4% Rostered
The Chiefs defense has been the most improved unit this season after being one of the best matchups to face last season they have been a formidable defense this season. The weakness of this defense is the run game, giving up the 7th most rushing yards this season along with the 4th highest yards per carry (5.0 yards), and the 17th most rushing touchdowns. The strength of their defense lies in its secondary, only giving up the 8th fewest passing yards, 12th lowest yards per completion (10.2 yards), 9th fewest passing touchdowns, and the 4th lowest yards per attempt (6.1 yards). They will face their division rival the Los Angeles Chargers in week 17. It has been a sad season for the Chargers, being a very talented team with big expectations coming into this year. The downfall of the Chargers has been their aging quarterback Phillip Rivers who has thrown nearly as many interceptions (18) as touchdowns (21) this season. When a team can get pressure on him he will throw a lot of questionable passes due to his lack of mobility in and out of the pocket. The Chiefs have the 9th most sacks on the season so far, making this a juicy matchup for the Chiefs defense in week 17.
Green Bay Packers Defense vs Detroit Lions – 39.2% Rostered
The Green Bay Packers, currently ranked as the 21st best fantasy defense, will face the Detroit Lions in week 17. Depending on the outcome of Monday nights game against the Vikings, the Packers may still need to be playing their starters in week 17. This Packers defense is a middle of the pack defense with a weakness in the run game. Facing the Lions who have not been a good rushing team, 11th fewest rushing yards this season with a yards per carry of 3.9 yards (9th worst). After officially putting Matthew Stafford on IR this season, the Packers will face quarterback David Blough. Blough has been one of the worst quarterbacks in recent memory, completing just 56.6% of his passing and throwing more interceptions (5) than touchdowns (4) since week 13, throwing at least one interception in every game except for one. The Packers’ defense has created the 5th most interceptions this season with their young secondary. This Packers defense can have themselves a great week against a troubled Lions offense in week 17 to wrap up the regular season.
Cleveland Browns Defense vs Cincinnati Bengals – 44.8% Rostered
The Browns were one of the most hyped up teams coming into this season with plenty of people around the NFL predicting a deep playoff run for them this year. Even though they are eliminated from the playoffs at this point, the Browns still have plenty to play for. Specifically their head coach Freddie Kitchens will want to be ending this season on a positive note to try to save his job. The Browns defense has had a rough two weeks, scoring negative points in fantasy during weeks 15 and 16. Facing one of the worst teams in football in the Bengals they will have the opportunity to end it on their terms. The Browns have created the 10th most interceptions this season, a bright spot for this otherwise average defense. The Bengals have thrown the 11th most interceptions this season. The Bengals have had one of the worst offenses in football, having the 5th fewest rushing yards, the 16th fewest passing yards, and have scored the fewest points in the NFL this season. This matchup against the Bengals provides Cleveland the opportunity to show some promise for next season.
Philadelphia Eagles Defense vs New York Giants – 53.6% Rostered
The Philadelphia Eagles have been a very interesting team to follow this season. A very emotional team with everything to play for in week 17. They will face the New York Giants who gave them some trouble a few weeks ago but rallied together to pull out a win. After winning their most important game of the season against the Cowboys in week 16, they will be looking to make a statement to the rest of the NFC against the hopeless Giants with nothing to play for. The Eagles made a big defensive statement in week 16 limiting the number 1 offense in the NFL to just over 300 total yards. The Giants will likely keep Daniel Jones in for week 17 to get him as much experience as possible. Jones leads the NFL in fumbles this season with 16. Facing a strong Philly pass rush who ranks 13th in sacks and gets a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Creating the 14th most forced fumbles this season, the Eagles defense can have a big day against the Giants.
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