During fantasy football championship week, no one wants to be in a position where they have to take too many chances when setting their lineups. But with streaming team defenses, it's that go-for-broke mentality that can pay off versus lesser offenses, and the payoff has proven to be massive in many cases. Because of that, it's not far-fetched to think that many of the remaining fantasy teams employed this strategy after missing out on the likes of the Seahawks, Chiefs and 49ers on draft day.
If that's the case, it's only appropriate that fantasy owners get rewarded for this with several streaming options available for Week 16. Let's take a look:
Cleveland Browns (vs. New York Jets): Though the Browns have been gashed in recent weeks by the Patriots and Bears, they can take comfort in the fact that the Jets' offense is nowhere close to that caliber. The Jets have allowed the second-most sacks in the NFL and only Eli Manning and the Giants have thrown more interceptions. Add in the fact that the Jets are averaging the third-fewest yards per game, and it's no surprise that you have a team that has allowed the second-most points to opposing fantasy football defenses this season.
The Browns are more than capable of capitalizing in a situation like this, and with them still available in 75 percent of Yahoo! leagues, owners could do much worse than swing for the fences with them this week.
Detroit Lions (vs. New York Giants): There is no shortage of terrible offense in the Big Apple this season, and the Lions will be the next team to get a chance to feast. Though there are obvious holes in the Lions' secondary, the Giants have rarely taken advantage of such matchups during a nightmare season. Each week provides the same narrative when reviewing what the Giants have -- or in many cases, haven't -- done this season. Eli Manning is within shouting distance of the NFL single-season interceptions record, Hakeem Nicks has been a non-factor and now Victor Cruz's status is uncertain for Week 16. It's the best matchup a defense could ask for during championship week, and there is obvious upside for a Lions defense that is owned in just 14 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Green Bay Packers): It's difficult to make Matt Flynn look good, but the Dallas Cowboys did just that in Week 15. Before that, the Packers had allowed the fourth-most standard fantasy points to defenses over the previous three weeks.
Things won't be as easy for the Packers if Aaron Rodgers remains on the sidelines versus a Steelers defense that is hitting its stride down the final stretch of the season. In fact, only the Chiefs had averaged more fantasy points over the last three games as the Steelers feasted on the Dolphins, Browns and Ravens, and made a statement versus the Bengals during prime time. If Rodgers gets the nod, the Steelers are not a streaming option for championship week, but if he remains on the sidelines once again, fantasy owners can likely make a claim on a defense that is still available in 66 percent of Yahoo! leagues.