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Two key D/ST starts, Two D/ST sits to consider for Week 15 fantasy football

Could Washington’s defense take advantage of an injury-plagued Philadelphia roster? Can you consider streaming Detroit against Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay?

Washington linebacker Montez Sweat celebrates with defensive end Jonathan Allen after sacking Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of old idioms don’t actually make sense when you start to really break them down and take them literally. One such saying is the commonly used “sometimes the best offense is a good defense.” I mean, I understand the point the person who is speaking is trying to convey, but, technically, these are two diametrically opposed units on the football field. In reality, the best offense is a group of 11 players with an intent to score that accomplish that feat more often than not. That, combined with a defense that limits a rival from amassing too many points, will usually lead to victory. Ironically enough, the only situation where a defense’s primary function is to accumulate offensive points is in Fantasy Football.

Let’s take a look at some D/ST options in Week 15 set to do just that.

D/ST Starts

Washington

You wouldn’t be wrong for not immediately assuming that a three-win Washington team possessed a relatively impressive defense, but limiting opposing teams has not been Washington’s biggest issue in 2019. Washington actually comes into this weekend’s matchup with Philadelphia having surrendered just 4.8 yards per opponent play since the beginning of Week 12 - the eighth-best mark in all of football. On top of that, Washington is one of seven teams forcing a turnover on more than 14% of opponent drives and they own the league’s fourth-highest adjusted sack rate (8.6%). With the Eagles possibly missing key offensive pieces in Alshon Jeffery, Lane Johnson and Nelson Agholor, I’d have little hesitation streaming Washington’s D/ST in season-long or saving some money with the unit in DFS.

New York Giants

Obviously, this is mostly about the Giants drawing the Dolphins as their opponent in Week 15. Miami has been a magnet for D/ST fantasy points, even allowing the first eight defenses it faced in 2019 to rack up double-digit FPTS. Its not exactly difficult to figure out how that happened, either. The Dolphins have turned the ball over on an AFC-high 16.2% of their offensive drives through 14 weeks, while the team has also surrendered a league-worst 51 sacks. Still, let’s not overlook the fact that New York’s performed much better at home this season than on the road. To wit, the Giants have conceded a whopping 406.0 yards per game away from MetLife Stadium, but that average falls over 60 yards when the squad is back in the comfy confines of New Jersey.

D/ST Sits

Kansas City Chiefs

The Broncos aren’t exactly one of the league’s top offensive systems, but they are relatively risk-adverse. The lifeblood of a good fantasy D/ST is turnovers and sacks. Understandably, those two events mostly occur on passing plays. However, Denver is one of the more run-oriented offenses in the NFL, having posted a 43.2% rush rate through the season’s first 13 games. That correlation has played out in recent weeks, with the Broncos having only turned the ball over six times in their past seven matchups. Sure, the Chiefs racked up an eye-popping nine sacks the last time these two teams met, but, the Joe Flacco experience is now mercifully over in Colorado.

Detroit Lions

I know, streaming a defense against Jameis Winston rarely backfires, yet I think you’d be getting a little too cute if you’re considering using a beat-up Lions unit. Detroit’s conceding an insane 6.6 yards per play at Ford Field so far this season - easily the worst home split in all of football. They’ve also just been bad at every aspect of scoring fantasy points imaginable. The Lions own the league’s fourth-lowest adjusted sack rate (5.7%), they’ve allowed 25.8 points per game, and, most crucially, they possess the NFL’s lowest interception per drive rate (.035). In fact, Detroit has only mustered three INTs dating back to the start of Week 3.