Top NFL defenses for managers to stream as Fantasy football playoffs begin

Here's a look at three defenses set up for success and flying under the radar as the Fantasy football playoffs begin.
Jaquan Brisker, Chicago Bears
Jaquan Brisker, Chicago Bears / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

The world of Fantasy football rightfully revolves around standout skill players, but it's important to avoid overlooking defensive units as they make a key difference every week. A poor outing could sink a team in a loss, while a prominent one could give a team just enough of an edge to secure a victory.

That difference is more important now than ever as Week 15 marks the start of the Fantasy playoffs for most leagues. Adding a trustworthy streaming option could control whether or not dreams of winning a championship stay alive. Let's take a look at the top choices for a jam-packed NFL slate.

Stream Chicago Bears D/ST (at Cleveland Browns)

Something has clicked in the locker room of the Chicago Bears as their defense has been downright nasty lately. They have allowed an average of only 16.3 points and have tallied nine interceptions over the last four games. That includes one from cornerback Jaylon Johnson in back-to-back contests.

Head coach Matt Eberflus' squad has also gotten to the quarterback 11 times in that same span, which is more than double the sack total it posted in the first nine weeks of the season. To drive the point home, Chicago has scored at least seven Fantasy points in seven of the last nine games overall.

Although these efforts wouldn't be as noteworthy if the defense was a heavily rostered unit, the Bears are available to stream in over 95% of ESPN leagues. Feel confident backing Chicago as it faces a Cleveland offense that ranks outside the top 20 teams in yards per play and touchdowns per game.

Stream Indianapolis Colts D/ST (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)

The Indianapolis Colts were a streaming choice in this article ahead of Week 13 and they went on to log six sacks and score a touchdown on a blocked punt against the Tennessee Titans. It was an outing that should've caused their rostered percentage to skyrocket, yet it currently checks in at under 30%.

That's a great turn of events for managers looking to stream in Week 15 as the Colts now host the Pittsburgh Steelers. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will draw another start after leading the offense to just 264 total yards in Week 14. His ugly interception in the second quarter set the tone for the night.

The Steelers have scored more than 16 points once in their last four away games and rank a dismal 31st in red zone touchdown percentage (42.9%). That provides a Colts defense that stands as the third-highest scoring unit in Fantasy football a safe floor on Saturday afternoon. This is a no-brainer.

Stream Las Vegas Raiders D/ST (vs. Los Angeles Chargers)

This recommendation has a lot to do with quarterback Justin Herbert's recent thumb injury. The Los Angeles Chargers were already struggling on offense and will now have to rely on an inexperienced pro in Easton Stick going forward. It's going to take some time for the right adjustments to be made.

That bodes well for a Las Vegas Raiders defense that is coming off a shutdown showing. The boys in silver and black held the Minnesota Vikings to only three points in Week 14 as third-down stops were coming at a rapid pace. A pair of sacks from defensive end Maxx Crosby was a huge highlight as well.

Keep in mind the Raiders allow 50.0 fewer rushing yards at home versus on the road. Stuffing LA on the ground will force Stick to make throws he will not want to make. With an AFC Wild Card spot still within reach, Las Vegas has a perfect chance to build more momentum inside Allegiant Stadium.

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