Talking fantasy defense isn’t always the most exciting thing but Week 10 took us to new lows. Defenses only scored one TD, and that was on Thursday night, nobody registered more than 6 sacks, and there were no shutouts. The story instead, was the failure of a few teams to capitalize on “plus” matchups. The Colts disappointed against a bad Jacksonville offense, the Patriots and Titans went full “Freaky Friday” and seemingly switched roles in their game, and the Jets took what should have been the best matchup of Week 10, against the Buffalo Bills, and let a Matt Barkley-led offense score 41 points. It was not a fun a week. Let’s hope we’re talking about the good after Week 11, not the bad and ugly.
Week 10 Top Performances
Washington Redskins: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
All Washington did in this game was held one of the highest scoring teams in the league to 3 points, despite giving up more than 400 yards passing. They helped their efforts by causing 4 turnovers, 3 at the hands of Ryan Fitzpatrick. They also sacked Fitzpatrick twice for good measure. It was an ugly performance all around for Tampa Bay, as they missed 2 FGs in the game as well.
Week 11 Matchup: vs Houston Texans
Houston is a team that can easily drop 40 on your defense or scores 14 points with a couple of turnovers. That makes the Redskins risky in Week 11. Check your waivers for some better options, outlined below, before you plug and play Washington in Week 11.
Pittsburgh Steelers: vs Carolina Panthers
Pittsburgh’s Thursday night beatdown of Carolina was one of the best offensive performances we’ve seen this season…and that put Cam Newton and the Panthers in tough spots all game long. The Steelers sacked Newton 5 times and forced a pick 6 early in the 2nd quarter. They added a fumble recovery giving themselves 2 takeaways for the game. The Pittsburgh pick-6 was the lone DEF/ST scored in Week 10.
Week 11 Matchup: @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville gives up the 4th most points to fantasy defenses and, even with the return of Leonard Fournette, looks like an offense severely lacking an identity. Bortles spent most of last week drilling balls into the ground and with the high-powered Steelers offense on the other side of the field, this should be a lopsided affair. Start the Steelers.
Green Bay Packers: vs Miami Dolphins
Another case of one good offense putting the other team’s worse offense in bad situations. Green Bay did not allow a TD in this game, as the Dolphins traded TDs for FGs all game long. This allowed the Packers defense to get after Brock Osweiler, registering 6 sacks and 2 turnovers. In a very banal Week 10, 12 points allowed, 6 sacks, and 2 turnovers are good enough for a top 3 finish.
Week 11 Matchup: @ Seattle Seahawks
You have a middle of the road fantasy defense playing a middle of the road NFL offense. If this game was in Green Bay, the Packers would likely be a for sure start for me. But in Seattle, things get a bit riskier. You could do worse, but I’d still be looking at my streaming options before starting the Packers.
Week 11 Starts
Los Angeles Chargers: vs Denver Broncos
The Broncos have given up multiple sacks in every game since Week 1 and the Chargers are top 10 in the league at sacking the QB. In fact, Los Angeles has registered 4 sacks in each of their 2 games coming out of their Week 8 bye. Denver should struggle to keep pace with this Chargers offense and that should mean more obvious passing situations…which should also mean more sacks and a couple of INTs.
Carolina Panthers: @ Detroit Lions
At this point, betting against the Lions offense is a good bet. Over their last 3 games, Detroit has given up 19 sacks and 7 turnovers. While Carolina had a tough Week 11 matchup in Pittsburgh, they should find the going much easier in the Motor City.
Indianapolis Colts: vs Tennessee Titans
The Colts did not perform as well as expected against the Jaguars and the Titans played great against the Patriots, making this a risky start. Outside of that Patriots game, the Titans do give up the 9th most points to DEF/ST. It’s unlikely that they shut down this Colts offense as they did against New England, so they should be playing from behind most of the game. That will put Marcus Mariota in desperate situations and should lead to some turnovers for Indianapolis.
Stream of the Week
Arizona Cardinals: vs Oakland Raiders
With Byron Leftwich resurrecting the Arizona offense, it’s made their defense viable again. The Cardinals have multiple sacks in every game this season and are averaging almost 4 sacks per game over their last 5 games. A home game with the Raiders should give us more of the same. The Raiders allow the 7th most sacks in the league and give up the 7th most points to fantasy defenses. It’s a perfect matchup for a team that is owned in fewer than 20% of all fantasy leagues.
Week 11 Sits
Both Teams: Los Angeles Rams vs Kansas City Chiefs
This should easily be the highest scoring game of the week and even though both of these teams have top 12 fantasy defenses, you’ll want no part of them in Week 11. The Rams give up the 2nd fewest points to DEF/ST, second only to Kansas City. These are not the DEF/ST you’re looking for.
Houston Texans: @ Washington Redskins
Despite having arguably one of the most boring offenses in the NFL, the Redskins give up the 8th fewest points to the DEF/ST and have only allowed 2 weekly top 12 finishes. Hard to trust the Texans in Washington.
Philadelphia Eagles: @ New Orleans Saints
The Eagles are ranked outside of the overall top 12 and only have two weekly top 12 finishes all season. Yet, they are owned in over 80% of fantasy leagues. If you drop them during their trip to New Orleans, I’m sure they won’t even mind.
Top DEF/ST Year-to-Date
All Stats and Scores from FantasyData.com, your league scoring may differ. Ranks vs Pass/Run are based on Yards per Game allowed.
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