Defensive scoring has taken a slight downturn the last 2 weeks. After 5 consecutive weeks where our #1 DEF/ST scored more than 20 fantasy points, our leaders in Weeks 9 and 10 only managed 16 points each and this week, for the first time all season, none of the top 3 teams scored a TD. In Week 10, the worst fantasy defense, the Denver Broncos, were owned in more than 75% of leagues (despite me telling you to let them go). As you make your push to the fantasy playoffs, stop relying on name recognition. The Broncos haven’t had a “good” fantasy week since Week 4 but the Saints, traditionally not a great DEF/ST, have 6 top 12 finishes and are ranked in the top 5 for the season. They are owned in less than 50% of leagues. Stop relying on name recognition. Let’s look at which names finished high in Week 10 and who I think will be there in Week 11.
Week 10 Top Performances
Atlanta Falcons: vs DAL
Who knew that losing your team’s best RB and OL would benefit the opposing defense? With Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith both sidelined, the Atlanta Falcons took the Cowboys to the woodshed and, specifically, Adrian Clayborn went crazy. Clayborn finished the game with 6 sacks (and $750,000 in contract accelerators) and the Falcons finished as the #1 fantasy defense. All in all, they had 8 team sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, and held the Cowboys to just 7 points.
Week 11 Matchup: @ Seattle
The Falcons were carried by those 8 team sacks in Week 10, they only had 18 total in their previous 8 games. I don’t see lightning striking twice and will be avoiding the Falcons in Week 11.
Los Angeles Rams: vs HOU
These 2 offenses couldn’t be trending in more different directions and that benefited the Rams greatly in Week 10. They held the Texans to just over 300 yards of total offense and held them in check for basically the entire game. Los Angeles only recorded 3 sacks but they added 2 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries for the most takeaways in the league this week. Houston only managed one TD and the Rams defense finished near the top yet again.
Week 11 Matchup: @ MIN
The Vikings have been stingy to opposing DEF/ST this season but the long and short is this: you can’t cut the Rams so unless you have an extra roster spot, you have to start them. If they can get after the QB and slow down Stefon Diggs, they could still end up in the top 10 for Week 11.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: vs NYJ
I had a feeling this would end up a low scoring game and I was right. There was too much “revenge game” hype coming in and games with that kind of build up tend to be a letdown. The Buccanneers managed to overcome their own offensive woes and held the Jets to just 10 points. They added 2 takeaways and 6 QB sacks for a solid fantasy performance.
Week 11 Matchup: @ MIA
With less than 10% ownership, the Buccaneers are my true Stream of the Week for Week 11. The Dolphins offense is inefficient and relies on big plays. If the Bucs can reel that in and force mistakes out of Cutler (is water wet?) they have a good chance to be a top defense again in Week 11.
Week 11 Starts
Jacksonville Jaguars: vs CLE
The chalkiest, dreamiest, most perfect matchup of the NFL season thus far. The best DEF/ST in all of the land goes up against the NFL’s longest running joke. These CBs may get bored because there is no WR on this team to worry about. I could write about this all day but could simplify it to 3 words: Start the Jaguars.
Detroit Lions: @ CHI
Lions are playing great defense and Trubisky, while improving, still isn’t a threat against fantasy defenses. I expect a low scoring game with the Lions spending a lot of time in the Chicago backfield.
Kansas City Chiefs: @ NYG
The Chiefs come off a bye to face arguably the largest mess in the NFL. They’ll need Marcus Peters to contain Sterling Shepard and then the other 10 guys can stop Evan Engram and attack Eli Manning. This game might get ugly.
Stream of the Week
Arizona Cardinals: @ HOU
Since my first choice made the top performer list, I’ll give you a freebie. While the Cardinals have a higher ownership percentage than most streamer teams (47%), they are still available to half of you. It sounds like Houston lost another weapon with WIll Fuller breaking some ribs so this already inept offense gets inept-er. Don’t worry about my grammar…start the Cardinals.
Week 11 Sits
Pittsburgh Steelers: vs TEN
The Titans are tough against opposing DEF/ST, giving up only 5 fantasy points per game over their last 4 games. The Steelers have been average at best lately and you need better than average when playoff hunting.
Minnesota Vikings: vs LAR
The Rams look like a well-oiled machine right now and you don’t want to put your playoff hopes on the other side of that. There will be better days for Minnesota, but they cannot be trusted in Week 11.
New England Patriots: @ OAK (Mexico City)
I know the Patriots have turned it as of late but I think we’ll see them return back to early season form here. The Raiders offense had shown great improvement in 2 of the 3 games before their bye and should come rested and prepared. I expect a very high scoring game here and wouldn’t risk running out either defense in fantasy.
Top DEF/ST Year-to-Date
The table is arranged by YTD fantasy points but all categories are sortable. Also, I have ranked teams on a Yards-per-Game basis in Passing/Rushing.
|Team||Fantasy Points||Weeks in Top 12||Points Allowed||Sacks||Int||Fum Rec||Def/Ret TD||Safety||Blocked Kick||Rank vs Pass||Rank vs Run|