To say this has been an interesting season for fantasy DEF/ST is an understatement. We’ve had many big performances and many, many duds and it’s created such a jumble in the top teams from a week to week basis. In Week 9, the Bears reclaimed the throne with a thorough beatdown of the Bills, more on that later, but the most incredible move was the Vikings. Last week, it was impressive to see the Patriots jump from ranked outside the top 12 all the way to #4 so late in the season. The Vikings waited one week and outdid that performance, again jumping from outside the top 12 DEF/ST all the way to the #2 spot on the wings of an excellent Week 9 performance. It only takes one monster week to completely change your fortune in fantasy defense this season. Who might we be talking about after Week 10?
Week 9 Top Performances
Chicago Bears: @ Buffalo Bills
Nathan Peterman is the gift that keeps on giving…and giving. Peterman was responsible for 3 of the 4 Bears takeaways, including a pick 6. The Bears also took a fumble into the end zone, giving them 2 TDs on the day. The Bears defense scored more TDs than 5 offenses in Week 9. Even without Khalil Mack, Chicago added 4 sacks to their total. This performance was good enough to return the Bears back to the #1 DEF/ST spot.
Week 10 Matchup: vs Detroit Lions
If Khalil Mack suits up, Matt Stafford may not finish the game. After what the Vikings just did to this Detroit offensive line, it’s conceivable that the Bears are the top DEF/ST again in Week 10.
Miami Dolphins: vs New York Jets
Interceptions were the story of the day in Miami. Sam Darnold came in leading the league in picks thrown and added 4 more to his growing total. The Dolphins took one of those picks back for a TD and were able to sack Darnold 4 times as well. That defensive TD was enough to beat the New York as Miami kept the Jets out of the end zone all game long, holding them to 2 FGs.
Minnesota Vikings: vs Detroit Lions
While the Dolphins/Jets game was decided by interceptions, QB sacks ruled the day in Minnesota. The Vikings absolutely embarrassed the Lions offensive line and sacked Matthew Stafford 10 times in Week 9. One of their many QB hits led to a fumble that was returned for a TD by Danielle Hunter, who ended the day with 3.5 sacks on top of that TD. The Lions only scored 9 points and not one TD. It was by far the Vikings best performance of the year and enough to catapult them all the way to #2 in the year-to-date rankings.
Week 10 Matchup: Bye Week
The Vikings do have the Bears coming out of their bye but a tougher schedule after that. You can safely drop them if you don’t have a free roster spot.
Week 10 Starts
New York Jets: vs Buffalo Bills
The Bills appear to be king-makers in the fantasy defense world and the Jets played very well against Miami last week. Whether it’s Derek Anderson or Nathan Peterman, Buffalo is going to turn the ball over. A bonus is that New York is owned in fewer than 50% of fantasy leagues.
Kansas City Chiefs: vs Arizona Cardinals
A similar situation to what Kansas City faced in Cleveland last week. A rookie QB but this time with much less firepower around him. The Chiefs should get up quickly in this one and that will put Josh Rosen in comeback mode, something fantasy defenses can feast on.
Los Angeles Chargers: @ Oakland Raiders
The Raiders are just bad and cannot expect Derek Carr to play perfect every week. That showed in Week 9 and should again in Week 10. The Chargers offense should score a lot of points and let their defense get after Carr. Oakland is giving up the 7th most points to DEF/ST. Another great matchup for streamers out there, the Chargers are owned in fewer than 55% of leagues on both Yahoo and ESPN.
Stream of the Week
Indianapolis Colts: vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Already gave two very good streams in my starts of the week but if you’re in need of a true streaming option, the Colts are your team. Coming off of a Week 9 bye, the Colts DEF/ST ownership is lower than 10% on Yahoo and ESPN. The Jaguars give up the 4th most fantasy points and Jacksonville should be playing from behind most of this game. That should put the Colts defense in many favorable positions in Week 10.
Week 10 Sits
Jacksonville Jaguars: @ Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck has been playing great football this season and the Jaguars offense rarely does their defense any favors. The Colts give up the 12th fewest points to DEF/ST.
Carolina Panthers: @ Pittsburgh Steelers
A lot of you picked up Carolina expecting a FitzMagic meltdown, and even though he turned the ball over 3 times, the Panthers still missed the top 12 last week. The Week 10 matchup is far worse and the over 75% of you that own the Panthers should be looking at the many streaming options.
Philadelphia Eagles: vs Dallas Cowboys
While the Cowboys are a favorable matchup, I just don’t trust this Philly defense. The Eagles only have two top 12 performances this season and are there are too many safer options this week to gamble on the Eagles.
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.
|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|