Week 10 Fantasy Football DEF/ST Strategy

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I have rarely seen so many fantasy owners rejoice at the perceived failings of one team as they are this week with the Patriots D/ST.  The Ravens gave the Pats all they could handle and Lamar Jackson has all the makings of an NFL MVP. Lost in all of that narrative is that the Patriots still managed four fantasy points and a top 15 finish. That is a far cry from their three straight weeks as the #1 fantasy D/ST but I think their owners can still sleep well after their Week 10 bye.

Week 9 gave us a new top dog for the first time in a month and Week 10 promises the same. Here are the teams you should’ve started last week and the teams you want to start this week in fantasy football.

Week 9 Top Performances

Houston Texans @ JAX (London)
Houston held the Jaguars to a single FG in England and was one of only two teams (Buffalo) to not allow a TD in Week 9. They may have also put Gardner Minshew out of a job after the Jaguars come back from the bye. Minshew accounted for all four Jaguars turnovers. That was two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and four sacks for the Houston defense, giving them the crown in Week 9.

Week 10 Matchup: Bye Week
Houston doesn’t have another “plus” matchup until the fantasy playoffs. Feel free to drop them.

Dallas Cowboys @ NYG
This game started slow for the Cowboys defense but took a turn in the second half.  Dallas picked off Daniel Jones just before half time but that was just their first sign of life. In the 2nd half of play, they forced two fumbles, one of which was on a QB sack on what was essentially the last play of the game that they scooped up for a TD. It was a solid game regardless, with five sacks and three takeaways, but that last-second TD was the icing on the cake.

Week 10 Matchup: vs MIN
There are not many great matchups in Dallas’ future and that starts with Minnesota. The Vikings give up the 5th fewest points to fantasy defenses and Dallas is not reliable. Thank them for their great stream week and drop them.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs IND
Pittsburgh’s defense has been solid all year and their second-half schedule might make them a league winner. This week, they knocked Jacoby Brissett out of the game and had a field day with Brian Hoyer. Hoyer was sacked four times and had two turnovers, including a 96-yard pick-6 by Minkah Fitzpatrick in the 2nd quarter. The Steelers finished the game with five sacks, three takeaways, a blocked kick, and that defensive TD. This is their 6th straight top-10 finish.

Week 10 Matchup: vs LAR
The Steelers are a must-own to finish the season but the Rams are their last hurdle. Los Angeles gives up the 10th fewest fantasy points to D/ST but if you can’t roster two defenses, you can fire up the Steelers with very tempered expectations.

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Week 10 Starts

Baltimore Ravens @ CIN
The Bengals are just bad and the Ravens just got done chewing through Tom Brady. Now they get Ryan Finley, a mid-round rookie making his first NFL start. Baltimore is my Start of the Week and, because people were afraid of the Patriots, the Ravens are available in 50% of fantasy leagues.

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Chicago Bears vs DET
Detroit isn’t exactly a great matchup, they give up the 10th fewest points to fantasy DEF, but they have given up multiple sacks in each of their last five games. Chicago only has two top-10 finishes this year but sacked Carson Wentz four times last week. They might give up points but they should get after Stafford and save their fantasy day.

Buffalo Bills @ CLE
Talk about two teams heading in opposite directions. The Bills are 6-3 and coming off a nice win vs Washington. The Browns (2-6) are still the Browns and just lost to a QB making his first NFL start. The Cleveland offense gives up the 4th most fantasy points to defenses.

Stream of the Week

Indianapolis Colts vs MIA
I’m slightly concerned about the Colts offense but Brian Hoyer shouldn’t put them in too many bad situations against the depleted Dolphins defense. Miami gives up the 2nd most points to D/ST and just lost their best WR and starting RB. The Colts are available in 39% of fantasy leagues.
Other Streaming Options: Chiefs, Jets, Giants

Week 10 Sits

San Francisco 49ers vs SEA
Russell Wilson is the #1 fantasy QB and the Seahawks have only given up two top-10 performances this entire season. I can see holding San Fran for their rematch against Arizona next week but they are far from a must-hold.

Cleveland Browns vs BUF
After what Brandon Allen and Phillip Lindsay just did to Cleveland, there is no way you can start them against Josh Allen and Devin Singletary. Buffalo, on paper, is the 9th best matchup for fantasy defenses. They do not play the games on paper.

Los Angeles Chargers @ OAK
The Raiders offense gains credibility every week and Oakland is now the 3rd worst matchup for fantasy D/ST. The Chargers gave the Packers offense a very hard time last week but still missed the top-10. They will miss again in Week 10.

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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