Week 10 Team Defense Recap

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It seems like every week I am offering more and more proof of the unpredictability of fantasy DEF/ST…and Week 10 was no different. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be the flukiest #1 we’ve had at any position all season. Coming into Week 10, they had 20 fantasy points and were a bottom 5 unit. Coming out, they more than doubled their point total and finished as the best DEF/ST of the week. Now, it wasn’t all unpredictable. In fact, 4 of my 5 recommended Starts from last week finished in the top 10 (5 if you count the fact that I said you could start both in the Jets/Rams snooze-fest) and all 3 of my Sits finished outside of the top 10. Hopefully, you were able to take advantage. Time to look at Week 10’s best and decide who to play in Week 11.

Week 10 Standout Performances

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: vs Chicago Bears
I’ve already told you that this matchup was on nobody’s radar as Start for Week 10. It came out of nowhere. Tampa Bay had been bad all season and Chicago had looked at least competent under Jay Cutler. The game started with a pick-6 and ended with 4 sacks, 4 turnovers, a safety, and that defensive TD for the Bucs. Tampa Bay scored 25 fantasy points in Week 10, the 2nd most all season. It was an amazing game…that no one took advantage of, the Buccaneers are owned in less than 10% of leagues.

Week 11 Matchup: @ Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs offense isn’t scaring anyone but you still can’t start the Buccaneers on the road in one of the league’s most hostile environments. You probably don’t even own them but if you do: bench them.

Miami Dolphins: @ San Diego Chargers
It wasn’t exactly a pretty game by the Dolphins but they did enough. Yes, they allowed 24 points and Philip Rivers to go over 300 yards and 3 TDs. But they also slowed the run game down (less than 3 YPC) and picked Rivers off 4 times, taking one of those back for a TD. Throw in their 3 sacks and you have the 2nd best performance of Week 10.

Week 11 Matchup: @ Los Angeles Rams
The Rams still give up the 2nd most points to fantasy defenses and only scored 9 points last week. The Dolphins have scored 13+ fantasy points in their last 2 games and have been a viable start in each of their last 5 games. This will be #6, start the Dolphins.

Baltimore Ravens: vs Cleveland Browns
The most predictable matchup of Week 10 went as scripted. The Ravens held the Browns to 7 points, forced 3 turnovers, and sacked the QB 4 times. It was a bland but solid stat line that put them in a tie for the #2 spot in Week 10.

Week 11 Matchup: @ Dallas Cowboys
A few weeks ago, I called the Ravens an “every week Start”. That, my friends, is called hyperbole. The Cowboys are red hot right now and are averaging negative points to fantasy defenses. Yes, you read that correctly. The Cowboys give up the fewest points to fantasy DEF/ST, and are actually averaging -1 fantasy points allowed in ESPN standard scoring, they are taking points away from you. Bench the Ravens.

Week 11 Starts

I feel like I probably should have pointed this out earlier but I try to give teams here that you can stream for the week. If you have a stud, by all means, start them…unless I say otherwise in the article.

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Detroit Lions: vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Home games after a bye week are the best. The only thing better is when Blake Bortles comes to town. The Jaguars are allowing 2 sacks and giving up 2 turnovers per game. Detroit is allowing fewer than 20 points per game over their last 3.

New York Giants: vs Chicago Bears
The Bears just gave up the 2nd most fantasy points that we’ve seen all season and lose their #1 WR in the same week. The Giants have played well against better offenses and are averaging 11 fantasy points over their last 3 games.

Oakland Raiders: vs Houston Texans (in Mexico City)
With so many good defenses playing each other in Week 11, choosing a 3rd streamer was tough. Houston’s offense has been bad. They haven’t scored more than 24 points in their last 3 games, and have only done so twice this entire season. They are near the bottom of the league in points scored and total yards on offense. The Raiders have been pretty solid in each of their last 3 games and are coming off of a bye, I like the matchup.

Week 11 Sits

Philadelphia Eagles: @ Seattle Seahawks
The Eagles defense is not the same on the road as it is at home. Seattle has scored 31 points in each of their last 2 games and we all know about their home field advantage. Not a good week for the Eagles.

Buffalo Bills: @ Cincinnati Bengals
Normally, I love teams coming off of their bye week but that is not the case here. Buffalo has allowed more than 33 points per game over their last 3 and I don’t think Cincinnati is the team to help them get right. The Bengals only give up about 2 fantasy points per game to opposing DEF/ST at home this year. Best to avoid the Bills.

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 Games Points Allowed Sacks Int Fum Rec Def/Ret TD Safety Blocked Kick Rank vs Pass Rank vs Run
1 Broncos 103 10 181 29 10 10 3 0 2 1 28
2 Vikings 97 9 152 22 10 8 4 1 0 6 10
3 Ravens 94 9 160 18 9 6 2 0 4 5 1
4 Eagles 89 9 160 25 9 7 3 1 1 7 13
5 Cardinals 87 9 148 24 9 7 1 2 0 2 12
6 Chiefs 84 9 168 18 13 9 4 0 0 13 27
7 Chargers 69 10 260 19 11 8 4 1 0 26 6
7 Seahawks 69 9 158 29 7 3 1 0 3 10 9
9 Bills 68 9 201 30 6 6 3 0 1 11 20
10 Dolphins 62 9 200 22 9 3 3 0 2 9 30
11 Texans 59 9 188 19 4 4 2 0 0 3 26
12 Panthers 56 9 212 27 9 3 3 0 0 25 2
13 Rams 55 9 155 16 5 6 1 0 1 8 17
14 Bears 51 9 207 24 5 3 2 0 1 12 11
15 Giants 48 9 184 14 9 1 2 0 2 22 7

With 2 of the top 10 DEF/ST on bye and another 3 playing in unfavorable matchups, Week 11 is an important streaming week. If you’re lucky enough to own one of the other 5 top 10 defenses, start them with confidence. But if you are not and the playoffs are on the line, don’t be afraid to plug in a streamer, you might just end up with the top scorer of the week, like Tampa Bay in Week 10. The playoffs are coming, good luck to you all (unless you are playing me).

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