Week 11 Fantasy Football DEF/ST Strategy

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Interesting week for fantasy D/ST. Week 10 marks the first time this season that two teams playing each other both finished in the top-3. It could have been even stranger if the Seahawks defense had managed to score one more fantasy point because then we would have four teams from two games all ranked inside the weekly top 3. Overall, things were pretty chalky in terms of fantasy defense this week. The only real surprise was the Falcons making the Saints look just plain bad but my guess is that was the exception, not the rule for both teams.

Week 10 Top Performances

Pittsburgh Steelers vs LAR
Even when their offense doesn’t look great, this defense still performs. The most impressive stat in this game is that they held Cooper Kupp to ZERO catches on four targets. Overall, they had four sacks, four takeaways, and another Minkah Fitzpatrick defensive TD. Put that together with just four points allowed and you have your #1 fantasy defense.

Week 11 Matchup: @ CLE
If the Steelers were at home, this would be my Start of the Week. Cleveland shocked Buffalo last week but still gave up five fantasy points, and they give the 7th most points to fantasy DEF overall this year. The Steelers have been a top-12 play in each of their last seven games and look like a league winner to end the season.

Baltimore Ravens @ CIN
Some games are easier to predict than others. On one side you have the most electric QB in football, able to score points at will. On the other, you have a rookie making his first start with no playmakers to be found. Baltimore forced three turnovers and scored TDs on two of them. They also sacked Ryan Finley twice and allowed just 13 points to the Bengals.

Week 11 Matchup: vs HOU
This has “shootout” written all over it. Impossible to start Baltimore this week but if you can hang on to them, they have a great schedule for the fantasy playoffs.

Los Angeles Rams @ PIT
This game could have gotten ugly if not for this defense. The Rams offense was beaten down all game long but their defense stood tall, only allowing 11 points themselves. They had the only safety we saw this week and a defensive TD of their own. That means they scored 4 more points than their own offense did in this game. They finished with three sacks and two takeaways, good enough for 3rd place in a losing effort.

Week 11 Matchup: vs CHI
The Bears offense is far from scary but does give up the 15th fewest points to fantasy D/ST. You have to start the Rams but temper those expectations.

San Francisco 49ers vs SEA
After Week 9, owners were worried about the 49ers. They were the #2 fantasy defense but only scored three fantasy points against the Cardinals. Week 10 should put those worries to bed. San Francisco sacked Russell Wilson five times and forced three fumbles, one of which they took back for a TD. They also picked Wilson off once. It wasn’t a great “real” game, as the 49ers lost, but fantasy owners aren’t complaining.

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Week 11 Matchup: vs AZ
The real question is: Which 49ers team will show up? There is no way to bench the Niners after what they did to Seattle but in this same matchup just two weeks ago, they only scored three fantasy points. The Cardinals have only given up 10+ fantasy points to D/STs three times this year so look for output somewhere in the middle.

Week 11 Starts

Buffalo Bills @ MIA
It’s the Dolphins so, of course, it’s my Start of the Week.  Miami gives up the 2nd most points to fantasy defenses and, while they have improved the last two weeks, they haven’t faced a defense as good as Buffalo during that time. The Bills haven’t forced a turnover in their last two games but dominated Miami when they played in Week 7.

Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings vs DEN
Brandon Allen looked competent in his first-ever start vs Cleveland two weeks ago but Minnesota should provide a tougher challenge. The Broncos give up the 9th most points to fantasy D/ST and Minnesota is due for a big game. They played well against Dallas, but it doesn’t show in fantasy stats. They have scored 10+ fantasy points three times this year and I’m guessing it will be four after this week.

Carolina Panthers vs ATL
Outside of their miracle against the Saints last week, Atlanta has been bad this year and now they are losing Devonta Freeman and Austin Hooper in the same week. The Falcons already give up the 8th most fantasy points to DEF and can’t afford to lose weapons. Carolina did not have a great fantasy day vs Green Bay but they held the Packers’ offense in check and should find the going much easier in Week 11.

Stream of the Week

Oakland Raiders vs CIN
The Bengals give up the 4th most points to fantasy defenses and they have given up 50 fantasy points in the last three weeks combined. The Raiders played great against the Chargers last Thursday and have had a long break to prep for this game. Cincinnati has given up multiple sacks in every game but one this year and the Raiders have had multiple sacks in each of their last two games. Oakland is available in 95% of fantasy leagues.
Other Streaming Options: WAS, NYJ, DAL

Week 11 Sits

New Orleans Saints @ TB
If you look at this matchup on paper, the Saints feel like a solid start. The Bucs give up the 5th most points fantasy DEF and Jameis gonna Jameis. The thing is, they gave up the majority of those points in two very bad games and have only allowed three top-10 weeks this whole season. When these teams played in Week 5, the Saints D/ST only scored six fantasy points.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ IND
My guess is that Jacoby Brissett plays this week and that changes the complexion of the Colts offense. With Brissett, the Colts offense has only given up 10+ fantasy points once. Without him, they’ve done it in each of the last two weeks. The Jags haven’t been bad this year, but Brissett will not make the mistakes needed for them to be good in Week 11.

Cleveland Browns vs PIT
Last week marked the 1st time since Week 1 that the Steelers offense gave up a top-10 week to a fantasy defense. The Browns’ D/ST, on the other hand, hasn’t cracked 10+ fantasy points since Week 4.

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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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Herbert Barlow says:

Really good information thanks

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