Week 13 Team Defense Recap
I would like to start this week with a humble apology. After writing this article for 12 weeks, I’ve been wrong before. But never have I been as spectacularly wrong as I was about the Miami defense in Week 13. I made a joke on Twitter that when I mentioned that Vegas had the Miami @ Baltimore game as it’s lowest Over/Under, I had no idea that Baltimore would score all of the points. It was a bad call and it was done at the worst possible time. Hopefully, I helped you win a few earlier this season that put you in the playoffs. If you’re still reading, I would guess that is the case. Thank you, now let’s look at who shined in Week 13 (Not Miami) and who is going to help you pull off that Week 14 playoff win.
Week 13 Standout Performances
Denver Broncos: @ Jacksonville Jaguars
This may have been the most easily predictable outcome of the week, maybe the season. Blake Bortles vs The League’s Top Passing Defense pretty much writes itself. Though the Broncos only sacked Bortles once, they forced him to turn the ball over 3 times and took one of those in for a TD. If you owned the Denver DEF/ST, you were happy with what they gave you this season, this was just a cherry on top.
Week 14 Matchup: @ Tennessee Titans
Tennessee has been very solid against DEF/ST over the last 3 weeks but none of those were of Denver’s caliber. It’s not a great matchup, the Titans are at home after a bye week, but I’m not benching Denver and neither should you.
Chicago Bears: vs San Francisco 49ers
This was a much more surprising outcome. The weather played a big role in this game. Neither team even completed a pass in the 1st quarter and Colin Kaepernick ended the game with a hilarious 4 passing yards (and his old spot back on the 49er bench). Chicago only allowed 6 points and sacked the QB 6 times. They also benefited from a holding call in the end zone for a safety. I doubt many people started Chicago after Kap’s recent success, but if you did you had the #2 fantasy DEF/ST in Week 13.
Week 14 Matchup: @ Detroit Lions
You probably didn’t own Chicago last week and there is no need to change that. This is not the matchup you want in the fantasy playoffs.
New England Patriots: vs Los Angeles Rams
Another pretty predictable result (I actually got this one right) as the Rams traveled to New England. The Rams have been one of the most generous teams to opposing DEF/ST all season. Jeff Fisher had just gotten a contract extension and rewarded the organization by being completely out-coached for 58 minutes. If not for that late TD the Patriots would have finished even better. They ended up allowing only 10 points, sacking Goff 4 times, and intercepting him twice.
Week 14 Matchup: vs Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens were great last week. Do I expect another 38-point scoring outburst from them? No. Do I trust the New England defense in Week 14? Still no.
Baltimore Ravens: vs Miami Dolphins
This game was the bane of my existence on Sunday. It seemed every time there was a scoring update, it was another Baltimore TD. But what was bad for the Miami DEF/ST, was great for the Baltimore defense. They were able to pin their ears back and go after Tannehill as he was playing from behind all day. The end result was 2 sacks, 3 interceptions, and only 6 points allowed. It was good enough to tie for the 3rd best performance of Week 13.
Week 14 Matchup: @ New England Patriots
Tom Brady is not Ryan Tannehill and, as much as it hurts, you should bench the Ravens defense in Week 14.
Week 14 Starts
As always, if you have a top 10 DEF/ST and I don’t tell you to bench them: START THEM!
Cincinnati Bengals: @ Cleveland Browns
The Browns give up the most points to DEF/ST this season and the Bengals have been great as of late. Cincinnati has forced a turnover in 6 straight games and held opposing teams to fewer than 19 ppg during that stretch. Great week to start the Bengals.
Tennessee Titans: vs Denver Broncos
As great as the Broncos defense is, their offense isn’t on the same page. QB troubles and an inconsistent run game make Denver a good streaming opponent. The Titans are at home after a bye week and should be able to keep this game low scoring.
Jacksonville Jaguars: vs Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota is another great defense with a bad offense. The Vikings offense hasn’t hurt a fantasy DEF/ST yet this season and they are at their worst on the road. The Jaguars defense has been consistently average for 5 straight weeks but most of those games were against offenses far better than Minnesota. Surprisingly, the Jaguars boast the #2 pass defense this season. Should be a bad game for Bradford.
Atlanta Falcons: @ Los Angeles Rams
The Falcons defense is improving every week and gets a Week 14 matchup with a team that has been giving up top 3 points to DEF/ST all season long. I could see Vic Beasley making Jared Goff miserable in this game.
Week 14 Sits
Kansas City Chiefs: vs Oakland Raiders
Kansas City is so good but something has to give when you make your living on turnovers alone. The Raiders score a ton of points every week and give up the 2nd fewest points to DEF/ST.
Philadelphia Eagles: vs Washington Redskins
Washington has scored 23 or more points in 5 consecutive games and the Eagles haven’t been startable since Week 7. I expect this game to be a higher scoring affair and I expect Washington to do most of the scoring.
New York Giants: vs Dallas Cowboys
YOU DON’T START DEF/ST AGAINST THE COWBOYS. Yes, Minnesota had a solid game against Dallas. They are the exception, not the rule. The Cowboys average 0 points (that’s ZERO) to DEF/ST in 2016.
Top DEF/ST Year-to-Date[lptw_table id=”34171″ style=”default”]
Lots of Sits this week, I know. Many of our top DEF/ST are playing some of the best offenses in the league and you should not hesitate to bench them. A “streamer” DEF/ST has finished in the weekly top 5 almost every week this season. Don’t be afraid to bench (or cut) a unit who has terrible fantasy playoff matchups and run with streamers all the way to the championship.