Week 11 Waiver Wire: Defense Streamers and Pickups
By Bill Dubiel (@Roto_Dubs)
With the playoff push in full swing, streaming knowledge is essential now more than ever! Below are RotoBaller’s Week 11 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream and start for Week 11 of the NFL and fantasy football season. Our tiered defense rankings are your guide to making waiver wire pickups/adds to improve your lineups, and to decide which defenses to start, sit, target, avoid or stream for Week 11.
Starting the right defense every week can be a difference-maker, so we have broken out our defense rankings into tiers with analysis on each matchup. Some of these Week 11 defenses have good matchups and are not widely owned, representing fantasy scoring opportunities if they are available on your league’s waiver wire for a Week 11 pickup or add.
I’ve been trying out a new format lately, touching briefly on each team that I have ranked instead of picking just a few to analyze in depth. Let me know what you think on Twitter (@Roto_Dubs). Good luck in Week 11 RotoBallers!
Week 11 Defenses To Start & Stream: Tiers & Rankings
Teams on bye: Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers
Tier 1 Defenses (The “Duh” DSTs)
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (@ CLE)
2. Baltimore Ravens (@ GB)
The Ravens defense is fresh off a bye and now gets the opportunity to feast on Brett Hundley–that is, if he is healthy enough to play come Sunday. Hundley suffered a hamstring injury during Week 10’s action, and while it’s way too early to lean one way or another, should Hundley miss time the Ravens would get to see Joe Callahan in his first NFL game experience. Even if he does suit up, it’s unlikely that Hundley is at 100%, so the no matter what the Ravens should have a sky-high floor for Week 11.
3. Detroit Lions (@ CHI)
Mitchell Trubisky is coming off his best start in the NFL, in which he posted 297 yards, one touchdown and no turnovers against the Packers. That still only brings him to a 3:4 TD-turnover ratio through five NFL starts, which indicates the upside for the Lions DST that is tied for second in the NFL in takeaways. Fire them up with confidence once again in Week 11.
Tier 2 Defenses (Rock-Solid Starts)
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. TEN)
The Steelers lost Joe Haden for the foreseeable future thanks to a broken fibula in Week 11. While that definitely takes a toll on the defense’s ability to make big plays in the secondary, they got Stephon Tuitt back in Week 10, which should help their front seven bring more pressure. Marcus Mariota hasn’t been the top-10 quarterback many drafted him to be, and that won’t change against the Steelers #2-ranked pass defense, especially with them at home.
5. Los Angeles Rams (@ MIN)
Case Keenum is playing like a man on fire in an effort to hold off Teddy Bridgewater, but this is just a nightmare matchup for him that can’t be ignored. The Vikings offensive line has been excellent, but the Rams come into the game tied for fifth in the NFL in sacks. This DST is coming off of five straight games with 11 or more fantasy points (ESPN scoring) and is showing no signs of slowing down. Fire them up again with confidence.
6. Philadelphia Eagles (@ DAL)
The Eagles DST has been excellent in the last five games, with eight interceptions, 13 sacks and just 16.2 average points allowed. The Cowboys offense isn’t crippled with Ezekiel Elliott on suspension–it’s not quite the same as losing Dak Prescott–but they are most certainly not as scary without him. Prescott is careful with the ball, but again the floor is very high given the fact that the Cowboys should struggle to put a ton of points on the board.
7. New Orleans Saints (vs. WAS)
The Saints DST thrashed the Bills (IN Buffalo) and posted their fifth double-digit performance in their last seven games. They’re tied for 10th in the NFL in sacks, seventh in interceptions, fifth in forced fumbles, fifth in scoring defense, and ninth in total defense. This is a rock-solid unit, plain and simple, and the Redskins offense isn’t prolific enough to scare me off them. Add in the fact that Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara still look unstoppable, and I don’t think the Saints defense will even be on the field often enough to give up 20 points.
8. Arizona Cardinals (@ HOU)
The Cardinals DST is still below average in almost every counting statistic, but Bill O’Brien has already committed to Tom Savage as the starter for Week 11. I shouldn’t need to elaborate any further than that–stream against Savage. Stream against Savage like your life depends on it.
9. Seattle Seahawks (vs. ATL)
The loss of Richard Sherman is obviously a difference-maker, even though the Seahawks do have some talent waiting in the wings and recently resigned Byron Maxwell who knows that system inside and out. On the other side of the ball, the Falcons look like they’ll be without Devonta Freeman, and while Tevin Coleman has plenty of potential in the feature back role it’s not the same as having two capable, fresh backs every series. You’re not likely to find better options on the waiver wire at this point though, and there should still be a solid seven-point floor unless Matt Ryan and Julio Jones magically erupt. I’m not betting on it even with Sherman out.
10. Cincinnati Bengals (@ DEN)
The Bengals DST has been disappointing since their Week 6 bye, but this should be exactly the matchup they need to get back on track. It really doesn’t matter which schmuck the Broncos trot out there at QB, you can feel good about any DST playing against them at this point.
11. Green Bay Packers (vs. BAL)
The Packers DST has been disappointing for a majority of the season, but in a matchup against the 30th-ranked offense in football they’ve got enough upside to warrant streaming. Alex Collins is the biggest threat in the Baltimore offense these days, but I’d be more concerned about the Green Bay offense’s inability to keep the defense on the bench.
Tier 3 Defenses (Decent Streamers)
12. Los Angeles Chargers (vs. BUF)
The Bills are reeling coming off two straight losses, the most recent of which was a drubbing at home at the hands of the Saints. They’ll now have to travel to the West Coast to take on a Chargers DST that has really turned things around in the last month or so. They’re averaging 3.4 sacks and 1.8 turnovers in their last five games, and should be able to get to Tyrod Taylor at least three times and force another turnover.
13. Kansas City Chiefs (@ NYG)
The Giants organization is in shambles currently, and the offense is following suit. As I write this they are 27th in total offense, and even the shoddy season-long performance of the Kansas City DST is enough to make me regret streaming against them.
14. Denver Broncos (vs. CIN)
The Broncos are a top DST in name only these days. They’re 18th in sacks, 25th in interceptions, and 25th (!) in points against. With that said, they are ninth in passing defense, and this is Andy Dalton that we’re dealing with. They are just barely still stream-worthy in 12-team leagues, and only in strong matchups like this.
Tier 4 Defenses (Deep Streamers)
15. Houston Texans (vs. ARI)
16. New England Patriots (@ OAK)
17. Buffalo Bills (@ LAC)
18. Miami Dolphins (vs. TB)
19. Chicago Bears (vs. DET)
20. Minnesota Vikings (vs. LAR)
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ MIA)
Tier 5 Defenses (Desperation Plays)
22. Dallas Cowboys (vs. PHI)
23. Tennessee Titans (@ PIT)
24. Cleveland Browns (vs. JAX)