These fantasy football streaming defenses for Week 11 are ones to look for as potential waiver wire pickups or free agent adds, not only for this week but for the fantasy football playoffs.
Be Ready for Anything: At this point, you know whether you are locked in for a playoff spot, in the hunt, or completely out of it. For the latter, continue playing the best you can, but don’t forget that you are a loser and no one respects you. If you have a locked-in playoff spot, make sure you brag to everyone, especially people who do not play fantasy because they are always interested in hearing about your team’s success. If you are in the hunt, it is time to play the scenario game.
For the next two to three weeks, or until you are a lock or have been eliminated, run through all the different possible scenarios that could happen in your head. Make sure to go through each possible situation, both good and bad so you’ll be prepared to act quickly when things start to unfold. Even though there are thousands of things that could happen (E.g. Brett Favre comes out of retirement, or Josh Gordon gets traded back to the Browns for a new washing machine for the Patriots clubhouse), it is important to understand that they are possible, and you need to be ready at all times.
If you don’t believe me, just look at what happened last week. Dez Bryant goes to the Saints, everyone picks him up, a couple days later he tears his Achilles tendon forcing the Saints to sign Brandon Marshall. If you were thinking ahead, as soon as Bryant got picked up, you should have added Marshall to your team. Moves like that are necessary if you plan to win your league’s championship.
It is understandable to just keep relying on the players that got you to the playoffs in the first place, but when the Patriots fire Bill Belichick and hire Hue Jackson after losing to the Titans, you’ll wish you would have been prepared for that and had already traded away all of your Patriots.
Just Plain Bad: Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals have a great opportunity this week to build on their success from last week (even though it was a loss, it was against Kansas City). With the offense taking a new direction — actually finding ways to give the ball to David Johnson — the defense can start to recuperate between possessions instead of the usual ten-minute break they have been used to.
Even though they are out of contention this year, the Cardinals need to get some wins for their young quarterback Josh Rosen if they want to turn the franchise into a winning one next year. The rest of the season could give Rosen the confidence he needs going into the offseason. But games like this week are must wins to help build that confidence, especially against the train wreck that is the Raiders.
Looking at four of the past five games, the Raiders have been horrible in every aspect offensively. The trading of Amari Cooper and an injury prone receiving core has left Derek Carr with very little options in the passing game while their run game has been lackluster as well. Out of those past four games, they have averaged a little over 5 points per game. Let me repeat myself, 5 points per game. That isn’t even against the top defenses in the league. It came against the 49ers, Chargers (twice), and Seahawks. All respectable defenses, but not top tiered defenses.
Verdict: Oakland is already looking to next year. Don’t expect much out of them for the rest of the season. For that reason, make them one of your top targets to stream defenses against. With their low scoring ability, banged up offense, and just being plain bad, expect the Cardinals to capitalize on this enticing matchup.
Prediction: PA: 7-14, Total Yards: 150-200, Sacks: 5, Fumbles: 0, Interceptions: 2, TD: 0, Fantasy Points: 10-15
Le’Veon Who?: Pittsburgh Steelers
Man, they just shook the Carolina Panthers. Coming into the Thursday night game, the Steelers had the advantage, but not by much. Three quarters later and almost everyone on the Steelers had a touchdown. I don’t know if it was participation night and everyone who showed up got a touchdown, but it sure did feel like it. For a team that is missing its star running back, it doesn’t look like they are suffering.
When it comes to their defense, they are not flashy, but seem to get the job done. They currently are a top five fantasy defense and have averaged over 8 points per game. They are only owned in about 34% of ESPN leagues, while for some reason the Eagles are owned in 88% of leagues (they average 4 points per game and are ranked 24th). Crazy, right? This week should give the Steelers another chance to prove why they are better than the Eagles (I drafted the Eagles and am still upset about how much they suck).
The Jacksonville Jaguars are up next, and over the past seven games they have given up double digits over half of the time. They have struggled against quality defenses (Tennessee, Houston, and Kansas City) and that trend will continue, especially if Blake Bortles has to keep pace with the team that played Carolina last week.
Verdict: I do expect the Steelers to put themselves ahead in this game at some point, forcing Bortles to move the ball down the field and keep the ball out of Ben Roethlisberger’s hands. With the addition of Leonard Fournette, the Jaguar’s offense is bound to pick up. But I doubt it will be enough to keep up with the Steelers and their high powered offense. Although this is safe pick, don’t overestimate the Jaguars. They do have a great defense still and on the road, Roethlisberger is not the same quarterback. Look for a modest outing again from this fourth ranked defense.
Prediction: PA: 20-24, Total Yards: 250-300, Sacks: 4, Fumbles: 0, Interceptions: 3, TD: 0, Fantasy Points: 8-13
Here are three pickups for first week of playoffs (Week 13)
- Buffalo Bills/Miami Dolphins: Believe it or not, the Bills defense is a top ten defense that is averaging over six points per game. The only reason they are overlooked is because they are usually the being streamed against because their offense is terrible. But there was a glimmer of hope last week against the Jets (although it was a backup quarterback). For the first week of playoffs for some leagues, the Bills could be a great add. They are playing the Miami Dolphins who have surrendered the 29th most points per game to opposing defenses. If you don’t trust a Bill, go with the other options. The Miami Dolphins are just below a top ten defense and are playing the Bills, the team that leads the league in amount of points per game to opposing defenses.
- Kansas City Chiefs: This team is owned in a lot of leagues, but will be heavily dropped this week due to their upcoming game against the Rams. If an owner drops them and you are looking for a strong option for Week 13, this is your team. They play the Oakland Raiders that week, and if you don’t understand why that is a good thing, reread the article.