Originally posted: November 7, 2017
Generally, defenses have to be available on the waiver wire in at least 40% of Yahoo fantasy leagues to be eligible as a streaming option. This ensures we are talking about defenses that are readily available.
Last week, the Cardinals were our top-scoring defense with 13 fantasy points against the 49ers and finished as the DST2 in most formats. In Week 9, our targets averaged 8 points and, overall, our streaming picks are averaging 10 FP/game.
Continue to target a defense facing a below average or rookie QB or making a long road trip. Week 10 is here and four teams are on a bye, so let’s look the defensive options we’re targeting this week:
Detroit Lions vs. CLE
Streamers can rejoice as Cleveland is back on the schedule this week. Fresh off a botched trade during their bye week, they get to travel to the Motor City.
Anthony Zettel has enjoyed a breakout season, compiling 4 sacks and 7 QB hits which has resulted in a near 16% QB pressure rate. Ezekiel Ansah has 4 sacks himself. Both Zettel and Ansah have produced turnovers so they should be able to give the Cleveland offensive line fits this week.
Tahir Whitehead leads the team in tackles and has been responsible for 2 turnovers. Jarrad Davis is their up and coming middle linebacker. He’s missed a few games but is fourth on the team in tackles and can get to the QB when his number is called.
Glover Quin and Darius Slay are threats to turn the ball over as they have both produced 3 INTs.
The Lions are available in 44% of leagues this week and face a turnover-prone rookie QB in Deshone Kizer, who is without his veteran left tackle. The Browns are allowing the second-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing defenses.
Green Bay Packers @ CHI
The Packers are coming off a short week, however, their matchup is on the favorable side this week against the Bears.
Mike Daniels has been a disruptor this season on GB’s line, producing a near 11% QB pressure rate.
Nick Perry and Clay Matthews are the edge disruptors. Although both are generating a QB pressure rate less than 10%, they’ve converted nearly 19% of their pressures into sacks. Bobby Massie is going to struggle to contain Matthews.
Damarious Randall leads the Packers in picks with 3 and if thrown at enough, will get the ball.
Mitchell Trubisky has been responsible for four turnovers and the Packers will take advantage of mistakes. The Packers are available in 56% of leagues and Chicago is allowing the eighth-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing defenses.
New England Patriots @ DEN
The Patriots are coming off their bye week and have had time to gameplan for the Broncos.
Trey Flowers and Deatrich Wise have been key to New England’s pass rush. Flowers has generated a 12% QB pressure rate, which has resulted in 3.5 sacks and 13 QB hits. Deatrich Wise has 3 sacks himself and 13 QB hits.
Kyle Van Noy has been the defensive playcaller and is tied with Flowers for the team lead in sacks (3.5). Van Noy leads the linebackers in tackles and is producing a 10.9% tackle rate.
Devin McCourty leads the Patriots in tackles while Malcolm Butler leads the team in INTs (2).
Oh boy, Brock Osweiler is under center once again and did Brock Osweiler things in Week 9, throwing two INTs. The good news is that Osweiler is going to be the starter in Week 10 and Denver’s offensive line is struggling. Denver ranks last in aFPA to opposing defenses and the New England defense is available in 63% of leagues.
San Francisco 49ers vs. NYG
Whew boy, that Giants offense. Outside of Evan Engram, it doesn’t appear anyone is stepping up. This week, they travel cross-country and have the pressure of playing not to lose to a winless team.
Elvis Dumervil leads the 49ers in sacks but hasn’t produced one since Week 5. I think that changes this week against a weak Giants offensive line. Leger Douzable has been filling in for Solomon Thomas and notched 7 tackles and a QB hit in Week 9.
Reuben Foster returned from injury in Week 9 and notched 14 tackles (13 solo). His presence is a much needed boost for the defense.
Jacquiski Tartt leads the team in tackles with 54 and Eric Reid had a solid Week 9, producing an INT and four tackles.
I think the matchup is shaping up to be a favorable one for San Francisco. The Giants don’t seem interested in playing out the season, however, we’ll see if they have some pride this week. The 49ers are available in 96% of leagues this week.
Tennessee Titans vs. CIN – I’m going back to the well with the Titans. The Titans still have some playmakers in Jurrell Casey, Derrick Morgan, Brian Orakpo and Kevin Byard and are favored by 4.5 at home.
Chicago Bears vs. GB – The Bears have been an opportunistic defense and the Packers, even though they have some weapons, are a different offense without Aaron Rodgers.
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