Week 11 Rankings (2016): Top 15 Defenses

by Ray Kuhn

At this point in the season roster planning becomes quite important. The waiver wire is getting increasingly barren, and you must be protected against all injuries and possible scenarios. That means upside from the running back and wide receiver positions is at a premium and a backup defense is a luxury that cannot necessarily be afforded. Bye weeks are beginning to wind down and there are plenty of offenses that can be targeted on a weekly basis (if you are looking for a streaming defense). Let’s take a look at some of those options for this week:

  1. Arizona Cardinals – at Minnesota
  2. New England Patriots – at San Francisco
  3. Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Tampa Bay
  4. Miami Dolphins – at Los Angeles
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers – at Cleveland
  6. Seattle Seahawks – vs. Philadelphia
  7. New York Giants – vs. Chicago
  8. Dallas Cowboys – vs. Baltimore
  9. Detroit Lions – vs. Jacksonville
  10. Philadelphia Eagles – at Seattle
  11. Oakland Raiders – vs. Houston
  12. Minnesota Vikings – vs. Arizona
  13. Buffalo Bills – at Cincinnati
  14. Houston Texans – at Oakland
  15. Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Buffalo


  • Jared Goff didn’t exactly wow anyone this preseason and he didn’t show the Rams much so far this season to engender confidence. However Case Keenum really has not been good and Los Angeles didn’t have much of a choice but to replace him with Goff. So the rookie debuts this week, and we truly cannot expect much of out him. The Rams also haven’t been able to move the ball much on the ground and they aren’t going to put any fear into opposing defenses. This week it’s the Miami Dolphins who get the benefit of facing a struggling offense with a quarterback taking his first professional snap. So far the Dolphins fantasy defense is ranked 10th while Los Angeles has allowed the most points to opposing defenses. Miami should be owned in more than 34.7% of ESPN leagues.
  • The Giants got off to a slow start as they integrated all of their off-season additions, but they have been finding their groove as of late. In the past three weeks New York has seven interceptions and we should expect more of the same this week. Jay Cutler is back under center for the Bears, and he is generally good for a few interceptions each week. The fact that Alshon Jeffrey is now suspended and Jordan Howard doesn’t appear to be 100% also works in the Giants’ favor. Combine that with Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul showing the ability to get to the quarterback and you have a dominant defense for the last few weeks of the season.
  • After having a rough week against the Cowboys the Steelers are owned in just 25.7% of ESPN leagues. Things are quite different for Pittsburgh this week as they face the Browns. This season has not been a good one for the Steelers as they are the 27th ranked fantasy defense, but they have a chance to redeem themselves. They haven’t faced the Browns yet, but Cleveland’s offense has been less than imposing and when Pittsburgh’s offense jumps out to a big lead the Browns will likely be forced into making mistakes; both sacks and interceptions.

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 11 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Week 11 Rankings (2016): Top 15 Kickers
Week 11 Rankings (2016): Top 20 Tight Ends


  1. Stephen says:

    Dallas or Detroit D?

  2. Too Tall says:

    Hi Professor,

    Currently I have Washington Redskins defense. I was considering dropping for the Giants or Pittsburgh defense. I noticed the Giants playing the Browns in week 12 as well. Your thoughts? I am starting Zach Miller and Jordan Howard as well. Thank you.

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