Week 11 Rankings (2018): Top 15 Defenses

by Ray Kuhn

We know that there are going to be points scored and we also know that there will be turnovers aplenty. The key, which is always easier said than done, is to look for defenses who have the potential to maximize both areas. At least we have plenty of data points to work with when searching for the best match-up each week, though we all know that in the NFL things are always evolving (whether it’s due to injuries, youngsters emerging, etc.). Let’s take a look at how our options rank:

  1. Carolina Panthers – at Detroit
  2. Cincinnati Bengals – at Baltimore
  3. Chicago Bears – vs. Minnesota
  4. Arizona Cardinals – vs. Oakland
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers – at Jacksonville
  6. Washington Redskins – vs. Houston
  7. Minnesota Vikings – at Chicago
  8. New York Giants – vs. Tampa Bay
  9. LA Chargers – vs. Denver
  10. Tennessee Titans – at Indianapolis
  11. Houston Texans – at Washington
  12. Indianapolis Colts – vs. Tennessee
  13. Green Bay Packers – at Seattle
  14. LA Rams – vs. Kansas City
  15. Kansas City Chiefs – at LA Rams


  • The Carolina Panthers are coming off a game in which they scored just one point as a fantasy defense. That is what happens when you are touched up for 46 points and generate just one sack. Every scoring set-up is different, and you likely lost points in your league if you started the Panthers, but why did you anyways? Going into Pittsburgh all of the warning signs for a difficult match-up were present, so their struggles shouldn’t have been all that surprising. So you ask, if all scoring systems are different why did you highlight the scoring from this particular league that showed the Panthers picking up a point? The answer is that even if a defense does get absolutely torched there is limited downside. This week the Panthers take on the Lions, who have allowed the sixth most points to opposing defenses on the season. With 11 interceptions and 22 sacks Carolina should once again be a positive source of value.
  • The Arizona Cardinals aren’t having a season that will garner much in the way of recognition but there is some value, at least in some weeks. To this point, Arizona is in the middle of the pack production wise, but this could very well be their best week of the season. It’s not exactly a secret, as of Wednesday night they have already seen a 40% surge in ownership, but that is what happens when you face the Oakland Raiders. To say that the Raiders are a team in turmoil would be an understatement, and opposing defenses are scoring the third most points against them. While the Cardinals only have six interceptions on the season, they do have 29 sacks and Arizona has been relatively consistent in not allowing teams to really go crazy offensively against them.
  • Another defense that has seen a spike in ownership so far this week, 17%, is the Pittsburgh Steelers who are still available in 43% of leagues. The surge is for good reason as the Jaguars, this week’s opponent, have allowed the eighth most points to opposing fantasy defenses. All you have to do is take one look at Blake Bortles under center for Jacksonville and it makes sense. There’s no reason not to expect to see the Steelers come away with at least one turnover on Sunday, and the Jaguars also have limited offensive upside.

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

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Week 11 Rankings (2018): Top 15 Kickers
Week 11 Rankings (2018): Top 50 Wide Receivers


  1. George says:

    Hello Professor! Please a few questions to be answered at your convenience,

    PPR, need 3WRs and 1Flex: Corey Davis, Hilton, Sutton, Kirk, Godwin, Taquan Smith, and barber??

    PPR, need 2RBs, 2WRs and 1Flex: Peterson, Mack, Aaron Jones, Fournette, Michael Thomas, Corey Davis, A. Robinson, M. Valdez-Scantling and A. Miller??

    Also PPR, olsen or howard??

    Thank you Professor!

  2. Trevor says:

    Carson or Lewis standard

  3. RT says:

    RP – Jags D not ranked this week because of Pittsburg?

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