We know that there are a few standout defenses, yes the Patriots are in a class by themselves, but some are better than others. After that it feels like we just have everyone else. In reality, perhaps more this season than any other, it’s all about playing the match-up game. So let’s jump into how this week’s options rank:
- Baltimore Ravens – at Cincinnati
- Kansas City Chiefs – at Tennessee
- New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
- Green Bay Packers – vs. Carolina
- Indianapolis Colts – vs. Miami
- Cleveland Browns – vs. Buffalo
- Chicago Bears – vs. Detroit
- Arizona Cardinals – at Tampa Bay
- Buffalo Bills – at Cleveland
- Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. LA Rams
- Detroit Lions – at Chicago
- Minnesota Vikings – at Dallas
- Los Angeles Rams – at Pittsburgh
- Dallas Cowboys – vs. Minnesota
- New York Jets – vs. NY Giants
- Despite the fact that they are a bottom of the league defense, there is a lot of buzz surrounding the Colts this week. There is a first time for everything, but it shouldn’t be all that surprising considering the fact that Indianapolis is facing Miami this week. By no means should the Colts be available in your league, though that is still the case in about 25% of ESPN leagues as of Wednesday night, but I wouldn’t go too crazy for them either. It was the Jets last week, but Ryan Fitzpatrick is still, at times, a viable NFL quarterback (especially when the Dolphins are often playing from behind). To the Colts benefit Preston Williams is now out for the season and Mark Walton is suspended for the next four games, so a Miami team bereft of offensive weapons is even weaker. On average the Colts have given up roughly 20 points per game (it could be worse), but you would like to see them with more than five interceptions and 20 sacks.
- You know it is an interesting season when a top-five defense, Pittsburgh, is still available in about 35% of ESPN leagues. Part of that is due to this week’s opponent, the Rams, but in reality there really just isn’t that much separation after the Patriots. To be honest, I would think about keeping my distance this week. The fact that the Steelers have created turnovers, 11 interceptions and 11 fumbles, works in their favor, as do their 29 sacks. You likely won’t find a better option on the waiver wire, but there are situations I like more where the opposing offense isn’t as strong as that of the Rams. The good news is that so far this season, Pittsburgh has only turned in one week that can be considered a “dud”.
- If you are desperate this week, but your expectations are also at a minimum, then you might want to take a look at the Jets. At the risk of being too direct, there really isn’t much in the way of upside as the Jets and the Giants face off this week. The by-product of that lack of upside is that the Jets defense somehow become an option worth considering. The only thing that saved New York last week, in what was a similar match-up against the Dolphins, is the fact that they picked up four sacks while also forcing a safety. Considering they have generated just 10 turnovers all season you can’t expect much in that department. Also their four sacks were a season high, which isn’t all that surprising considering they have just 13 on the season. With the Giants offensive line not especially strong that trend should continue, and they have allowed opposing fantasy defenses to finish in the top-five so far this season.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 10 rankings: