After a mediocre week for streaming defenses in Week 10, our Week 11 fantasy defense rankings are getting stronger. It’s easy to understand why. Last week, two of the worst offenses in the NFL, the Jets and the Cowboys, were on bye. Those two teams have been two of the three best offenses to target throughout the season, so with both returning, there will be an opportunity to find some new sleepers and streamers at the D/ST spot.
In Week 11, the Chargers get the pleasure of taking on the Jets while the Vikings will draw the Cowboys. Neither the Chargers nor the Vikings have been particularly good this year, but the Chargers should be a top-10 play given the issues New York has had generating offense. Prior to their bye, the Jets played well against the Patriots, but if the Chargers get Joey Bosa (concussion) back from an injury, their upside will be sky high.
WEEK 11 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | Kicker
Meanwhile, the Vikings aren’t necessarily a safe play, but they are a streamer worth considering. They have played better on defense against weaker offenses and had allowed 23 or fewer points to the Falcons, Packers, and Lions in three games before their Monday Night Football clash with the Bears. Even if Andy Dalton (concussion/COVID) returns, the Vikings should have a chance to pressure him and force him into some mistakes.
WEEK 11 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | Kicker
Beyond those two teams, the Dolphins (@ Broncos), Browns (vs. Eagles), and Washington (vs. Cincinnati) all have great matchups and can be trusted as worthwhile streaming options. The Dolphins are establishing themselves as one of the best defensive units in the NFL, so they should be scooped in the 43 percent of Yahoo leagues in which they’re still available. There’s real long-term potential with Miami. The Falcons also have boom-or-bust upside against turnover-prone Jameis Winston.
WEEK 11 DFS TOURNAMENT LINEUPS: FanDuel | DraftKings
Of course, it’s not all good news on defense. Typically, the Bears and the Giants would be among the best offenses to exploit, but they are idle in Week 11. The Bears also are usually a top-10 defensive start, so their absence will thin the rankings a bit in more ways than one. The other byes (Bills, 49ers) don’t have big impacts on the rankings, as those units had mostly been mid-tier options, at best, this season.
WEEK 11 DFS CASH LINEUPS: DraftKings | FanDuel
If you’re an owner of the Rams or Colts D/ST units, it may be a good week to sit them. The Rams have a tough matchup with a Bucs team that is stacked on offense, and while they’re prone to the occasional clunker, they should be able to handle the Rams if they can neutralize their two defensive stars (Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey).
MORE WEEK 11 DFS: Best stacks | Best values | Lineup Builder
Meanwhile, the Colts will take on the Packers, another great offense that might be getting even stronger with Allen Lazard set to return. The Colts D/ST just scored 12 fantasy points against a solid Titans offense, so they’re still playable, especially when you factor in that the Packers just allowed two turnovers, a sack, and a return TD to Jacksonville’s weak D/ST. Indianapolis still comes with a lot more risk than usual, though, so check the waiver wire for the sleepers mentioned above before locking in the Colts.
NOTE: Check back for updates throughout the week.
Week 11 Fantasy Defense Rankings
|1||Pittsburgh Steelers @ Jaguars. The Steelers are tied for the league lead in takeaways with the Bucs (17), are averaging a league-high four sacks per game, and have the third-best scoring defense in the NFL at 19 points per game allowed. While Jake Luton has had a surprisingly solid start to his career, he won’t stand a chance of doing anything against what is arguably the NFL’s best defense. Fire up the Steelers in this matchup and expect the rookie to commit more than the one turnover he has averaged in his first two starts.|
|2||Miami Dolphins @ Broncos. So far this season, the Broncos have allowed 9.6 fantasy points per game (FPPG) to defenses. That can largely be blamed on their league-high 21 giveaways and Drew Lock’s penchant for multi-interception games (three in his last five). The Dolphins have the NFL’s fifth-best scoring defense (20.2 points per game) and have had three defensive TDs, three interceptions, and three fumble recoveries in their last three games. They should feast against the Dolphins, especially if they can force Denver to play from behind in this one.|
|3||Cleveland Browns vs. Eagles. Carson Wentz continues to be prone to creating negative plays that have hurt the Eagles and helped defenses. He has been sacked a league-high 35 times, and his 12 interceptions are good for the league lead, as well. The Browns are tied for the eighth-most takeaways at 14, and the Eagles are tied for the third-most giveaways at 17. The Browns are also tied for the 10th-most sacks per game in the league at 2.4. They should be able to pressure Wentz into some classic mistakes and make life very difficult for him.|
|4||Los Angeles Chargers vs. Jets. The Jets allowed 10.1 FPPG to D/STs, tied for the most in the NFL. They also rank last in the league in points per game (13.4) and yards per game (266). The Chargers have had some issues on defense, but if Joey Bosa (concussion) returns to action in Week 11, they could get some pressure on Joe Flacco. The matchup is simply too good to pass on the Chargers here, so they represent one of the best streaming options of the week.|
|5||Washington Football Team vs. Bengals. Washington has averaged 3.1 sacks per game this season, and their strong defensive line chock full of former first-round picks should have a chance to get some serious pressure on Joe Burrow. The Bengals’ offensive line is in tough shape right now thanks, in part, to injuries, and Burrow was just sacked four times by the Steelers. Washington should be able to get similar pressure on Burrow who is second in the league in sacks suffered on the season (32). That will give them a high floor if they can use their top-ranked pass defense (194.7 yards per game) to force Burrow into some coverage sacks, as well.|
|6||Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Rams. After being dominated by the Saints, the Bucs bounced back and dominated the Panthers. They racked up three sacks, a pick, and allowed just 23 points to a strong offensive unit. The Bucs have generated 17 takeaways on the year, tied for the most in the NFL, and though the Rams have a solid offense, Jared Goff is prone to poor play against some of the league’s better defenses. If the Bucs can take away the run game — they have the NFL’s top run defenses at 76.6 rushing yards allowed per game — and pressure Goff, he should commit some mistakes as he did in a four-turnover game against the Dolphins just a few weeks ago.|
|7||Baltimore Ravens vs. Titans. The Titans have a strong-looking offense on paper, but in recent weeks, they have sputtered. They have averaged just 21.3 points and 313.8 yards per game in their past four outings, and the figures are a bit skewed by some garbage-time yardage and points put up against the Bengals in Week 8. The Ravens have the league’s best scoring defense (18.3 points per game) and should challenge the Titans. However, Tennessee has turned the ball over a league-low four times and Ryan Tannehill has only be sacked on 12 occasions, so the Ravens’ ceiling isn’t very high unless they can force an uncharacteristic Titans turnover and turn it into a defensive TD.|
|8||Kansas City Chiefs @ Raiders. In Week 5, the Raiders offense dropped 40 points on the Chiefs and stunned their AFC West rival to hand them their first loss of the season. Now, the Chiefs will be out for revenge. Though the Raiders offense has been good this season, the Chiefs have allowed just 20.3 points per game to offenses, good for the sixth fewest in the NFL. Considering that they’re fresh and rested coming off a bye, they will be ready to combat the Raiders and fix the mistakes they made in their first meeting this year. The Chiefs have 14 takeaways, tied for eighth most in the NFL, so they may look to get in Derek Carr’s face and force some fumbles, which have been an issue for him (8, tied for second most in the league).|
|9||Cincinnati Bengals @ Washington. A week before a drubbing at the hands of the Steelers, the Bengals defense limited the Titans to just 20 points, most of which came in garbage time after the game had been decided. Now, they get to take on Washington and their weak offense. While Alex Smith doesn’t (usually) turn the ball over, he has taken 10 sacks while playing just 161 snaps so far this season. The rate is unlikely to continue, but the Bengals can at least get some pressure on Smith and take advantage of an offense that has allowed the fourth-most FPPG to defenses this year (9.1).|
|10||Houston Texans vs. Patriots. Even when they win, the Patriots offense doesn’t look that impressive. They are middle-of-the-pack in yards per game, but they are averaging 21 points per game (sixth fewest in the NFL) and have committed 15 turnovers on the year (tied for sixth most in the NFL). The Texans should have a chance to contain them after they did well to slow down the Browns’ passing attack. They still have issues against the run, which will be a problem against a reinvented, ground-first Patriots team, but if they can force some turnovers of Cam Newton or play good red-zone defense as they did against the Browns, they will be a potential sleeper option for Week 11.|
|11||Minnesota Vikings vs. Cowboys. The Vikings’ defense isn’t an exciting unit to trust given the issues they’ve had covering receivers, but there is reason for optimism in this one. The Cowboys have allowed 10.1 FPPG to defenses this year and are second in the league in giveaways (20) behind only the Broncos. The Vikings should be able to take advantage of that if their young cornerback group continues to improve with more playing time.|
|12||Philadelphia Eagles @ Browns. In their past two games, the Browns have scored a grand total of 16 points. Granted, one was played in heavy wind and rain, but the team’s offense simply doesn’t look good, and it’s clear that they’re missing Odell Beckham Jr. after his season-ending knee injury. The Eagles will be able to use their strong front to clamp down on the run to make the Browns try and beat them through the air. The Eagles don’t exactly have a great secondary, but if they can cover Jarvis Landry, Baker Mayfield will have to find a new playmaker to convert key third downs. If that happens, the Eagles could hold the Browns to under 20 points and be a worthwhile streamer.|
|13||Green Bay Packers @ Colts. Philip Rivers has been more hit than miss lately for the Colts, but he is still prone to the occasional clunker. The Packers had three sacks against the Jaguars last week, and if they can get pressure on the veteran quarterback, they will have a chance to force him into sacks and interceptions given his lack of escapability. There’s no guarantee that the Packers will do well given the issues they have on the ground, but if they can slow down the Colts’ running attack, expect them to put forth respectable numbers as a streamer.|
|14||New England Patriots @ Texans. The Texans have averaged 18 points per game in their past three outings and were just stymied by a Browns defense that has its share of issues in the middle of the field. The Patriots seemed to figure something out on defense against the Ravens and their run-stuffing issues looked like a thing of the past in that one. They should have a chance to limit the Texans, especially with Duke Johnson carrying the load at RB instead of the injured David Johnson (concussion).|
|15||Los Angeles Rams @ Buccaneers. Normally, the Rams are a must-start on defense, and they did just generate a whopping six sacks and three turnovers against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. However, the Bucs have a much better offensive line than the Seahawks, so they’ll be able to negate some of the pressure that the Rams created in that game. Aaron Donald will still have a good game, but the ceiling for the Rams is limited given how good the Bucs’ offense is when it’s humming.|
|16||Indianapolis Colts vs. Packers. Like the Rams, the Colts are usually a top play, but they draw a tough matchup this week. While the Jaguars scored a punt return TD and notched two turnovers against the Packers, the Colts may be hard-pressed to repeat that success. Aaron Rodgers will be looking to bounce back and has the weapons needed to do that despite the Colts’ tough defense. You can still lean on fantasy football’s No. 1 defensive unit, but there are other better options to consider this week.|
|17||Atlanta Falcons @ Saints. With Jameis Winston likely to start in place of Drew Brees (ribs), some may question if the Falcons defense is playable because of Winston’s penchant for turnovers. Perhaps they could be, but it’s hard to trust such a weak secondary given the plethora of weapons that Winston will have to throw to (Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Jared Cook, Emmanuel Sanders, etc.). Consider the Falcons the ultimate boom-or-bust play this week.|
|18||Carolina Panthers vs. Lions. Matthew Stafford is dealing with a thumb injury, but he is expected to play for the Lions. If that changes, the Panthers would be a more appealing streamer. But for now, they’re not worth trusting.|
|19||Denver Broncos vs. Dolphins|
|20||New Orleans Saints vs. Falcons|
|21||Dallas Cowboys @ Vikings|
|22||Seattle Seahawks vs. Cardinals|
|23||Detroit Lions @ Panthers. If Teddy Bridgewater (knee) can’t play, the Lions may move up in these rankings, as P.J. Walker, who was favored to be the XFL MVP, would take over for Bridgewater. They’re still not a recommended start, though, as the team did just give up a career high in passing yards to Alex Smith.|
|24||Tennessee Titans @ Ravens|
|25||Arizona Cardinals @ Seahawks|
|26||Las Vegas Raiders vs. Chiefs|
|27||Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Steelers|
|28||New York Jets @ Chargers|
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