Streaming Defense: Week 11

Mike Miklius takes a look at the best defenses to stream in week 11.

Week 10 is in the books, and we say farewell to our last unbeaten team. The San Francisco 49ers played their butts off last night, but ultimately fell short as the Seattle Seahawks kicked the game-winning field goal in the waning moments of overtime. Both defenses proved to be excellent starts as both piled up turnovers and sacks like we rarely see. Usually, defensive battles become slow and boring affairs. This one was extremely exciting, however. Maybe that’s partially thanks to the nine (!) turnovers in the game and the two scores that resulted. If you missed the game, it was one of the best we’ll see all year. How did the rest of the league do? Let’s check the top-12.

 

Rank Team % Owned Opponent Sacks INTs Fum Rec Fantasy Points
1 Pittsburgh Steelers 71% Los Angeles Rams 4 3 1 25
2 Baltimore Ravens 97% Cincinnati Bengals 2 1 2 24
3 Los Angeles Rams 89% Pittsburgh Steelers 3 1 2 19
4 San Francisco 49ers 91% Seattle Seahawks 5 1 3 19
5 Seattle Seahawks 43% San Francisco 49ers 5 1 2 18
6 Oakland Raiders 2% Los Angeles Chargers 5 3 0 17
7 New York Jets 22% New York Giants 6 0 2 16
8 Tennessee Titans 21% Kansas City Chiefs 2 0 1 11
9 Miami Dolphins 1% Indianapolis Colts 1 3 0 11
10 Atlanta Falcons 2% New Orleans Saints 6 0 0 10
11 Arizona Cardinals 3% Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4 2 1 9
12 Indianapolis Colts 87% Miami Dolphins 3 1 1 8

 

So, the aforementioned 49ers/ Seahawks tilt ate up two of our top-12 spots. Both teams proved to be amazing starts and both put you well on your way to a win. There were also some truly weird teams who snuck into the top-12 this week. The Raiders, who averaged less than 4 fantasy points per week before this game, finished with 17. The Dolphins were averaging 2 points per week before this 11-point explosion. The corpse of the Atlanta Falcons managed to bite the Saints and take them out despite averaging roughly 1 fantasy point per week. These things happen, but they don’t mean we should change our mindset. I am not suddenly betting on the Falcons or Dolphins week to week. That would be a terrible idea. However, we might need to adjust our expectations a little bit. Maybe the Dolphins aren’t currently the worst team in the league anymore. What about our picks from last week…how did they turn out?

For our under-owned teams, we had the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints. The Rams were quite excellent with 19 points and a 3rd-place finish. The Saints fell completely flat on their way to only three points. Rivalry games can be tricky, but Atlanta pulling off the big win was an absolute shocker. Even though the Rams finished well, this was still a bad outing for Los Angeles as they allowed the Steelers to grab a 17-12 win. We were lucky to get the defensive score. In terms of our streamers, we had the Baltimore Ravens, the Indianapolis Colts, and the New York Giants if you were desperate. They finished with 24 points, 8 points, and 1 point respectively. I probably over-thought this one and should have stuck with the Ravens. They have been playing extremely well and they had a cupcake opponent. Hindsight is 20-20 though. Fortunately, we still secured a top-12 finish with Indianapolis in their loss to the Dolphins. Let’s take a look at week 11.

 

Under Owned Teams 

 

Minnesota Vikings (vs Den, 84%)

 

The Minnesota Vikings are fresh off a big win against the Dallas Cowboys and they come home in week 11 to take on the Denver Broncos. With Joe Flacco out for the year, Denver will turn to either Brandon Allen or Drew Lock. Somehow I’m not frightened by either player. The Vikings defense has been more than capable (though not elite to be fair) and should have a fun week against one of the worst teams in the league. The Vikings are hot right now, they have the Packers in their sights, and I don’t see a stumble here. The Vikings are a safe choice if they are on your waivers.

 

Carolina Panthers (vs Atl, 54%)

 

The Carolina Panthers have been an opportunistic defense this year, and the number of turnovers seems to help predict success or failure for the team. In their five wins, they forced two or more turnovers. In their four losses, they forced one turnover twice and zero turnovers the other two times. They thrive on opponent mistakes. So, how are the Falcons at holding onto the ball? The Falcons have turned the ball over multiple times in four of their nine games, including in their most recent two games before their surprise win over the Saints. I tend to believe the Falcons are not quite as bad as their record, but they also may have just lost their starting running back and definitely lost their starting tight end. This feels like another safe matchup for week 11. If Devonta Freeman is out, that’s just an added bonus.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars (@Ind, 51%)

 

The Jaguars defense has made its mark this year beating up on weak teams. Their three best point-outputs were against the Jets, Bengals, and Titans. This week, they draw the Indianapolis Colts. I want to chase this matchup if Jacoby Brissett is out of the line-up again. Brian Hoyer was clearly not the answer last week, and he should make for a juicy matchup if he is starting again. If not, this becomes a decidedly less interesting choice. Let’s not forget that the Jaguars also have the emotional boost of Nick Foles returning to the lineup.

 

Streaming Options

 

Dallas Cowboys (@Det, 43%)

 

In betting on the Cowboys, we are once again hoping to feast on a backup quarterback thrust into the spotlight. Jeff Driskel played well against the Chicago Bears in his debut last week, but he made mistakes as well. Dallas needs a win here as they sit at 5-4 and have a daunting matchup against the Patriots waiting in week 12. I think the Cowboys are going to come out ready to go, and I expect them to pound the Lions. This feels like a Zeke game all the way. With any luck, the Cowboys build an early lead and leave a backup quarterback chasing points for the rest of the night.

 

Oakland Raiders (vs Cin, 5%, stream of the week)

 

The Oakland Raiders have been a surprisingly good team this year. To be honest, I thought they would struggle to hit six wins all season long. However, with a win this week they will be 6-4. They have controlled the line of scrimmage on offense and enforced their will against most of their opponents. They avoid sacks, they don’t turn the ball over much, and they just don’t beat themselves. Meanwhile, the Bengals have been a disaster. They love to get sacked and they love to cough up the ball. They only have two games without a turnover and they have 5 multiple-turnover games. I expect the Raiders to take care of business at home, and this is my top choice for week 11. Congratulations Oakland Raiders: you are my stream of the week!

 

New York Jets (22%) @ Washington Redskins (3%)

 

I highly recommend not watching this game. The New York Jets are lousy and the Washington Redskins are lousy. This should be, by all logic, a terrible game. However, I think one side is a little more terrible. The Washington Redskins have been bad at protecting their quarterback while the Jets have been feasting on sacks lately. The Redskins are reluctantly starting Dwayne Haskins, who they seem to have already given up on. I love starting defenses against Dwayne Haskins and this is no exception. Just beware that the Jets have been lousy as well, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see either team jump out to a quick lead on the back of a couple bad turnovers. Still, the Jets are my pick here.

 

 

(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire)

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