Defensive Team By Waiver Wire (DTBWW): Week 10
For those new to Defensive Team By Waiver Wire (DTBWW), the strategy goes like this: Each week, you target a mediocre defense on the waiver wire, looking for a good matchup, preferably at home. You will typically get good defensive production without having to burn a semi-valuable pick on draft day. Or if you do draft a DT and they start to disappoint, you can use DTBWW the rest of the way. The strategy is also called streaming defenses.
I have been writing a DTBWW feature for four years -- offering readers several available-on-the-waiver-wire DT picks each week -- and they averaged DT5, DT6, DT7 and DT10 numbers from 2009 to 2012. DT10 may not sound impressive, but I have been offering more picks each week which may account for the decline. Still, generating top 10 DT numbers off the waiver wire allows fantasy owners to basically ignore the position on draft day, instead focusing on more important areas.
Generally, defenses have to be available on the waiver wire in at least 40% of ESPN fantasy leagues to be eligible. This ensures that we are talking about defenses that are readily available.
Last week, I recommended the Cowboys (12 fantasy points, DT4), Colts (1, DT26), Saints (2, DT23), Titans (6, DT13), Ravens (5, DT15) and Raiders (2, DT24). Clearly, it was not a good week for DTBWW, though I'll wager that most readers held onto the Panthers or the Chiefs, two teams likely acquired earlier in the season as part of this DTBWW strategy.
It was a bad week for defenses in general. League-wide the average was 7.3 fantasy points, which was the season low by a wide margin. On the season, DTBWW is averaging 9.9 FP, or DT11 numbers.
The Chief Conundrum
The Chiefs are going on bye, and then they face DEN, SD and DEN before their schedule gets good again (WAS & OAK). You have three options:
1. Hold onto the Chiefs and pick up a defense for Week 10, planning to cut the stopgap defense after KC's bye.
2. Hold onto the Chiefs and pick up a defense that can get you through Weeks 10-11 (or Weeks 10-13) or play DTBWW for the next few weeks. The Chargers are not a great matchup, but the Chiefs are startable at home against both San Diego (and Denver, though it may not be pretty) in Week 12 and Week 13, if you're in a pinch.
3. Cut the Chiefs and play DTBWW the rest of the way.
Given their performance thus far, I'd like to own the Chiefs in Week 14 (@ WAS) and Week 15 (@ OAK) for the fantasy playoffs, so I'd lean towards option #1 or #2. I think they're worth eating up a roster spot, especially since most teams are now past their byes (so you don't need to have as much depth at other positions).