Defensive Team By Waiver Wire (DTBWW): Week 11
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 Titans (7 fantasy points, DT13), Colts (4, DT20), Cardinals (11, DT8), Giants (14, DT5), Ravens (12.5, DT7) and Eagles (8.5, DT12). All in all it was a solid week for DTBWW, though the top two picks were disappointments given their tasty matchups. On the season, DTBWW is averaging 9.9 fantasy points, which equate to DT9 numbers.
We discussed the Chiefs and Panthers at length last week, and I underestimated just how good the Carolina defense is as they gave the 49ers' offense a very tough time on the road. I'd feel comfortable starting them at home against the Patriots this week. Given their upcoming schedule (MIA, TB, NO, NYJ), I'd want to hold onto the Panthers for the stretch run.
Let's take a look at the top picks for Week 11: