Streaming Defenses: Week 11 Targets
When it comes to drafting a defense, I’m not someone to start the run during my draft. I’d rather wait until the end of the draft and play the defense with the great matchup from week-to-week.
This practice is commonly known as streaming defenses. Every week, you target a mediocre defense with a great matchup against a weak QB or offensive line. We have been writing this streaming feature for six years -- offering readers several available-on-the-waiver-wire defense picks each week -- and they have averaged DT5, DT6, DT7, DT10, DT8 and DT7 numbers from 2009 to 2014. Generating top-10 DT numbers off the waiver wire allows fantasy owners to basically ignore the position on draft day, and instead focus on more important areas like running back and wide receiver.
We’re now headed into Week 11 and defenses like the Broncos, Jets and Cardinals have emerged from the stream and are weekly starters. If you’re still streaming, target a defense that is playing a below-average QB. A home matchup is nice, but not absolute.
In Week 10, two of our targets produced top-five numbers: Kansas City (DST1) and Pittsburgh (DST2). Through ten weeks, our defensive streaming suggestions are averaging nine fantasy points per week, on par with DST10 numbers.
Generally, defenses have to be available on the waiver wire in at least 40 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues to be eligible. This ensures we are talking about defenses that are readily available.
Now, let’s take a look at the defensive targets for Week 11:
Tennessee Titans (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)
We’re going to look at the Thursday matchup for our defenses this week. The Jacksonville offense is good, but they could be without some key offensive components this week (like T.J. Yeldon), so keep an eye on the injury report.
Jurrell Casey is a playmaker on the defensive line, as he’s recorded four sacks and nine QB hits, while making an impact at the line of scrimmage, recording six tackles for a loss.
The Titans have some big play linebackers in Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan who have combined for 10.5 sacks and 17 QB hits. Morgan also has a forced fumble and five tackles for loss. Wesley Woodyard, who recently regained his starting job, also has four sacks and 54 tackles.
Michael Griffin is a big play safety and Coty Sensabaugh leads the cornerbacks with two INTs and five defended passes.
Blake Bortles has thrown an INT in every game but one and has three multi-INT games. The Jaguars have also allowed 28 sacks. The Titans defensive unit has 27 sacks and nine INTs, so they are making plays, and the Jaguars are 30th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to opposing defenses.
Atlanta Falcons (vs. Indianapolis Colts)
Vic Beasley, O’Brien Schofield and Adrian Clayborn each have two sacks, while both Schofield and Clayborn have double-digit QB hits, so they are getting to the QB.
Paul Worrilow is the run stuffer and has recorded 56 tackles and also has an INT.
Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford each have seven defended passes, while Alford has turned the ball over with two INTs.
The Colts have allowed 18 sacks to their QB this year, however, this Atlanta team has produced 10 INTs and three defensive TDs, and are opportunistic. The Colts are 15th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to opposing defenses, so I’ll be interested to see how they attack Hasselbeck.
Dallas Cowboys (vs. Miami Dolphins)
The ability to get to the QB has been improved with Greg Hardy, no matter how you feel about this guy. Hardy has recorded four sacks and is producing a 15-percent QB pressure rate, so he’s getting to the QB consistently. Tyrone Crawford is another lineman that’s getting to the QB, producing three sacks and seven QB hits.
Dallas looks to be getting their captain Sean Lee back this week. Lee has notched 66 tackles, six for a loss. Anthony Hitchens has recorded two sacks and five QB hits from the linebacker position.
Ryan Tannehill has gone two straight games without an INT, however, when he throws picks they come in bunches. He has four games with two or more INTs this season and has been sacked 27 times. Miami is 21st in adjusted fantasy points allowed to opposing defenses.
Baltimore Ravens (vs. St. Louis Rams)
Timmy Jernigan is producing a QB pressure rate of 11 percent, and Brandon Williams has been a force up front with his two sacks and six tackles for loss.
The Ravens linebackers, inculding Elvis Dumervil, are the most underrated as they have produced 9.5 sacks and Daryl Smith is the tackle leader with 81.
The Ravens are thrown on often and Jimmy Smith leads the team in INTs with two and has chipped in eight defended passes.
I like the home matchup against Keenum -- there’s some upside for big defensive plays this week. Keenum has thrown eight career INTs, lost three career fumbles and hasn’t played since 2014 when he faced the Ravens and threw an INT. The Rams are 22nd in adjusted fantasy points allowed to opposing defenses.
Houston Texans (vs. New York Jets)
J.J. Watt now has sacks in three straight games and has 9.5 total (along with 28 QB hits) and could be lining up against a backup tackle. He’s also had an impact at the line of scrimmage with 16 tackles for loss.
Whitney Mercilus has been what the Texans were hoping Jadeveon Clowney would be. Mercilus has recorded 5.5 sacks and eight QB hits while producing a 13-percent QB pressure rate. Brian Cushing looks healthy, as he’s the team's leading tackler with 76 tackles.