Defensive Team By Waiver Wire: Week 15


For those of you 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.

I have been writing this feature for a couple of years (at another site) and in 2009, my top three weekly picks averaged DT5 numbers. In 2010, they averaged DT6 numbers. So the system works pretty well.
To be eligible, defenses have to be available on the waiver wire in at least 40% of ESPN fantasy leagues. This ensures that we are talking about defenses that are readily available.
Let's see how we did last week: 
1. Seahawks (15 fantasy points, DT7)
2. Broncos (10 fp, DT13)
3. Dolphins (8 fp, DT17)
4. Patriots (12 fp, DT12)
5. Chiefs (1 fp, DT30)
Week 14 was the best week league-wide for DTs, so DTBWW's performance was only acceptable. The top four picks fared pretty well, though the Chiefs laid an egg in New York. The top 10 was dominated by teams not eligible for DTBWW, but I missed out on the Jaguars (33 points), who did not look very good against the Chargers a week earlier. The Chargers, one of the lowest scoring DTs in the league, produced 17 fp against the Bills.
On the season, DTBWW picks are averaging 10.4 fantasy points, which equate to DT6 numbers.
Let's take a look at the top picks for Week 15:
If the Bengals (@ STL) are available, I'd start them over every other team on this list. I'd also start the Falcons (vs. JAX) over the Seahawks.
Titans (@ IND)
The Tennessee defense has been up and down, but the Colts have given up the 2nd-most fantasy points to opposing defenses this year, so the matchup is just too good to pass up. I wish this game were at home, but the Titans are still fighting for a playoff spot, so they should produce.

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