Defensive Team By Waiver Wire: Week 17


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 (6 fantasy points, DT21)
2. Titans (7 fp, DT17)
3. Chiefs (8 fp, DT13)
4. Broncos (-3 fp, DT30)
5. Redskins (2 fp DT26)
My top three picks weren't great, but they weren't disastrous either, especially in a down week for DTs overall. (In Week 16, DTs averaged the 5th-fewest fantasy points of the season.) The Bills (33 fp), Panthers (15) and Browns (13) produced well. In retrospect, the Bills and Panthers would have been good choices given the solid matchups with the Broncos and Buccaneers, respectively. 
For the season, my DTBWW picks averaged 10.0 fantasy points per game, which are DT8 numbers.
Let's take a look at the top pick-up-and-start DTs for Week 17:
Seahawks (@ ARI)
The Seattle DT has been one of the best fantasy defenses over the last six weeks, averaging 15.1 points per game over that span. They're no longer in the playoff hunt, but the matchup with the Cardinals is pretty sweet. (Arizona has given up 8+ points in 13 straight games.)

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