Defensive Team By Waiver Wire (DTBWW): Week 12
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 Cardinals (9 fantasy points, DT9), Texans (8, DT10), Giants (15.5, DT4), Packers (6, DT15), Bills (21, DT2) and Ravens (2, DT24). On the whole, it was a good week for DTBWW, which had a 10.3 FP average in a week where defenses didn't fare so well (7.4 FP, second lowest average of the season). On the season, DTBWW is averaging 9.9 FP, which equates to DT9 numbers.
Targeting the Jaguars
Two weeks ago I discussed a strategy that targets the Jacksonville offense the rest of the way. Owners who assign two roster spots to defenses can always have the next defense playing the Jaguars if they think ahead. Here's where we stand with that strategy:
Week 12 - Cut ARI for CLE (W13), play HOU
Week 13 - Hold onto HOU (W14), play CLE
Week 14 - Cut CLE for BUF (W15), play HOU
Week 15 - Cut HOU for TEN (W16), play BUF
Week 16 - Play TEN
The Jaguars are playing a little better (8.0 FP allowed in the last two games), but still project to be a nice matchup every week.
Targeting the Jets
The Jets' offense is a mess right now. They have given up double digit points in four of their last five games and have averaged 14.9 points allowed to opposing defenses during that span. Owners with two defensive slots can possibly face the Jets the rest of the way if they plan ahead.
Week 12 - Pick up BAL and MIA (W13), play BAL
Week 13 - Cut BAL for OAK (W14), play MIA
Week 14 - Cut MIA for CAR (W15, or play DTBWW that week), play OAK
Week 15 - Cut OAK for CLE (W16), play CAR (or DTBWW)
Week 16 - Play CLE
Alternatively, the Ravens have three nice matchups in a row (NYJ, PIT, MIN) -- all at home -- so you could ride them through Week 14, play DTBWW in Week 15 and pick up the Browns (or the Titans) in Week 15 for their Week 16 matchup against the Jets (or the Jagaurs).
Let's take a look at the top picks for Week 12:
Ravens (vs. NYJ)
The Ravens have averaged 13.6 FP in four home games and this week the mess that is the Jets' offense comes to town. The J-E-T-S have given up double digit points in four of their last five games and have averaged 14.9 points allowed to opposing defenses during that span.