Defensive Team By Waiver Wire (DTBWW): Week 14
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 Cowboys (4 fantasy points, DT24), Cardinals (5, DT20), Browns (4, DT22), Bills (8, DT14), Dolphins (18.5, DT2) and Jets (3, DT6). Outside of the Dolphins and the Bills, it was a rough week for DTBWW. On the season, DTBWW is averaging 9.7 fantasy points per game, which equates to DT9 numbers.
I know many readers are still holding the Chiefs, Panthers and Ravens from previous DTBWW acquisitions. The Chiefs are good to go for the fantasy playoffs (@ WAS, @ OAK and IND). The Panthers have a tough matchup this week with the Saints on the road, but then they face the Jets at home (yummy!) and the Saints again at home. I have no problem playing the Panthers in Week 16 since the Saints aren’t the same team on the road, but I’d probably stream a DT this week. Tough call. As for the Ravens, they have a good matchup this week at home against he Vikings, but then they face the Lions and the Patriots, so I’d use them in Week 14 and stream the rest of the way.
Let’s take a look at the top picks for Week 14:
Raiders (@ NYJ)
The Jets have been absolutely brutal offensively, giving up an average of 19.0 FP in the last three weeks and 12+ in six of the last seven weeks. The Raiders aren’t a great defense, but they’re capable of producing in this matchup.