Defensive Team By Waiver Wire (DTBWW): Week 7
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. 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 Buccaneers (3 fantasy points, DT24), Cowboys (15, DT3), Panthers (12, DT6), Vikings (DT28), Jets (4.5, DT22), Texans (0, DT31) and Browns (3, DT24). It was a rough week for DTBWW, but at least two of the top three picks finished in the top 6. It was the 2nd-lowest week in DT scoring this year. On the season, DTBWW is averaging 11.1 FP/game or DT7 numbers.
Note: If you picked up the Chiefs a while back, keep them in your lineup. Their ownership level makes them ineligible for DTBWW at this point. They have a great upcoming schedule and they are our #2 rest-of-season defense, so keep riding KC.
Let's take a look at the top picks for Week 7:
Panthers (vs. STL)
We've been recommending the Panthers for a while thanks to a favorable run in their schedule (MIN, STL and TB) and Week 9 against ATL is looking better with Julio Jones. This week they come home to face the Rams, who are #17 in DT aFPA. St. Louis has been pretty stingy vs. opposing defenses the last two weeks, but they faced the Jaguars and the Texans, who aren't going to scare anyone this season. Carolina is #5 in average DT scoring, so they're a great start this week.