An enormous percentage of your focus each week is involved with decisions about RBs, WRs, TEs, and signal callers. That makes the amount of planning that you dedicate to team defenses far less extensive. While that is understandable, it still behooves you to maximize your chances of winning by examining all of your existing options. We have now progressed sufficiently into the regular season for fantasy owners to locate most of the most proficient defensive units, even if they were not highly regarded at the onset of the year. That has diminished the number of appealing options. As has the bye week, which eliminates the Cowboys and Rams from consideration, even though you certainly have better options then either of those units. Here are three alternatives that should be available if you prefer to stream a defense in Week 11.
Cardinals at Jaguars
It is surprising that Arizona is appearing in this column again, as they were a highly recommended unit on previous occasions, and appeared here as recently as last week. This Cardinals’ credentials should have generated more respect among fantasy owners, as they now rank 13th overall among all defensive units, and are 12th in scoring defense. Arizona has been particularly stout against the run, with a current ranking of third in that category. They have surrendered just 87 YPG this season, have allowed only three TDs, and just limited Houston RBs to 63 yards in Week 10. The Cardinals have also produced 20 takeaways, which is the NFL’s fourth highest total. They are also tied for fifth with 12 INTs, and have sacked opposing QBs 26 times. Plus, they now have the opportunity to line up against the NFL’s most feeble attack, as Jacksonville currently ranks dead last in total offense, while averaging a meager 278 YPG. They also reside at the bottom of league rankings in scoring offense, as their paltry 12.8 PPG is almost five fewer points per game than any other team. The Jaguars are also 31st in rushing, averaging only 65 YPG, while their passing attack ranks just 22nd. Factor in the likelihood that Cecil Shorts will be shadowed by Patrick Peterson, and it equates to a long afternoon for the Jags, and a very successful one for Arizona. Anyone who is partaking in the opportunity to stream has yet another chance to secure this very capable group, as Arizona is currently owned in just 31% of all ESPN leagues.
Other Favorable Matchups
Jets at Bills
The Jets will return from their bye as the NFL’s eighth ranked defense, and present owners with a feasible option this week. The strength of this unit continues to be their ability to suffocate opposing rushing attacks. The NFL’s top ranked run stoppers are only permitting 74 YPG, and the additional rest should help them provide overwhelming resistance when Buffalo attempts to establish its ground game. When these AFC East rivals met in Week 3, C. J. Spiller and Fred Jackson combined for 81 yards on 17 carries. However, 59 of those occurred on one burst by Jackson. Otherwise, the duo was thoroughly stifled by the Jets. Nothing occurred in Week 10 that should lead you to believe that the Bills’ RB tandem will experience any success in this second encounter, as they were just limited to a mere 78 yards on a combined 20 carries by Pittsburgh last Sunday. Even though the Steelers entered the contest ranked 31st against the run. While the Jets have displayed some vulnerability to opposing passing attacks, they have also generated 27 sacks. In that September 22 matchup, E. J. Manuel missed 23 of his 42 throws while the Jets sacked the rookie signal caller eight times. New York is available in 92% of all ESPN leagues, and will deliver excellent results to those who stream them.
49ers at Saints
In the aftermath of their public dismantling of Dallas last Sunday night, the Saints are now an impressive seventh in total defense. This unit is also fifth in scoring defense, allowing just 18 PPG. New Orleans also possesses the NFL’s third best pass defense, and have sacked opposing QBs 29 times. The Saints have been particularly formidable at home, where they are currently 5-0. The Saints have averaged 35 PPG inside the Superdome, while limiting opponents to just 15 PPG. Such dominance was evident during the aforementioned rout of Dallas, when they ran 83 offensive snaps, while the defense was only on the field for 45. All of this does not bode well for the 49ers when their 22nd ranked offense travels to New Orleans on Sunday. San Francisco has run the ball effectively, but currently has the NFL’s worst passing attack, which has managed just 174 YPG. If Drew Brees and the high octane Saint offense can quickly establish a lead, it which would be consistent with the pattern that has occurred on home turf so far this season. San Francisco would then be faced with abandoning its ground game, which would eliminate the best way to attack the Saints. It would also place Colin Kaepernick and his limited arsenal of receiving weapons in a tenuous position, in their attempts to generate yardage through the air versus the opportunistic New Orleans pass defense. The Saints are owned in just 51% of all ESPN leagues, and should provide a boost to owners who utilize them this week.