Week 11 Defenses to Stream (Fantasy Football)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Nov 14, 2017

All of the defenses listed in this week’s piece have sub-50% ownership rates at both ESPN and Yahoo!. There’s a small road underdog in the mix, which is somewhat risky, but there are ample pros to offset that con. The spreads are much smaller for this week’s favored streaming selections than in previous weeks, but that’s largely the product of the lack of big spreads as a whole this week (there’s only one double-digit spread, and that’s likely to remain the case this week).

*Spreads and totals are from Pinnacle, and stats and ranks in the tables are from Pro-Football-Reference and don’t include the Monday Night Football game.

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New Orleans Saints

Opponent Spread/Total Ownership
ESPN/Y!
Points Allowed Per Game (Rank) Turnovers Forced (Rank) Sacks (Rank)
vs. WAS -7.5/50 46.9%/49% 18.3 (T-5th) 13 (T-14th) 25 (T-10th)

 
The Saints have a strong defense this year, and their upside is always bolstered by the fact their offense is explosive and capable of providing big leads. They’ve reached the point that they should be universally owned, and I’d guess by this time next week, they’ll have an ownership rate north of 65% at both ESPN and Yahoo!. For one more week, though, they’re a strong streaming option that generates pressure, forces turnovers, and keeps their opponents off the board. The Saints have allowed more than 20 points to just one of their last six opponents, and they’ve forced at least one turnover in seven straight games. They should extend that streak this week against a Redskins squad that has the ninth most turnovers (15) this season.

Arizona Cardinals

Opponent Spread/Total Ownership
ESPN/Y!
Points Allowed Per Game (Rank) Turnovers Forced (Rank) Sacks (Rank)
@HOU  -1.5/Unlisted 47.1%/46% 24.8 (25th) 9 (T-25th) 23 (T-14th)

 
Arizona’s defense is the weakest of those highlighted, but the Deshaun Watson-less Texans are completely inept offensively. In Tom Savage‘s three starts, the Texans have scored 28 points. Houston is tied for the third most turnovers (17) and have yielded the fourth-most sacks (31). It’s all about opponent for this touted streaming option.

Cincinnati Bengals

Opponent Spread/Total Ownership
ESPN/Y!
Points Allowed Per Game (Rank) Turnovers Forced (Rank) Sacks (Rank)
@ DEN +2.5/40 37.5%/25% 20.2 (12th) 8 (T-27th) 26 (T-7th)

 
It’s risky using a road underdog as a streaming choice, but the game’s low over/under total of 40 points is inviting. The Bengals have played good defense this season and can get after the passer, as evidenced by their rank in sacks. Their ability to pressure quarterbacks pairs well with Denver’s shortcomings pass blocking. The Broncos are tied for the seventh most sacks allowed (28). The Broncos are also the second most turnover-prone offense with 21 this year, and they’re merely 24th in scoring (18.4 points per game). This projects to be a low-scoring slugfest (or snoozer, if you’re a fan of offense).

Los Angeles Chargers

Opponent Spread/Total Ownership
ESPN/Y!
Points Allowed Per Game (Rank) Turnovers Forced (Rank) Sacks (Rank)
vs. BUF Not Posted 8.9%/6% 19.1 (9th) 11 (T-20th) 29 (T-2nd)

 
The Chargers host the westward traveling Bills. Buffalo’s been in a tailspin and stomped in back-to-back games. The Bills have coughed up 492 yards rushing in those two games, and their inability to stop the run elevates the Chargers defense’s floor. Buffalo’s offense has struggled, too. They’ve scored 31 points in the last two games, and they’ve been held under 20 points in two of four road tilts. Furthermore, one of the four road games they bested 20 points, they scored only 23, and a defensive touchdown pushed them to that total. Tyrod Taylor has significant home/road splits that favor playing at home, and he’s not playing there this week. The Chargers D/ST is under-owned on their own merit, and they have a plus matchup this week. Finally, the elite pass rush of the Chargers gets a lift this week. The Bills are tied for the seventh most sacks allowed (28) in 2017. Quarterback Philip Rivers is in the concussion protocol, and that’s why the game doesn’t have a posted spread or total. Prior to entering the concussion protocol, the game’s spread was 4.5 points and the total was only 43.5 points. Assuming Rivers makes it through without a hitch, that’s a good spread and total to keep in mind. If he’s forced to miss the game, the Chargers D/ST’s ceiling is reduced a bit since their offense will be less potent and capable of providing the defense a big lead to work with.


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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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