Let’s Stream Defenses: Week 10 (2020 Fantasy Football)
We’re in the thick of bye week season, and this is a rough one with the Jets and the Cowboys — both great offenses to target — on bye this week. Week 11 is going to be even worse, but we’re out of the woods after that. There are no byes in Week 12, and only Tampa Bay and Carolina — both offense we won’t really miss — are out in Week 13. I highly recommend stashing a defense one more time in the fantasy regular season because the Week 11 waiver wire is going to end up being very difficult. Here are the teams I’m eyeing for Week 11:
- The Steelers, vsCIN this week and @JAC next week. At 99% rostered, you aren’t going to get PIT if you don’t already have them. But if you do, they’re a good play both of these weeks.
- The Browns, vsHOU this week and vsPHI next week. They are a sketchy low-end start against Houston, and they will be usable — if still a little sketchy — against Philadelphia.
- The Football Team, @DET this week and vsCIN next week. In both cases, this is more reliant on Washington’s defense being really good and facing meh offenses. I would prefer worse opponents even with a worse defense, but when times are tough, plays like Washington these next two weeks are reasonable.
- The Chargers, @MIA this week, vsNYJ next week. This is a true stash because I would not play the chargers against Miami this week. The Jets are the holy grail of matchups though, so the Chargers have a shot at being my No. 1 defense in Week 11.
- The Vikings, @CHI this week and vsDAL next week. I don’t recommend using Minnesota against Chicago this week, but I wouldn’t call you crazy for doing it. It seems likely that Garrett Gilbert will start for Dallas after their bye, which makes the Cowboys a team I would start almost anyone against.
This week is rough. There are no teams that I would ordinarily put in my top tier, so I’ve re-named my Tiers a bit to reflect that. Rost% numbers are from Yahoo on Tuesday morning, before waivers have cleared in both leagues. If you have questions, you can find me on Twitter.
|The Start Them (But Maybe Without Confidence) Tier|
|The Only If You Have To Tier|
|The Surely You Can Find Something Better Tier|
- GB vs. JAC: New Jacksonville quarterback Jake Luton performed about as well as anyone could have hoped in his first career start last week. He threw for 300 passing yards and two total touchdowns. That doesn’t mean my opinion of him has shifted massively — it’s just one game, and it’s not like he set the world on fire. My confidence in opposing defenses is shaken a little, but my expectation is still that Luton will turn out to be one of the best defense targets when we look back in a few weeks.
- PHI @ NYG: The Giants are no strangers to sticking with a bad quarterback for the long haul, and Daniel Jones appears to be the heir to Eli Manning in that way too. Last week, with one touchdown and no interceptions or lost fumbles, was only Jones’ first game this year with more scores than turnovers.
- BAL @ NE: The shine has worn off 2020 Cam Newton. He’s a serious rushing threat, but that’s kind of it. He has eight rushing touchdowns this season compared to only two passing. It seems weird to target Cam or the Patriots, but Baltimore has the best rushing defense in the league. I expect them to dominate this game.
- PIT vs. CIN: While it’s uncertain if Ben Roethlisberger will play, we know the Steelers’ defense is great, and we know Joe Burrow is starting on the other side. Burrow hasn’t been a disaster, but he hasn’t been particularly good either. Certainly not good enough to scare you away from using a defense like PIT.
- NO vs. SF: Nick Mullens will start for the 49ers again, and this week, he gets to face a Saints team that absolutely destroyed Tom Brady and the Buccaneers last week. I don’t actually expect Mullens to throw three interceptions as Brady did, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he had two, or if the 49ers’ score was similarly low.
- DET vs. WAS: Alex Smith had his first full game as a member of the Football Team last week, and it was not great — he threw three interceptions. Smith appears to be healthy, but he’s not back to playing at an NFL level. Detroit has an average defense, and unless something changes, I’m happy to start average defenses against Smith.
- WAS @ DET: On the other side of this game, we have a somewhat better quarterback in Matthew Stafford, and he’s facing a much better Washington defense. Stafford is coming off two consecutive two-turnover games (which, to be fair, are his only such games this season). This is a classic middling D/ST start: an offense that isn’t going to collapse and give away tons of turnovers, but one that will struggle to score actual points against a good defense. This is a solid, low-ceiling play.
- TB @ CAR: We’re getting into the territory of teams that I don’t want to start, but these teams end up in my top 10 anyway because of a lack of other options. Teddy Bridgewater has been pretty good — Carolina almost beat the Chiefs last week. But Tampa Bay has the best real-world defense in the league, so you’re betting that that trumps a solid offense if you play them.
- CLE vs. HOU: Deshaun Watson is on a three-game streak of not throwing an interception, and he’s been beating his career rate for sacks, suffering only two per game since Week 4. We know that he has it in him to take a lot of sacks when he can’t find people open downfield, so playing Cleveland is kind of a moon shot, and you’re hoping this becomes one of those games.
- NYG vs. PHI: Carson Wentz is the most-sacked quarterback in the league this season by a decent margin, with 32. (Daniel Jones and Joe Burrow tie for second with 28.) The Giants aren’t great on defense, but there’s a lot of upside here if they can keep the pattern going with Wentz.
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