On the offensive side of the ball, this might be the worst bye week of the season, with tons of fantasy-relevant players from the Chiefs, Rams, Dolphins and Eagles sitting out. This isn’t bad news for streaming in the sense that you weren’t targeting those offenses, but it does mean bench space is in short supply with so many players sitting out. I don’t blame you if you can’t afford to have a defense in a bench spot, but if you can stash someone, here are the teams that look interesting for Week 11 and beyond to either stash or hold:
- Cleveland (@BAL this week, then vs PIT, @DEN in Weeks 11-12) – The Browns are not usable against Lamar Jackson this week, but I consider them undroppable for the rest of the season, including two good matchups after this week.
- Dallas (vs NYG this week, then @CAR, vs WAS in Weeks 11-12) – The Cowboys are also undroppable, and their excellent matchup against the Giants is just the start of a good 3-week run for them.
- Houston (@CIN this week, then vs ARI next week) – In Week 11 the Texans face an Arizona team led by newly-back-from-injury Kyler Murray. Unless Kyler plays extremely well this week – and I don’t expect him to – the Texans should be a good play for Week 11.
- Miami (on bye this week, then vs LV, @NYJ, @WAS in Weeks 11-13) – The dolphins have a string of good matchups after their bye, including a Raiders team that just benched Jimmy Garoppolo for Aidan O’Connell, and two of the best DST-target quarterbacks in the league, Zach Wilson and Sam Howell.
- NY Giants (@DAL this week, then @WAS, vs NE in Weeks 11-12) – I don’t need to tell you not to start the Giants against the Cowboys (especially after they were so bad against Las Vegas last week), but next week they get a must-start matchup against Washington, and then a good (albeit with limited upside) matchup against Mac Jones and the Patriots.
- Washington (@SEA this week, then vs NYG next week). With Daniel Jones out for the season, Tommy DeVito is the guy in New York, and they are a must-target matchup for fantasy defenses. The Commanders get their turn against DeVito in Week 11.
Week 10 D/ST Projections
The four teams on bye this week (KC, LAR, MIA, PHI) all have good offenses, so we aren’t missing any teams we would target with fantasy defenses. Rostership numbers are from Yahoo. You can find me on Twitter.
|The Start Them With Confidence Tier|
|The Still a Fine Choice Tier|
|The Maybe You Can’t Find Something Better Tier|
|The Surely You Can Find Something Better Tier|
|17||NE||IND||Gardner Minshew II||22.5||2.8||1.1||5.89||55%|
- DAL vs NYG: Giants QB Daniel Jones suffered a torn ACL early in last week’s game, and is out for the season. This is obviously a huge blow to the Giants’ offense, who are now reliant on Tommy DeVito. DeVito is an undrafted rookie out of Illinois. The Raiders stole his lunch money last week, limiting the offense to just a single TD. DeVito threw two interceptions and took six sacks against one of the worst defenses in the league. Now, he gets to go on the road and face a genuinely good, division rival Cowboys defense. Additionally, the Vegas-implied team points projection of 11 is the lowest I’ve ever seen – less than 18 is cash money for the defense, and less than 14 is just unheard of. This is as clear-cut as fantasy matchups get.
- BAL vs CLE: Deshaun Watson played well in a blowout win against the Cardinals last week, but now he has to go from facing one of the worst defenses to a historically good Ravens defense. Watson has been battling injuries this year and when he has played, hasn’t been close to the level we saw early in his career. One good but not great game doesn’t scare me off from starting a great defense against Watson.
- LV vs NYJ: Zach Wilson got eaten alive by the Chargers defense last week to the tune of 8 sacks. Now he’s facing a Raiders team that did the same thing to Tommy DeVito last week. Wilson remains one of the best fantasy defense targets in the league.
- TB vs TEN: After his stunning rookie debut in Week 8, Will Levis was not able to repeat that success on the road against Pittsburg last week, where he threw a pick and took four sacks while leading the Titans to just 16 points. I expect similar in another road game this week.
- SEA vs WAS: Sam Howell had his second-lowest sack total of the season last week with just 3, which is still high. That win against a floundering Patriots team only required 20 points. Now the Commanders are facing a Seahawks team that ranks 7th in sacks (tied with CLE), I expect Howell to get back on track for that single-season sacks record.
- NYJ @ LV: Aidsn O’Connell played well in the Raiders’ blowout win against the Giants last week, avoiding sacks and turnovers in a game that was all about running the ball. It is not going to be such smooth sailing this week against an excellent Jets’ defense that’s playable in much worse matchups than this one.
- CHI vs CAR: Panthers QB Bryce Young had an awful day against the Colts last week, wherein he threw three interceptions. This caps off a streak of three bad games for Young, where he took 4+ sacks in each game and the team averaged under 17 points. The Bears are far from being a “good” defense, but they’re still a good value play at home in a matchup like this.
- BUF vs DEN: The Broncos are wild this season. Sometimes they’re horrible, and sometimes they randomly beat the Chiefs. The Bills’ defense is good enough that I’m expecting the bad version of Russell Wilson and the Broncos. While other teams might play better after a bye, it’s more like the Broncos to completely forget how to play football after a week off.
- PIT vs GB: The Steelers’ Defense has been a fantasy asset outside of the obviously bad matchups (SF, HOU), and now they get an obviously good matchup against a dysfunctional Packers offense that has made 5 of their last 6 opponents into top-12 fantasy defenses (sorry Denver). Jordan Love took 4 sacks in each of his last two games, and hasn’t had a 3-touchdown game or seen the team exceed 20 points since Week 2.
- TEN @ TB: Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay offense lost 37-39 in a shootout with the Texans last week. Starting defenses against Mayfield always carries some risk because this is possible, but it’s not the norm – that was Tampa Bay’s first time reaching 30 points. The Titans are a boom-bust play this week, but one that’s highly likely to be available in your league at just 5% rostership.