We have another four teams on a bye in Week 11. Other than the Steelers’ defense that has scored double-digit Fantasy points in two of the last three weeks (all stats via ESPN.com), most of the Fantasy Football team defenses that we regularly consider streaming on a rotating basis are in play.
The Seahawks defense, which has scored the second most Fantasy points overall and should be started every week, has a very favorable matchup against the hapless 49ers offense.
I like the much-improved Falcons team defense against a disappointing Colts offense.
You should be starting the Cardinals’ defense every week. They take on the Bengals, whose offense has stalled in two of their last three games, and have a favorable home matchup.
The Patriots’ defense is a good start for Week 11 and will look to get back on track against the Bills. The Pats scored 13 Fantasy points in their first meeting earlier this season.
If you don’t own shares in any of the other team defenses that are weekly “must starts” like the Panthers, Broncos or Jets, and have an empty spot in your lineup for your Week 11 matchup, I have five options for you. I’ve also done some additional research and identified five kickers that you might consider streaming this week as well. Read on and use your best judgement! If you have any feedback based on the contents of this article reach out to me on Twitter @joegallina. Good luck this week!
Top Defensive Team Plays For Week 11
Matchup: home vs. Tennessee Titans
Weather: 72 and light rain. NNW winds 3 MPH
In a battle between the two teams that give up the most Fantasy points to opposing defenses I choose… hold on, I’m wearing a blindfold, getting spun around… point me in the direction of the Titans vs. Jaguars poster… I pick the Jaguars. Yes. I think the Jaguars are the better streaming option in this matchup. Why? Well, Titans WR Kendall Wright will miss his third straight game, which means that Marcus Mariota’s primary receivers are going to be to Dorial Green-Beckham and Harry Douglas. His WR3 will be Andrew Turzilli, Rico Richardson or Tre McBride, none of which who has ever caught a pass in the NFL. Mariota’s best option as a receiver will be TE Delanie Walker, and although the Jags have the ninth best pass defense, they give up an average of just 8.3 Fantasy points to opposing tight ends. If it wasn’t for Walker, the Jaguars’ secondary could work this matchup from home. Mariota better not take too much time trying to find someone to throw the ball to because if he does, the Jaguars’ pass rush, which has the fifth most sacks (28), will make him pay. If the Titans try to run the ball… wait a minute! Who would they even hand the ball off to? The Titans have had three options at running back this season and not one of them has distinguished themselves as a permanent alternative as of yet. Maybe if David Cobb would put down the donuts long enough to give running with the football a whirl, Mariota can hand the ball off to him, but it’s more likely that the rookie QB will try running it himself. Whichever way the Titans try running the ball, they are unlikely to get very far since the Jaguars have the sixth best defense against the run, allowing their opponents an average of just 93.7 rushing yards per game. All things considered, the Jaguars defense is the right choice in this matchup, but only time will tell.
Matchup: home vs. Broncos
Weather: 26 degrees and clear. WSW winds 15MPH
The Chicago Bears face a Broncos team that has some serious issues surrounding their offense. They will be led by QB Brock Osweiler, who is making his first career start. In Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, Osweiler has two very talented receivers to throw the ball to, but both are a bit banged up. He performed fairly well in relief of Peyton Manning last week (14-24, 146 yards 1, TD, 1 INT) but don’t read too much into those stats since most of Osweiler’s production came in garbage time, long after the Chiefs had put their Week 10 matchup out of reach. The Bears secondary is fourth against the pass this season, but if their capable cornerbacks Tracy Porter, Bryce Callahan and Kyle Fuller need any pointers on how to stop Osweiler, all they have to do is ask their head coach John Fox and his offensive coordinator Adam Gase, since they drafted him when they were both employed by the Broncos. With the Broncos’ passing game under control, the Bears can turn their focus on to their opponent’s running game, which lucky for them, is the fourth weakest in the league. Although the Bears have the seventh worst defense against the run, they were able to make in game adjustments in Week 10, something that they are very good at doing, and contained Rams’ running back Todd Gurley to 45 rushing yards, his lowest total since he became a starter in Week 4. The Bears’ defense has been trending in the right direction. After a tough start in which they gave up an average of just under 30 points through their first six games, they’ve steadily improved, and have given up an average of just over 18 points in their last three games.
Matchup: home vs. St. Louis Rams
Weather: 44 degrees and clear. WNW winds 14 MPH
When you analyze the St. Louis Rams’ offense, it’s amazing that they’ve been able to win even four games this season. It’s pretty obvious that they’ve won those games on the back of their premiere defense and star running back. The Rams are tied for having scored the second fewest total points in the NFL, and a Fantasy team defense will generally have success against them if they are able to contain star rookie running back Todd Gurley. The Bears, my previous recommendation, stopped him and they had a big week. The Ravens have given up just under 99 rushing yards per game and have a good chance at cooling him down as well. Case Keenum, who will be appearing in the 11th game of his career, will get the start at QB for the Rams in place of the ineffective Nick Foles. The Ravens continue to play a very good defense against the run, but on the other hand, their pass defense is ranked 26th the NFL. What will help the Ravens in this week’s matchup is the fact that the Rams’ receiving corps is so bad… did I just hear you ask how bad is it? Well, it’s so bad that they had to go out and sign concussion magnet Wes Welker just before Week 10, and he proceeded to catch three passes for a paltry 32 yards. The Rams’ offensive woes have helped make them very generous to opposing Fantasy defenses. They’ve given up the sixth most Fantasy points to team defenses so far this season.
Matchup: @ Detroit Lions
Statistically the Raiders may not have a premiere defense, but they do have an upcoming favorable matchup against a Lions offense that is tied for having scored the third least overall average points per game (18.6). They’ve also generated the sixth fewest overall yards per game with just over 332. Their running game is especially weak, which should help the Raiders’ defense, which was ranked second in the league against the run entering Week 9, but was then unceremoniously punished by the Steelers’ and Vikings’ running game in their two most recent games. The Raiders’ defense against the run should be able to get back on track against the Lions rushing offense that is averaging just 66.9 rushing yards per game on the season. The Lions continue to lead the NFL in giveaways with 21, 13 of which have been the result of quarterback interceptions. With OLB Aldon Smith recently receiving a one year suspension, the Raiders biggest pass rushing threat is Khalil Mack. The Raiders hope that Mack and a combination of DE Mario Edwards, Benson Mayowa and Ray-Ray Armstrong can help soften the blow caused by Smith’s absence. Edwards has been especially effective as his 11 tackles, one sack, one tackle for a loss and two quarterback hits in Week 10 clearly demonstrate. Although the Raiders give up the second most passing yards per game, the Lions’ biggest receiving threat, Calvin Johnson, is still battling an ankle injury and sat out Wednesday’s practice. Raiders’ DB T.J. Carrie, arguably the best player out of their secondary, matches up well against Megatron. The one bright spot in the Raiders’ pass defense has been their ability to limit their opponents from converting their red zone possessions into touchdowns. They are ranked 12th in the league, having allowed a conversion rate of just under 53 percent.
Matchup: home vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Weather: 49 and mostly cloudy. WNW winds 12 MPH
The Eagles’ defense faces a Buccaneers offense that has had trouble putting points on the board. They are tied for sixth in average points scored per game with just over 21. In case you were wondering, the Eagles give up an average of 20.4 points per game, which ties them with the Jets for ninth best in the NFL. It’s not like the Bucs can’t move the ball. They average 354 yards of total offense per game. One of their biggest obstacles has been turning their red zone possessions into touchdowns. They are fifth in the league in that category with a 44.83 percent conversion rate. At first glance, it might appear that the Buccaneers best option in Week 11 might be to try to move the ball through the air. The Eagles have given up the fourth most Fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. However, they’re in luck because Buccaneers WR2 Vincent Jackson will be out for Week 11, WR3 Donteea Dye isn’t Fantasy relevant, and to top it off, it looks like tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will be a no show again this week as well. That leaves QB Jameis Winston with one legitimate receiving option: Mike Evans. I mentioned Evans’ issue with dropped passes this season in last week’s column, and he proceeded to miss another five passes that were thrown in his direction in Week 10. His season totals are ugly. Evans has caught just 40 of the 85 passes that have been intended for him. Look for FS Malcolm Jenkins, fresh off of his 10 tackle performance in Week 10, to lead the Eagles’ secondary against the Bucs’ troubled receiving corps. I also talked about how Buccaneers’ running back Doug Martin was starting to fade after a hot start, and he continued his slide in Week 10 with a third straight game in which he failed to run for more than 71 yards. It won’t get any easier for Martin in Week 11, since the Eagles have given up the sixth fewest Fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. If the Bucs are going to score a touchdown this week, Winston may be forced to take matters into his own hands, or should I say feet. The only touchdown the Bucs scored last week was through the courtesy of Winston’s two feet (yes that’s a play on the Flintstones theme where two cartoon families go for a night out on the town through the courtesy of Fred’s two feet). Winston will have to be wary of the Eagles’ pass rush which is tied for eighth in the league with 23 sacks. The Bucs are fifth in the league in giveaways, which works out nicely since the Eagles’ defenses specializes in takeaways. They are tied for second in the league with 20.
Top Fantasy Football Kickers For Week 11
Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers
Matchup: @ Seattle Seahawks
Weather: 49 degrees and clear. NNE winds 2MPH
Phil Dawson has converted 14 of his 15 field goal attempts this season and faces a Seahawks team that allows their opponents to convert their red zone scoring opportunities into touchdowns at the fourth lowest rate in the NFL. The 49ers have scored just 12 total touchdowns this season, converting just 39.13 percent of their offensive red zone possessions into touchdowns.
Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders
Matchup: @ Detroit Lions
An oldie but a goodie, Sebastian Janikowski’s Oakland Raiders take on a Detroit Lions team that has given up the third most overall points in the NFL and the third most Fantasy points to opposing kickers. Look for him to have multiple scoring opportunities against the Lions’ porous defense.
Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons
Matchup: home vs. Indianapolis Colts
Matt Bryant should see multiple scoring opportunities as his Falcons take on the Colts’ soft defense. He remains one of the most accurate kickers in the game, having connected on 14 of his 17 field goal attempts this season, and nailing all of his 23 extra point attempts as well.
Caleb Sturgis, Philadelphia Eagles
Matchup: home vs. Buccaneers
Weather: 49 and mostly cloudy. WNW winds 12 MPH
In comparison to his Week 10 effort, Eagles QB Mark Sanchez should be better prepared to lead his team’s offense in Week 11. The Eagles should be able to move the ball against the Bucs, and kicker Caleb Sturgis should have multiple scoring opportunities this week.
Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis Rams
Matchup: @ Baltimore Ravens
Weather: 44 degrees and clear. WNW winds 14MPH
Rams’ kicker Greg Zeurlein might not have the best statistics amongst his peers. The Rams have a hard time scoring touchdowns this season, and they had Zuerlein attempt three field goals of 50-plus yards or more in Week 5. When you factor that in, you understand why he has had a bit of a rough time this season. The Ravens, his Week 11 opponent, have given up the most Fantasy points to opposing kickers this season. Look for Zeurlein to see multiple scoring opportunities this week as the Rams continue to struggle to score touchdowns.