Defensive Maneuvers for Week 13
We're onto the best week of the Fantasy Football season. It's Week 13, and it is like two weeks in one. We have three games on Thanksgiving, and then with the bye weeks in the rear-view mirror, we have a full slate of games Sunday and Monday. In most standard Fantasy leagues, this is the penultimate week of the regular season, so now more than ever it is important to stream the right defensive/special teams (DST) unit, or pluck that helpful individual defensive player (IDP) off of the waiver wire. We've got you covered.
Over the remaining weeks we will not only look at individual defensive players (IDP) to add, but we'll also analyze the matchups for those Fantasy owners needing to make decisions as far as defensive/special teams (DST) units to use. And, as always, if you have any questions, feel free to use the Email advice at RotoExperts.com, and one of the many qualified experts will help steer you in the right direction.
The following are nice sleeper D/STs for Fantasy owners heading into Week 13:
Cincinnati Bengals DST (at TB): The Bengals rank near the bottom of the league in sacks, tied for second-worst with just 14. However, they have rolled up 11 interceptions and they have three safeties this season to lead the NFL. Cincinnati has been improved lately, allowing a total of just 23 points in the past two weeks, both road games. They'll be facing the worst offense of their three-game road trip in Tampa.
Indianapolis Colts DST (vs WAS): Sure, the Colts enter Week 13 ranked 20th against the pass, but the Washington Redskins are expected to start QB Colt McCoy over QB Robert Griffin III. The last time we saw McCoy, he led the Redskins to an overtime road win in Dallas, but he is also prone to plenty of mistakes, too. The Colts should be able to sack McCoy at least two or three times, and an interception or two is in the offing, too. And remember, the Colts recently signed WR Joshua Cribbs to enhance their return game, and a defensive touchdown (DTD) is a much better possibility for the special teams now.
Jacksonville Jaguars DST (vs NYG): It's hard to believe, but the Jaguars are actually third in the NFL with 33 sacks, and they have a respectable nine fumble recoveries and five interceptions. That last total is likely to go up facing mistake-prone New York Giants QB Eli Manning. Sure, the Jags might not be a very good team overall, but their defense has been very underrated from a Fantasy perspective.
Miami Dolphins DST (vs NYJ - Mon.): The Dolphins defense was gouged for 39 points, 201 rushing yards and 249 passing yards while mustering just one sack, one fumble recovery and zero interceptions. It's possible they're available on the waiver wire after a difficult week. If so, they'll be a great waiver-wire addition against the lowly New York Jets. QB Geno Smith makes plenty of mistakes, especially on the road, and the Dolphins have 10 interceptions on the season. Miami is tied for fourth in the NFL with 31 sacks, and they have recovered 10 fumbles, third in the NFL.
St. Louis Rams DST (vs OAK): The Raiders might have pulled off their first victory of the season last week, but they're still an offense with some problems. The Rams have allowed just 219 points, tied for seventh-best in the NFL. Conversely, the Raiders are second-to-last in the league with just 16.0 points per game. Oakland has also lost nine fumbles, and they're the worst in the NFL in turnover margin at minus-13. It has been a good idea to pick on the Raiders with the opposing DST all season long.
The following players are nice sleepers for IDP Fantasy owners heading into Week 13:
Mike Adams, DB, Indianapolis (vs WAS): Adams has been one of the bright spots in the Indianapolis secondary, posting four interceptions with 48 tackles, two fumble recoveries and nine passes defensed. If Colt McCoy makes a mistake, Adams is certain to be either the cause or beneficiary.
Jelani Jenkins, LB, Miami (at NYJ): Jenkins has emerged as a solid IDP Fantasy option, posting 62 tackles to go along with 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. It's hard to believe he is still available in about 40 percent of all IDP Fantasy leagues since he has emerged as a defensive force over the past month.
Paul Kruger, LB, Cleveland (at BUF): Kruger has really turned it up lately, posting six sacks over the past five games with a total of 11 tackles, two forced fumbles and three passes defensed during the span.
Josh Mauga, LB, Kansas City (at DEN): Expect Mauga to be busy, adding to his already impressive tackle total of 64. If you need a free-agent linebacker, Mauga can help with several tackles, but do not expect any sacks or interceptions. Mauga helps strictly in the tackle category.
Stephen Paea, DL, Chicago (at DET): Paea is playing well, and at just the right time since he's in a contract year. He has posted six sacks with 12 tackles and a forced fumble while recording two passes defensed. He has a good chance to get to Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford for at least one sack on Turkey Day.
Dobish's 2014 Fantasy Football IDP and DST Rankings - Week 13
|DEFENSIVE LINEMEN||LINEBACKERS||DEFENSIVE BACKS||DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS|
|1. J.J. Watt, Houston||1. Connor Barwin, Philadelphia *||1. Harrison Smith, Minnesota||1. Bills DST|
|2. Robert Quinn, St. Louis||2. Justin Houston, Kansas City||2. Jason McCourty, Tennessee||2. Dolphins DST **|
|3. Cameron Wake, Miami **||3. Alec Ogletree, St. Louis||3. Rashad Johnson, Arizona||3. Colts DST|
|4. Mario Williams, Buffalo||4. Anthony Barr, Minnesota||4. Michael Griffin, Tennessee ***||4. Texans DST|
|5. Jerry Hughes, Buffalo||5. C.J. Mosley, Baltimore||5. Brent Grimes, Miami **||5. Lions DST *|
|6. Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay||6. DeAndre Levy, Detroit *||6. Bradley Roby, Denver||6. Eagles DST *|
|7. Marcell Dareus, Buffalo||7. Von Miller, Denver||7. Eric Weddle, San Diego||7. Browns DST|
|8. Rob Ninkovich, New England||8. Luke Kuechly, Carolina||8. Bradley Fletcher, Philadelphia *||8. Ravens DST|
|9. Carlos Dunlap, Cincinnati||9. Julius Peppers, Green Bay||9. Mike Adams, Indianapolis||9. Rams DST|
|10. Everson Griffen, Minnesota||10. Paul Kruger, Cleveland||10. Joe Haden, Cleveland||10. Vikings DST|
* - plays Thursday, ** - plays Monday, *** - on injury report
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