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Week 10 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts: 2015 Fantasy Tiers & Rankings


Below are RotoBaller's Week 10 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream and start for Week 10 of the NFL and fantasy football season. Our tiered defense rankings are your guide to making waiver wire pickups and adds to improve your lineups, and to decide which defenses to start, sit, target, avoid or stream for Week 10.

Are you looking for some assistance with your lineups? Not sure which defenses have good matchups for Week 10? Can't decide which defenses to target off the waiver wire, or whether you should stream a different defense for this week? No worries, we are here to help every week of the fantasy football season.

Starting the right defense every week can be a difference maker, so we have broken out our defense rankings into tiers with analysis on each matchup. Some of these Week 10 defenses have good matchups and are not widely owned, representing sleeper opportunities if they are available on your league's waiver wire for a Week 10 pickup or add. Good luck in Week 10 RotoBallers!

 

Week 10 Defenses To Start & Stream: Tiers & Rankings

Bye Weeks: Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, San Diego Chargers

Tier 1 Defenses: Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers, St. Louis Rams

The Broncos defense finally looked mortal in a 27-24 loss to a rejuvenated Andrew Luck and the Colts in Week 9. The only saving grace from a fantasy perspective was an 83-yard punt return TD--otherwise, they looked average. They only got to Andrew Luck one time in four quarters of play, and forced zero turnovers. T.Y. Hilton and Griff Whalen (of all people) did most of the damage through the air while Frank Gore rumbled his way to 83 yards and a score. With that being said, the Broncos face the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 10, and Alex Smith is not Andrew Luck. The Broncos will have to focus on taking Charcandrick West and Jeremy Maclin out of the equation--if they can, they should return another elite performance.

The Panthers defense does just about everything well, and despite giving up a healthy amount of touchdowns to Aaron Rodgers in Week 9, they still managed to put up a decent fantasy day thanks to five sacks and two turnovers. In Week 10 they'll get Tennessee, and while Marcus Mariota lit up the Saints last week, there's no way he'll do the same against Carolina. Start them with confidence.

I'm rolling out the Steelers in Week 10 largely due to a matchup against the Cleveland Browns. Johnny Manziel was impressive in Cleveland's Week 9 loss to the Bengals, but ultimately I don't think he has the talent or the weapons to ever put up a huge game. The Steelers just got torched by Derek Carr and his pair of receiving aces, but I don't see Gary Barnidge and Travis Benjamin doing the same. The Steelers should have a nice, high floor in Week 10.

I anticipated a huge day for the Rams against Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings in Week 9, but that's not how the game shook out. They should have a much easier go of things in Week 10 when they host the Bears. Chicago has actually been playing well with Jay Cutler under center, but the Rams know how to attack weaknesses, and they'll likely blitz Cutler early and often. They'll put Cutler on his back a few times, and if Matt Forte can't go again the only weapons they'll have to worry about are Alshon Jeffery and rookie Jeremy Langford.

 

Tier 2 Defenses: Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets

The Cardinals D/ST is one of the highest-scoring fantasy defenses this year, but that's mostly due to two huge weeks (Week 2 and 3) where they posted four total touchdowns and six turnovers. Since then, they've been good but not elite. I expect a similar performance as they travel to Seattle in Week 10--they'll get to Russell Wilson a few times with his bad offensive line, but you can't plan on a defensive or special teams score. If they stuff Marshawn Lynch, they could have a very solid day.

Those same Seahawks will be tasked with stopping Carson Palmer and his arsenal of dangerous wide receivers. If anyone can do it, it's Seattle, but I'm not confident enough that they can do enough to be a top-tier D/ST. John Brown should be back healthy in Weke 10, and he'll give the Seahawks' secondary fits across from Larry Fitzgerald (ha...fits and Fitz) while Michael Floyd keeps the safeties honest. I don't see Chris Johnson having a big game here, but this is still one game where the Seattle D/ST makes me nervous. You're starting them, but I doubt you'll feel great about it.

The Packers D/ST has been awful recently, getting lit up by the Broncos and Panthers in back-to-back weeks. They've had zero sacks and just two turnovers in that time, but I think better days are ahead. Matthew Stafford and the hapless Lions will do all that they can at Lambeau Field, but they have nothing that scares me. The run game is a total joke, with Joique Bell likely leading the way (Ameer Abdullah seems to be an afterthought now), and Calvin Johnson isn't the top-five threat he once was. The Packers have a high floor with an extremely high ceiling if Stafford can't get anything going.

Sigh. I hate the Patriots, not ashamed to admit it. However, as a fantasy writer I am capable of being impartial, and in that spirit I like the Patriots D/ST a lot this week. Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, Jr. are not to be trifled with, but Eli is still prone to an awful game every once in a while. He's thrown for less than 215 yards five times this season, and while his interceptions are way down from previous years I don't think he's going to light up the Patriots like he did the Saints. The Giants hodgepodge running back committee consisting of Orleans Darkwa, Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen and Andre Williams (in no particular order) doesn't help matters much, so the Patriots should have a relatively low floor. Here's hoping it isn't a shootout.

I said it last week and I'll say it again--the Bengals are a far better real-life defense than a fantasy defense. However, they draw the Texans in Week 10 and therefore should be a startable D/ST in any format. Brian Hoyer has actually been pretty careful with the ball, but I expect Andy Dalton and company to be out in front early, so Hoyer will be slinging it around. DeAndre Hopkins is going to eat no matter what, but with no Arian Foster to help the Texans move the ball down the field, the Cincy D/ST should flourish.

The Jets returned to form in Week 9, forcing four turnovers and sacking Blake Bortles six times in a victory. I can't put them in the top tier though as they draw a suddenly healthy Buffalo Bills squad on Thursday night. The Bills proved just how lethal their offense can be when Tyrod Taylor, Sammy Watkins, LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams are all healthy. McCoy suffered a shoulder injury and may not be healthy in time for their tilt with the Jets, but Williams isn't easy to stop either. The Jets should be able to get to Taylor a few times though, so their floor is high enough to warrant a start.

 

Tier 3 Defenses: Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins

The Eagles have been a great fantasy defense in 2015 thanks to their 20 turnovers in just eight games. However, their Week 10 matchup with the Dolphins feels like a trap game to me. Lamar Miller has been absolutely resurgent since Dan Campbell was made the head coach, mauling defense both on the ground and in the passing game. Ryan Tannehill and Jarvis Landry can also torch defenses at any given moment, and Kenny Stills can beat any safety if Tannehill goes deep. The Eagles were just beat up by Matt Cassel, Cole Beasley and Darren McFadden, and the Tannehill/Landry/Miller combo should be able to do the same if not more.

The Chiefs haven't let up more than 18 points in any of their last four games, and have six interceptions in that time frame. They'll get Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Week 10, and I like their chances to turn Peyton over at least twice more. They'll need to find a way to stop Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson, but with the threat of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders all but negated by Manning's lackluster play, I think they'll sell out to stop the run. The Broncos aren't an offensive force anymore, and the Chiefs should be able to hang.

The Vikings haven't let up more than 23 points in any game this season, and while they have been middle-of-the-road from a fantasy standpoint they have one of the more consistent floors in the league. I expect that trend to be broken in Week 10, as Derek Carr and the shockingly-relevant Raiders come to town. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree have proven themselves to be one of the more potent 1-2 punches in fantasy, and Latavius Murray is talented enough to keep defenses honest up front. The days of streaming against the Raiders are over--I'm avoiding them these days instead.

The Buccaneers will be a risky play in Week 10, as the Cowboys looked pretty great against the much-stronger Eagles defense on Sunday night. However, I don't think it's the beginning of a trend for Matt Cassel, so I still think the Bucs are a decent deep-league option. Darren McFadden and Dez Bryant are obviously the big concerns here, but Cole Beasley has been surprisingly pesky in the Julian Edelman/Wes Welker role. Tampa Bay has a low ceiling this week, but I also don't see them getting torched.

The Bills D/ST looked better against the Dolphins last week, but still not anywhere close to the elite level they achieved in 2014. I'm very nervous about a road game against the Jets, especially if Ryan Fitzpatrick is healthy enough to play effectively. Brandon Marshall is a matchup nightmare, and Eric Decker has a knack for the end zone that I'm not sure the Bills can disrupt. Chris Ivory hasn't been running well the lat couple weeks, and the Buffalo run defense is still one of the top-10 in the league, so expect the Jets to air it out early and often. Thursday night games tend to be ugly though, so not all hope is lost for the Bills.

The Dolphins aren't hard to get a read on--they had two great games against bad opponents (Houston & Tennessee) and two awful games against great opponents (New England & Buffalo). In Week 10 they'll get the Eagles, who fall somewhere in the middle of the aforementioned opponents. Therefore, we can expect middling production from the Miami D/ST. Everyone follow the math? Basically the Dolphins have to stop DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews, because Sam Bradford and his stable of receivers just aren't scary. Average opponent = average production.

 

Tier 4 Defenses: Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders

The Cowboys defense has been average in real life, but unfortunately that puts them in the bottom tier for fantasy purposes. Still, they'll get Jameis Winston and the Bucs in Week 10, and while the rookie hasn't turned the ball over in four games I don't trust him yet. The Cowboys are a desperation play this week and nothing more.

I'm only keeping the Browns on this list because they'll face a Ben Rothlisberger-less Steelers team. Landry Jones is better than Michael Vick, but that still doesn't make him good. I expect the Steelers to lean on DeAngelo Williams and the run game, but Antonio Brown should still get his. Like the Cowboys, the Browns are a total dice roll.

My ranking of the Saints defense is based entirely on matchup. They get the Redskins in Week 10,and with Kirk Cousins at the helm all of their pass-catching options are essentially useless. Because Cousins likely won't be able to get the ball to DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon or Jamison Crowder, expect a heavy dose of Matt Jones and Chris Thompson (Alfred Morris seems to have been phased out). The Saints have a high floor and a low ceiling.

The Ravens D/ST has been uncharacteristically awful this season, and I don't think their luck will change against Blake Bortles and the Jaguars in Week 10. Bortles' ability to connect with Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns should scare any defense, particularly one as bad as the Ravens. Bortles does still turn the ball over though, so the Ravens might be able to luck out with a pick-six.

I tell you what, I'm drinking the Raider-ade. The offense has been so good that they haven't had to rely on their defense, which is a good thing--it's been pretty bad. They do have some solid performances mixed in though, and could be due for another one with the Vikings' unimpressive offense coming to town. Teddy Bridgewater still doesn't put the fear of God in anyone despite having emerging superstar Stefon Diggs to throw to. The Raiders will sell out to stop Adrian Peterson, and while I doubt they'll keep him out of the end zone they should be able to keep him under 100 yards. They're a risky play, but one that might pay off in a decent matchup.

 

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