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Below are RotoBaller's Week 10 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 10 of the NFL and fantasy football season.

Our weekly tiered defense rankings are a guide to making waiver wire pickups to improve your lineups, and to decide which defenses to start, sit, target, avoid or stream for Week 10. Starting the right defense every week can be a difference-maker. Below 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 fantasy scoring opportunities if they are available on your league's waiver wire for a Week 10 pickup or add. Good luck in Week 10 RotoBallers!

New for this year: Confidence Rating - since every league's DST scoring is different, projections don't make a ton of sense. The confidence rating is a guideline for how much more I like one team over another instead of a straight point projection. A zero means "do not start", then the confidence rises from there. Initial rankings do not factor in Monday Night Football stats. Ranks may be re-evaluated after that game.

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Week 10 Defenses To Start & Stream: Tiers & Rankings

I typically don't recommend rostering two DSTs, but due to popular demand, at the end of the article, I list a few DSTs that will be my top streaming options (i.e. widely available) for NEXT week, so they may be worth adding now before they become hot pickups.

Teams on bye: Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings

 

Tier 1 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
1 1 New York Jets vs. BUF 12.95
2 1 Los Angeles Chargers @ OAK 11.15
3 1 Chicago Bears vs. DET 10.5

Fun fact from numberFire's editor-in-chief J.J. Zachariason:

Picking my top option each week really is just as simple as finding the Bills' opponent at this point. As I mentioned above, I typically don't recommend rostering two DSTs, but if you think you can afford the space start keeping an eye out for waiver DSTs that have the Bills during the fantasy stretch run/playoffs. Now is the time to start thinking about stashing, because the Bills' misfortunes can literally win you a week. And no, it doesn't matter if it's Josh Allen, Derek Anderson (the likely starter as of now), Terrelle Pryor or PICK-SIX POOTERMAN under center.

The Chargers are resurgent at long last. They're red-hot right now, with double-digit fantasy points in three of their last four games, and a matchup against the hapless Fightin' Grudens coming up this week. Joey Bosa is making some progress in his return from injury, but it doesn't sound like he'll be ready this week. The Chargers have been doing just fine in his absence, tallying at least one interception in every game going back to Week 2, and racking up 14 sacks over their last four games. Deploy this unit with confidence, and hold onto them for the nice little run they're about to go on (@ OAK, vs. DEN, vs. ARI).

The Bears got back on track against the Jets and those damned Bills in the last two weeks, and while the Detroit Lions pose a tougher challenge, I'm not running in fear. Khalil Mack looks poised to return this week and the Lions sit at 21st in yards per game and 20th in points per game. Matthew Stafford is still very careful with the ball, capping the Bears' ceiling, but they should eat anyway given that the Lions have already allowed 23 sacks this season.

 

Tier 2 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
4 2 New England Patriots @ TEN 9.4
5 2 Los Angeles Rams vs. SEA 8.75
6 2 Washington Redskins @ TB 8.15
7 2 Kansas City Chiefs vs. ARI 7.65
8 2 Indianapolis Colts vs. JAC 7.3

The Patriots DST doesn't bring a ton to the table pass rush-wise--they're 30th in the NFL in sacks. However, they've had success in winning the turnover battle--their 17 takeaways is good for fourth in the NFL. The Tennessee offense is so anemic (30th in the NFL with just over 280 total yards per game prior to Monday night) that Marcus Mariota barely has any opportunities to give the ball away--therefore, the Patriots' fantasy upside is limited. However, this game should be out of hand quickly, and the Titans are just a couple weeks removed from yielding 11 sacks in one game, albeit to the Ravens. Stream the Pats with confidence--they should be available in most places given that they're coming off a game against Aaron Rodgers.

I'm not saying I'm scared of the Cardinals all of a sudden, but I do recognize that with Mike McCoy no longer steering the offense off a cliff, the Cardinals can do some damage in a hurry. Josh Rosen won't carry this offense to 30 points, but a newly-unleashed David Johnson might. The Cardinals will have to run and gun to keep pace with the Chiefs, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Chiefs DST to end up with a disappointing total at the end of the game.

Just when I get all hyped up and on board the Colts DST train, they drop a complete stinker against the terrible, awful, no-good very bad Raiders (that's two Raiders gags thus far, for those keeping tabs at home). This week they'll be fresh off the bye and at home against the much-maligned Blake Bortles. Their upside is curbed by the potential return of a "healthy" Leonard Fournette, but the potential for a full-on BORTLING always looms. Wouldn't expect fireworks, but you could do much worse if you're streaming from a low waiver position.

 

Tier 3 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
9 3 Buffalo Bills @ NYJ 6.4
10 3 Philadelphia Eagles vs. DAL 5.85
11 3 Green Bay Packers vs. MIA 5.2
12 3 Atlanta Falcons @ CLE 4.8
13 3 New Orleans Saints @ CIN 4.45
14 3 Jacksonville Jaguars @ IND 4.15

Almost out of Bills jokes, I swear. Here they are in Tier 3! A matchup against Sam Darnold simply can't be ignored, especially not when he threw his league-leading 14th interception last week (along with interceptions 11-13). This game SCREAMS 6-3 final to me, and you're going to want a part of both of the DSTs--they'll likely lead their respective teams in fantasy scoring.

While I haven't yet seen the Cowboys offense with their new WR1 Amari Cooper (Monday Night Football starts in just a couple hours), I refuse to believe that he can suddenly transform Dak Prescott and the 27th-ranked offense in football. The Eagles have already piled up 26 sacks on the year, and that should lead to a nice floor in their intra-divisional matchup against the Cowboys this week. I don't see any path to fireworks short of a freak defensive touchdown, though.

With the exception of their shutout of the Bills and their Week 1 victory over the Bears, the Packers have yielded at least 27 points to every opponent they've faced in 2018. In fact, since that Week 4 shutout, the Packers have allowed 29.75 points per game while tallying just one interception. While it's easier to forgive their matchups against the Rams and Patriots, they also got the front door kicked in by the Lions and 49ers in that time frame. Therefore, their ceiling is low even against the Brock Osweiler-led Miami Dolphins, but that matchup does put them squarely in streaming territory.

 

Tier 4 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
15 4 New York Giants @ SF 3.7
16 4 San Francisco 49ers vs. NYG 3.45
17 4 Dallas Cowboys @ PHI 3.1
18 4 Carolina Panthers @ PIT 2.9
19 4 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. CAR 2.75

I run in fear of Nick Mullens, and you should too. In all seriousness, this Giants defense is simply too weak to stream, especially if Mullens' production proves more sustainable than just a Thursday night flash of brilliance. On the flip-side of that matchup, the Giants still have enough weapons to where you can't trust the lowly 49ers defense, despite their thrashing of the Raiders offensive line on Thursday.

The Panthers and Steelers clash in this week's Thursday night matchup, and I'm running from both DSTs given that both offenses are relatively healthy and churning at full speed. Christian McCaffrey and Cam Newton are both rolling, so it's impossible to feel good about the Steelers despite them being at home. At the same time, I'm not ready to bet against James Conner, Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster at home. There's an outside chance that this devolves into a Thursday night slopfest, but with that much talent on both offenses, I'm not willing to bet against it.

 

Tier 5 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
20 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. WAS 2.55
21 5 Seattle Seahawks @ LAR 2.4
22 5 Miami Dolphins @ GB 2.05
23 5 Tennessee Titans vs. NE 1.9
24 5 Cleveland Browns vs. ATL 1.45
25 5 Arizona Cardinals @ KC 1.15

 
Looking Ahead to Week 10...

  • Arizona Cardinals (vs. OAK)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (@ JAC)
  • Indianapolis Colts (vs. TEN)
  • Los Angeles Chargers (vs. DEN)

More Weekly Lineup Prep


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