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Week 11 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts: 2015 Fantasy Tiers & Rankings

Below are RotoBaller's Week 11 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream and start for Week 11 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 11.

Are you looking for some assistance with your lineups? Not sure which defenses have good matchups for Week 11? 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 11 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 11 pickup or add. Good luck in Week 11 RotoBallers!

 

Week 11 Defenses To Start & Stream: Tiers & Rankings

Bye Weeks: New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints

Tier 1 Defenses: Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks

The Eagles D/ST has been one of the more consistent units in fantasy this season, and I expect that to continue against Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers in Week 11. Winston is coming off and awful game against a middling Cowboys defense, and should be in for a rough afternoon on the road against Philadelphia. With 25 turnovers and 23 sacks so far, the Eagles only need to contain Mike Evans and Doug Martin to come away with another big day for fantasy owners.

The Rams will travel to Baltimore in Week 11 and should be one of the better options for fantasy once again. Joe Flacco is without top weapon in Steve Smith for the remainder of the year, and while Kamar Aiken has filled in admirably, he isn't the same threat as Smith. Justin Forsett has had a few solid games but he's been largely unimpressive in 2015. Expect the Rams' elite pass-rushing unit to keep the pressure on Flacco all day.

The Panthers are tied for the league lead in interceptions (14) and they should add to that total with Kirk Cousins and the Redskins coming to town in Week 11. One of the greatest mysteries of our generation is why Rob Ryan is still and NFL defensive coordinator--I blame him entirely for Cousins' Week 10 outburst against the Saints (in fact, he was just fired over it). The Panthers present a much tougher challenge, and I fully expect Cousins to struggle to find DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Jamison Crowder. Matt Jones was also impressive in Week 10 but there's no way he gets going against the Carolina front seven.

The Seahawks were lit up by Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd on Sunday night, but that simply won't be the case in Week 11. Blaine Gabbert and the hapless 49ers will have to come to CenturyLink Field, and it could very well be a bloodbath against a ticked-off Seahawks squad. Anquan Boldin won't come anywhere near 100 yards, and this one smells like a bagel for Torrey Smith.

 

Tier 2 Defenses: Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders

The Broncos organization is in complete flux right now with Peyton Manning dealing with a torn plantar fascia. It could very well be Brock Osweiler starting at quarterback, which could change the game script for all games going forward. Jay Cutler and Jeremy Langford have been a potent combo in the last two weeks, and while the Broncos D/ST will still get their sacks and stops, the ceiling could be lower than usual with the Bears avoiding desperation mode. Start them, but don't expect more than eight fantasy points.

The Cardinals are typically an elite defense, but with a matchup against the Bengals on the docket their ceiling is also limited. The Cincinnati offense is firing on all cylinders and unless Bad Andy Dalton shows up they should continue to do so. The Red Rifle has been exceptional with a full complement of weapons to work with--it's hard to be bad with A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, Gio Bernard and Marvin Jones all running routes for you. The Cardinals might be able to get to Dalton once or twice, but they won't be able to keep the Bengals off the scoreboard.

The normally fierce Jets defense has had a couple sub-par outings lately, but it's important to remember that they've been dealing with some prolific offenses (the Patriots, Raiders, Bills and Jaguars). They did well against the Jags thanks to a handful of turnovers, and the same could happen against the Texans in Week 11. Brian Hoyer has played well recently, but it's no secret that DeAndre Hopkins is his only real weapon with Arian Foster out for the season. The committee of Alfred Blue, Chris Polk and Jonathan Grimes won't do much, and I'll take the Jets secondary over Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington. You can start the Jets with confidence, but don't be shocked if Hoyer and Hopkins do some damage early on or in garbage time.

The Falcons have been one of the better overall defenses this year, and they'll remain so against the Colts in Week 11. They're coming fresh off the bye, and they've had all week to prepare for Matt Hasselbeck, who took over for the injured Andrew Luck. T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief won't be able to make big plays with the game-managing Hasselbeck under center, so the onus will fall on Frank Gore to move the offense down the field. I like the Falcons to have a high floor this week.

The Raiders make this tier because it has typically paid to bet against the Lions. Matthew Stafford may not even be in the Lions' future plans, and Calvin Johnson can't do damage if Stafford isn't playing well. There is no run game to speak of, as Joique Bell and Ameer Abdullah have been disappointing in all aspects this season. The Raiders are a nice streaming option with high upside--they should have a lead early, forcing Stafford to throw.

 

Tier 3 Defenses: New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs

The Patriots D/ST had a big game against the Bills in Week 2, but that was largely due to the fact that things got out of hand early. They had eight sacks, which simply won't happen again. Tyrod Taylor has been much more careful with the ball since throwing three interceptions in that game, and the offense is simply in a better place than it was in Week 2. LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams might be the best 1-2 punch on the ground in the NFL, and Sammy Watkins is finally healthy--he beat Darrelle Revis often in Week 10, although it didn't show up in the box score. I say the Bills rise to the challenge under the bright Monday night lights, limiting the Patriots' upside.

The Packers' offensive woes have left many scratching their heads, and their defense is similarly puzzling. They have forced an interception in each of the last three weeks, but they haven't registered a sack since Week 6. That lack of pressure could be a huge problem with Adrian Peterson and the surprisingly relevant Vikings ready to roll in Week 11. Teddy Bridgewater never lights up the scoreboard, but if he's given the time he and Stefon Diggs can make the Packers pay. I'm passing on the Packers until they prove they can get pressure on the quarterback.

I feel like I say this every week, but it isn't any less true--the Bengals are a better real-life defense than a fantasy defense. They have yet to yield more than 24 points in a game this season, but they only had 12 total turnovers through their first eight games. Facing the Cardinals on the road in Week 11 may bring that sub-24 point total streak to an end, leaving the Bengals as a desperation streaming option.

Much like the Bengals, the Vikings are better in real life than in fantasy. They certainly don't have a high ceiling with a vengeful Aaron Rodgers visiting them this week. Eddie Lacy has been replaced by James Starks, and while he's a solid weapon I fully expect Rodgers to carry the load. Randall Cobb and Davante Adams should see most of the targets, but you can never count out James Jones and Richard Rodgers around the end zone. I'm avoiding the Vikings this week.

The Chiefs have been surprisingly great as a fantasy defense over the last few weeks, forcing 12 turnovers in the last four games. Granted, five of those were courtesy of Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler last week, but that doesn't take away from the fact that the Chiefs have held opposing offenses to an average of just 13 points in that time. They get the Chargers in Week 11, and it should be all about the passing game. Philip Rivers is without Keenan Allen, but he won't skip a beat with Antonio Gates, Stevie Johnson and Danny Woodhead there to pick up the slack. The ceiling is low for the Chiefs this week, making them a streaming option in only the deepest of leagues.

 

Tier 4 Defenses: Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins

The Bills face the Patriots on Monday night, and therefore are hard to trust as a defense. Tom Brady has had their number his whole career, and despite the losses of Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis he will likely still terrorize them with Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots are missing three of their starting offensive lineman though, so the Bills front seven might be able to apply some pressure and get to Brady a few times. This game will either be a blowout or a grinder, making the Bills a complete dice roll.

The Buccaneers get the Eagles in Week 11, who will be without Sam Bradford. Mark Sanchez will start for Philly, and ultimately I don't think there will be a huge drop-off in performance at the quarterback position. "The Sanchize" is particularly fond of Jordan Matthews, and I believe we could see his resurgence in the latter half of the season. DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews are still a powerful tandem (although Mathews is in concussion protocol), and ultimately I don't see this going well for the Buccaneers. However, Sanchez is fresh off the bench--he might have some rust to knock off.

The Cowboys D/ST has been near the bottom of the ranks all season, and with good reason. They have just six total turnovers and sixteen sacks through nine games, and they're not showing any signs of improving. With that said, they get a floundering Dolphins team in Week 11, and perhaps the return of Tony Romo provides them a shot in the arm. They won't contain Lamar Miller and Jay Ajayi, but I could see them giving Ryan Tannehill some problems.

The Titans get the Jags in Week 11, and I only have them on this list because gun-slinging Blake Bortles is likely to throw an interception or two. He also takes plenty of sacks, so the Titans should have a pretty high floor as a streaming option. The Titans run defense should be able to stop T.J. Yeldon, but they don't have the secondary to contain Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. Don't expect more than eight fantasy points, but if you're looking for a safe option the Titans will be it.

The Dolphins will face the Cowboys in Week 11, a matchup that will feature the return of Tony Romo. He and Dez Bryant are on par with the likes of Ben Roethlisberger/Antonio Brown and Tom Brady/Rob Gronkowski when both are healthy, and I expect them to round back into form soon. However, I don't think it happens right away. This feels like a trap game to me--the Dolphins could surprise some folks. Fantasy football is about informed decision-making, but sometimes you've gotta just go with your gut. My gut likes the Dolphins for some reason--although that could just be gas. We'll see.

 

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