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Week 11 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2018 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Below are RotoBaller's Week 11 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 11 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 11. 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 11 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 11 pickup or add. Good luck in Week 11 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 11 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: New England Patriots, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers


Tier 1 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
1 1 Los Angeles Chargers vs. DEN 10.55
2 1 Houston Texans @ WAS 10.15
3 1 Arizona Cardinals vs. OAK 9.85

The Chargers might be the hottest defense in fantasy, coming off another four-sack, double-digit fantasy performance on Sunday against the Raiders. They've done enough to earn my confidence in a matchup against Case Keenum and the Denver offense. The Denver offense has some legit threats as far as skill players are concerned (Emmanuel Sanders and Phillip Lindsay come to mind), but Keenum only has one game this season without an interception. Los Angeles' pass-rush led by Melvin Ingram is enough to vault the Chargers to the top spot for me this week.

The Texans have actually underwhelmed from a fantasy perspective, coming up with just eight combined fantasy points (ESPN standard scoring) in the last two weeks against the Dolphins and Broncos. I have faith in their pass rush to wreak havoc against a Washington front line that has been decimated by injuries. The Texans should be able to tally 3+ sacks in this one while not allowing more than 14 points--they're a great high-floor option this week.

The Oakland Raiders are approaching Buffalo Bills-level ineptitude when it comes to scoring points, so any defense facing them will garner some fantasy attention. The Cardinals are coming off a five-sack game against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, and Derek Carr poses, uh...let's say "significantly less of a threat". That's the PC way to say it, right?


Tier 2 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
4 2 Washington Redskins vs. HOU 9.15
5 2 Carolina Panthers @ DET 8.65
6 2 Pittsburgh Steelers @ JAC 8.4
7 2 Baltimore Ravens vs. CIN 8.15
8 2 Chicago Bears vs. MIN 7.85

The Panthers were steam-rolled on Thursday night by a fully-functional Pittsburgh Steelers offense, but that's easy to write off as Thursday Night Football Shenanigans™. The 24th-ranked Lions defense simply doesn't have the firepower to decimate anyone (although Kenny Golladay and Kerryon Johnson are certified ballers), and I think the Panthers pass rush will do some damage against Matthew Stafford and the Lions offensive line, which has allowed the seventh-most sacks in football (29).

The aforementioned Steelers will be on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11, and their offense poses somewhat of a threat with a healthy (*knocks on wood*) Leonard Fournette in the mix. I expect the Steelers to sell out to stop the run in this one, and contain the Jaguars enough to warrant a fantasy DST stream. Blake Bortles is still a threat to implode at any moment, and that turnover potential is too good to pass up--the Jags' 19 giveaways are tied for fourth in the NFL.

The Bears looked fierce as usual against the Lions last week, tallying six sacks and three takeaways in a big win. However, I'm dialing my expectations back against a fully-healthy Vikings offense that has had a bye week to plan. Dalvin Cook is finally fully healthy and looking like the dual-threat dynamo from early 2017 that most people drafted him to be, and Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are possibly the best 1-2 combo in football through the air. I don't think there's any risk of the Bears going negative, but I also don't see any route to them finishing in the top tier unless they get a fluke defensive TD.


Tier 3 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
9 3 Tennessee Titans @ IND 7.25
10 3 New Orleans Saints vs. PHI 6.75
11 3 Minnesota Vikings @ CHI 6.15
12 3 Cincinnati Bengals @ BAL 5.8
13 3 Indianapolis Colts vs. TEN 5.35

I'm willing to bet I catch some flak for having the Titans in Tier 3 after they just shut down Tom Brady, but I don't think they'll fare as well against Andrew Luck. Luck is behind only Patrick Mahomes in passing touchdowns this year (23), and with Marlon Mack finally providing a somewhat consistent threat out of the backfield this Colts offense isn't to be trifled with. The Titans do boast the sixth-best passing defense in the NFL though, offering some room for optimism here. They're still inside my top 10 this week, but just barely.

The Saints have actually been a better fantasy DST than what the perception seems to be, thanks in large part to some high-profile beatdowns at the hands of the Bucs, Falcons and Rams. However, they've posted nine fantasy points or better in four of their last six games, and they should be a deep, low-ceiling streaming option against the Eagles. Carson Wentz is still having a fine year, especially when it comes to turnovers (15:3 TD-INT ratio), but he's not the scoring machine he was in his 2017 campaign. Expect no fireworks, but if you're desperate the Saints should be available to stream.

The Bengals were rudely introduced to the full firepower of the Saints offense in Week 10, and the drubbing that Drew Brees put on them got their DC fired. With Marvin Lewis now calling plays, the Bengals might improve slightly on the defensive front, but don't expect any world-changing. The more interesting aspect at play here is whether or not Joe Flacco will be healthy enough to start in this game. If not, rookie Lamar Jackson will get his first NFL start--in which case I'll likely bump the Bengals up a couple slots, because I like to bet against rookie QBs in their debuts, even ones as explosive in college as Lamar Jackson.


Tier 4 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
14 4 Jacksonville Jaguars vs. PIT 4.75
15 4 Green Bay Packers @ SEA 4.2
16 4 Detroit Lions vs. CAR 3.65
17 4 Denver Broncos @ LAC 3.1
18 4 Dallas Cowboys @ ATL 2.75
19 4 Atlanta Falcons vs. DAL 2.15

It hasn't reflected in the fantasy scoring, but the Jacksonville Jaguars are still an elite defense. They rank first in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game with just over 200 (201), and are third in total yards per game (319.1). However, I can't in good conscience consider them a good streaming option against a fully-healthy Pittsburgh Steelers offense, even if they are at home. Ben Roethlisberger has busted his previous home/road split trend in 2018 (technically better at home (107.9 PR) than away (92.9 PR), but it's all still very good), and I refuse to bet against that offense. This ranking does hinge on the health of James Conner though--if Conner can't pass through the concussion protocol in time for this game, the Jaguars jump up at least one tier.

The Packers defense beat up on the Dolphins offensive line in Week 10, notching six sacks in a blowout win. They should be able to find more room to work against Seattle, which is currently tied for seventh in sacks allowed (29). The upside is severely limited by Seattle's commitment to the running game, however. The Packers currently sit in the bottom 10 in the NFL in rushing defense, and the Seahawks will certainly attempt to move the ball on the ground and keep it out of Aaron Rodgers' hands. I'd look elsewhere when considering streamers this week.


Tier 5 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
20 5 New York Giants vs. TB 1.9
21 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ NYG 1.75
22 5 Oakland Raiders @ ARI 1.5
23 5 Seattle Seahawks vs. GB 1.25
24 5 Los Angeles Rams vs. KC 1.1

Looking Ahead to Week 12...

  • New England Patriots (@ NYJ)
  • Washington Redskins (@ DAL)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (@ DEN)
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (@ BUF)

More Weekly Lineup Prep

Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!

Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.

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