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Week 11 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 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. In case you missed it, this is our seventh year now writing this weekly column.

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!

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Week 11 Defenses To Start & Stream: Tiers & Rankings

Typically the top three tiers will be DSTs you should target, with Tier 4 being options in deep leagues and Tier 5 being desperation plays or good defenses in horrendous matchups.

Returning for this year: Confidence Ratings - since every league's DST scoring is different, projections don't always 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. I take a lot of factors into account here--opponent injuries, home field advantage, weather, etc. We've got four weeks of data to work with now, so we're going to be able to be a bit more precise basing our ratings on hard numbers.

On bye this week: Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks


Tier 1 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
1 1 Pittsburgh Steelers Defense @ CLE 11.15
2 1 San Francisco 49ers Defense vs. ARI 10.7
3 1 New England Patriots Defense @ PHI 10.65
4 1 Dallas Cowboys Defense @ DET 10.2

Since their Week 7 bye the Steelers have feasted, with at least four sacks and three turnovers in each game. That's not to say they weren't playing well before then--they've been elite for pretty much the entire season. This week they'll get the Browns, who are coming off a decent game against the Bills in Week 10. Nick Chubb was able to gash the weak Buffalo run defense, and Baker Mayfield connected with Jarvis Landry nine times for nearly 100 yards as well. They will find no such space against Pittsburgh--the Steelers are a slam-dunk this week.

The Cowboys defense has been hit-or-miss all season, posting some big games against bad teams and faltering against elite offenses. Against a fully healthy Lions offense, they'd likely find themselves in Tier 3 at best, but with no healthy running backs and Jeff Driskel under center instead of Matthew Stafford? There is big-time potential here.


Tier 2 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
5 2 Los Angeles Rams Defense vs. CHI 9
6 2 Minnesota Vikings Defense vs. DEN 8.55
7 2 Buffalo Bills Defense @ MIA 8.4

The Vikings are coming off two tough matchups, as they yielded 26 and 24 points to the Chiefs and Cowboys, respectively. The Brandon Allen-led Broncos offense is considerably less imposing. The Vikings rank seventh in the NFL with 29 sacks, and they should be able to provide a high floor against the Broncos' 28th-ranked scoring offense. Allen should act as a game manager yet again, a role he filled admirably in Week 9 against the Browns (193 yards, two TDs, 0 INTs).

The Bills still rank third in the NFL in total yards allowed per game (304.2), but they've stumbled a bit in the fantasy scoring area. They have zero interceptions and just a single fumble recovery over their last three games, and they now face team. Ryan Fitzpatrick is still perfectly capable of helping out opposing defenses, the Dolphins still have virtually no run game, and the Bills offense should--SHOULD--be able to keep the Dolphins Defense on their heels and create good field position all game.


Middle and Lower Tier Defenses

Tier 3 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
8 3 Chicago Bears Defense @ LAR 7.85
9 3 New York Jets Defense @ WAS 7.5
10 3 Indianapolis Colts Defense vs. JAC 6.9
11 3 New Orleans Saints Defense @ TB 6.25
12 3 Carolina Panthers Defense vs. ATL 5.8

The Bears opened the season red-hot, and it looked like we were in for another dominant season. Since their Week 6 bye, they've done a 180. They've managed just two turnovers in the four games since then, along with a very modest eight total sacks. They've got some potential to rebound against Jared Goff and the Rams, who looked completely lost in their Week 10 loss to the Steelers. Jared Goff has proven completely incapable of standing up to any kind of legitimate pass rush, and that's what I expect the Bears to focus on in Week 11.

The Panthers present an interesting case in Week 11. For starters, they've hemorrhaged points to just about everyone they've played--while also leading the league in sacks (36). The Falcons looked like a completely different offense against the Saints this past Sunday, hanging 26 points and allowing just a single sack. Atlanta might be without Devonta Freeman, although I hardly expect that to slow down the offense--they'll be looking to beat Carolina with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. That puts the Panthers just on the fringe of starting territory.


Tier 4 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
13 4 Jacksonville Jaguars Defense @ IND 5.2
14 4 Baltimore Ravens Defense vs. HOU 4.5
15 4 Washington Redskins Defense vs. NYJ 4.15
16 4 Oakland Raiders Defense vs. CIN 3.95
17 4 Miami Dolphins Defense vs. BUF 3.6
18 4 Philadelphia Eagles Defense vs. NE 3.25

Note: my ranking of the Jaguars is made under the assumption that Jacoby Brissett is healthy enough to play. If it's Brian Hoyer under center, bump the Jaguars up to the top of Tier 3.

The Ravens are a popular stash candidate for fantasy playoffs, but you might be better off keeping them on the bench until we get there. This week they draw Deshaun Watson and the fourth-ranked Texans offense, which should immediately cap their fantasy potential. While the Texans are in the bottom half of the NFL in terms of sacks allowed (25), they've been much better at keeping Watson upright over their last few games. With at least 10 fantasy points in each of their last three games (two of which were against Seattle and New England) the Ravens DST remains in the conversation as a starting option, but I'll be looking elsewhere if I can help it.

The Raiders DST has been a predictable weak play for most of the season, but with Ryan Finley and the Bengals coming to town this might be the one time you can consider them. The Bengals are 29th in the NFL in points per game with just over 15, and Finley looked exactly as shaky as you'd expect a rookie making his first NFL start to look in the Bengals' Week 10 drubbing at the hands of the Ravens. Oakland's brutal pass defense is what's holding them back in my rankings here, as there is still just enough talent in the Bengals offense (Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon, Tyler Eifert in the red zone) to put some points on the board.


Tier 5 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
19 5 Cleveland Browns Defense vs. PIT 2.9
20 5 Kansas City Chiefs Defense @ LAC 2.5
21 5 Los Angeles Chargers Defense vs. KC 2.25
22 5 Denver Broncos Defense @ MIN 1.8
23 5 Houston Texans Defense @ BAL 1.3
24 5 Detroit Lions Defense vs. DAL 1.1

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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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