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Week 11 IDP Start Em, Sit Em - Streamers and Fades for Fantasy Football Defensive Players

Raiders Defense - Fantasy Football DST, Maxx Crosby IDP, Defense Rankings

Injuries in the NFL can be a tricky thing. On a purely human level, they are always bad. We don't like seeing any person get hurt. It can change their lives in innumerable ways, usually negatively. So, as human beings, we don't like to see injuries happen. However, there are occasions where injuries lead to good things for NFL teams or fantasy squads. As taboo as that may be to say, it is true.

The New England Patriots are a fine example of this. While it seems inevitable that Tom Brady would’ve ascended to his throne as the GOAT at some point, we must remember he got his shot because Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury. Bledsoe was equally generous to Tony Romo, giving the undrafted free agent his own shot at the big time. It’s unclear when either of those players would’ve gotten their chance had it not been for Bledsoe going down.

We mention this because an opportunity for defensive success can come from injury. Two players who could see that benefit this week are Elandon Roberts and Ivan Pace Jr., who make our riser/stream lists this week. Jack Sanborn, Drue Tranquill, and Leo Chenal are other players who should continue to thrive as long as their competition is out. Remember, even the NFL’s leading tackler (Zaire Franklin) benefited from injuries to a teammate who pecked ahead of him.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!


Casual IDP Streamers and Fades

Stream: Daron Payne, DL, Washington Commanders

For many, Payne has been a disappointment this year. After earning a big contract with career sack numbers in 2022, he has just one quarterback takedown. Unfortunately, this fall was predictable, since all of Payne’s advanced metrics showed he was the least efficient pass rusher amongst Washington's old four-man front. However, Payne remains a decent tackle producer and has a positive matchup this week.

Payne traditionally lines up over the left interior of opponents’ offensive line. The Giants have allowed 16 sacks on the season from the left interior of their line. Those blockers have allowed 60 quarterback pressures, as well. Payne is a high-end DL3 streamer against that unit.

Stream: Geno Stone, DB, Baltimore Ravens

With Marcus Williams back on the field, the Ravens deployed three safeties on 67% of their snaps. This was largely to get Stone on the field, since he is the NFL interception leader. We should expect this usage to continue, if not increase, against the Bengals.

Cincinnati is attempting the third-most pass attempts in the NFL. With Tee Higgins out last week and Ja’Marr Chase playing hurt, they attempted the fifth-most passes. The Ravens always keep division games close, so we should expect Cincy to keep airing it out all Thursday night. That should spell more big play opportunities for Stone, who is a worthwhile gamble if you like swinging for fences.

Fade: Eric Kendricks, LB, Los Angeles Chargers

Green Bay is attempting the seventh-fewest offensive plays per game and the tenth-fewest rush attempts. Worse, Jordan Love is averaging the most Intended Air Yards per Pass Attempt amongst quarterbacks with seven or more starts.

Translation: this is a low-volume offense that throws the ball deep more often than any other. That could take Kendricks out of a lot of plays, dropping him in our shallow league rankings this week. This is especially the case if the Chargers establish a significant early lead, forcing Love to win the game with his arm.

Fade: Montez Sweat, DL, Chicago Bears

Sweat played 73% of Chicago’s defensive snaps in his first game as a Bear. That’s good. He also notched three quarterback hits, which is also good. Now for the bad. He totaled zero fantasy points in that game. That’s a goose egg in tackles, sacks, turnovers, etc. It was a positive matchup, too. Carolina attempts the third-most pass attempts, while Bryce Young has the fifth-highest sack rate amongst QBs with seven or more starts.

We predicted that Sweat's numbers could go down in Chicago due to a loss of help on the defensive line and his solid but unspectacular advanced metrics. However, his three quarterback hits are something to get excited about. You simply want to temper that excitement when he’s playing a Detroit Lions offensive line that has surrendered just four sacks off the edge the entire season.


Premium/Deep League Streamers and Fades

Stream: Isaiah McDuffie, LB, Green Bay Packers

McDuffie is basically a one-for-one replacement if either Quay Walker or De'Vondre Campbell is out of the Packers' lineup. In five starts replacing those two, he's averaging 9.2 tackles per game. That's tremendous output from a player available in 97% of leagues.

While McDuffie doesn't have much utility if both Walker and Campbell are active, Walker is still on the injury report and is questionable to play this week. McDuffie is worth a speculative stash in deeper leagues as a Walker insurance policy or a last minute replacement.

Stream: Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Minnesota Vikings

After a brief reprieve, we are back to advocating for Ivan Pace Jr. The metrics continue to suggest he is one of the more effective defenders on Minnesota's front, per capita. He also saw a career-high 84% of the defensive snaps in Week 10. Now Jordan Hicks is headed for IR, which means Pace's role should continue to increase.

There’s risk here if the Vikings continue to backseat Pace. That’s especially the case if they park Anthony Barr on the field despite his zero 2023 snaps before signing this week. Our money says Pace will take advantage of this opportunity, though.

Fade: Nik Bonitto, LB/DL, Denver Broncos

As big of a fan as I am of Bonitto, he is trending in the wrong direction. As I noted in my rankings last week, Bonitto is stuck in a three-man rotation on the edge. That resulted in him playing fewer than 50% of the snaps against Buffalo despite the game's competitive nature. Now he gets another bad matchup in Week 11.

The Vikings are PFF's top pass-blocking unit. While that may not sway you, consider Minnesota blockers allow just 1.4 sacks and fewer than 12 quarterback pressures per game. Better yet, they've allowed just 20 pressures since Joshua Dobbs took over, and they're credited with just one of Dobbs' four sacks in Minnesota. This unit is formidable, so Bonitto has to hope Dobbs will run into his arms on limited snaps.

Fade: DeShon Elliott, DB, Miami Dolphins

Elliott is the 21st most rostered DB in fantasy but the 150th highest scoring in my standard IDP scoring system. Elliott has zero forced turnovers this season, one game with double-digit tackles, and he's forced just five turnovers in 50 career games. Now that Jalen Ramsey has joined Jevon Holland and Xavien Howard in that secondary, Elliott also has multiple playmakers to battle for statistics.

There are many better fantasy contributors with good matchups this week who are rostered in fewer leagues than Elliott. That list includes Jordan Poyer, Darious Williams, Rudy Ford, and Kerby Joseph.


Defenders Worth Adding

Derek Stingley, CB, Houston Texans

Once considered a generational talent in the defensive backfield, Stingley is finally back from injury. He is rostered in just 1.2% of IDP leagues, still has elite upside as a fantasy corner, and participates in run support more than some think. He's a worthwhile stash in deeper leagues or a bye-week streamer when the opponent is right.

Leo Chenal, LB, Kansas City Chiefs

Chenal makes this space for a second time. He's rostered in just 1% of IDP leagues, had very good college film at Wisconsin, and played more snaps than Willie Gay Jr. before the bye.

With Nick Bolton still missing time, Chenal is a fine deep league or dynasty add who is readily available. He grades positively in nearly every defensive metric while averaging 8.5 tackles and a sack in his past two games.

YaYa Diaby, DL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Diaby is a deep-league dynasty stash candidate. He is a long, athletic speed rusher who is seeing considerable work on passing downs. While Diaby still needs to get stronger in run support, he has long-term upside as a pass rusher on a Tampa team trending toward a younger defensive front.

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