2015 Fantasy Football: Week 11 D/ST Streamers
Week 11 is somehow already upon us and with playoffs set to start in roughly a month, we’re now entering the homestretch of the 2015 fantasy football season. Picking the proper defenses to stream can pay huge dividends during this stage of the season as each win and loss carries more importance with the weeks dwindling down for regular season action. While selecting the correct D/ST to stream weekly is an impossible feat, owners can have at least have some peace of mind if the process being used is sound.
With that in mind, also make sure not to roster the Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, or Pittsburgh Steelers through their byes this week as none of those units are worth holding onto for a bye, especially if a hot free agent is available.
Without further ado, it’s go time.
Houston Texans – (42.0% owned in ESPN) – vs. Jets – Even with a -3 point performance mixed in, the Texans defense has averaged 10.75 fantasy points per game over their last four outings. Against the Bengals in Week 10, Houston recorded 13 points thanks to forcing four sacks, an interception, and a fumble recovery. They have allowed the 5th-fewest amount of passing yards per game (222.3) and this bodes well against a unit who possesses two very talented wideouts in Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (thumb surgery) is banged up and mistake-prone, while Marshall (ankle, toe) also looks like he’ll be at less than full strength. Considering the recent hot streak, owners should be willing to give the Texans another go this weekend in a favorable matchup at home.
Baltimore Ravens – (34.5% owned) – vs. Rams – Let’s face it, the Ravens defense hasn’t been the same without losing Terrell Suggs early on in the year, but the matchup presenting itself is too good of an opportunity to overlook. Baltimore had a decent outing last week as they managed to rack up three sacks and an interception against the Jaguars and could be on their way to another fantasy-worthy effort. St. Louis owns the 32nd-ranked passing attack as they are only averaging a 178.7 passing yards per game, a pitiful figure in today’s pass-happy brand of the NFL. After Nick Foles failed to clear 200 yards passing for the eighth consecutive game in Week 10, the Rams had finally seen enough and benched him for career backup Case Keenum.
Keenum owns a career 55.2% completion percentage with a 11:8 TD:INT ratio over 10 career games and has proven to be prone to turnovers due to his willingness to take shots down the field combined with his inaccuracy. Although the Rams will lean heavily on Todd Gurley, a turnover or two seems likely for a quarterback making his first start of the year without a great passing arsenal at his disposal. This is quality matchup to target, although owners may be understandably apprehensive of trusting a unit that hasn’t shown much this season.
Kansas City Chiefs – (32.2% owned) – at Chargers – The Chiefs left Peyton Manning and the Broncos shellshocked as they forced a whopping five interceptions, five sacks, and a mid-game benching for one of the greatest quarterbacks the league has ever witnessed. Kansas City is averaging 15.3 FP over the last three games and 12.6 FP over the last five weeks. Over the last four games, Kansas City has also forced 12 turnovers.
While San Diego has been a great offensive unit this year, especially through the air, they have suffered some major losses in recent weeks with guys like Keenan Allen (kidney), Malcom Floyd (shoulder), and Ladarius Green (ankle) unavailable, Philip Rivers has a barren wideout core now with 35-year-old Antonio Gates his top weapon. The Chargers have allowed 21 sacks this year thanks to a shoddy offensive line which has been decimated by injuries while the Chiefs rank T-6th with 26 sacks on the year. A handful of takedowns seems likely in Week 11 as well. Owners would be crazy to ignore the Chiefs recent hot streak and they should be employed for as long as they continue to produce.
Tennessee Titans – (24.6% owned) – at Jaguars – Tennessee posted four more sacks in Week 10 against the undefeated Carolina Panthers as they have now amassed 27 sacks on the year, good for the fifth-best figure in the NFL. Fortunately for them, the Jaguars are coming into town and they have actually surrendered 28 sacks themselves, tied for the fifth-worst figure in the league. The Titans have accumulated 12 sacks over the last three games, and 16 over the last five. In other words, this legit Titans defense is due for many more later today. While they haven’t had any eye-opening outings of late, they have managed to average a respectable 5.5 FP over their last four games.
Jacksonville is surrendering the second-most points to opposing defenses this season and Blake Bortles may be up to the task of donating a few more points via interceptions or fumble lost. Bortles has certainly improved in his sophomore campaign, but he is still prone to the boneheaded blunders from time to time. He has thrown at least one interception over his last five games and has eight total over that span. For the season, he’s thrown 11 interceptions, the fourth-most in the NFL. This bodes well for the Titans third-ranked passing defense as they have only surrendered an average of 213.8 Y/G. Make sure the Titans are on your radar when deciding on streamers this week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – (10.1% owned) – at Eagles – The Bucs posted their third-best fantasy outing of the season as they racked up 11 points thanks to forcing three sacks and an interception against the downtrodden Cowboys and have another appetizing matchup in store this week. Sam Bradford (concussion, shoulder) went down last week and that has forced the Eagles to insert Mark Sanchez aka the “Sanchize” as the starting quarterback. Tampa Bay has the eighth-most takeaways on the year (16) and face an Eagles squad that has permitted 16 turnovers themselves. This bodes well for the Bucs considering Sanchez is the owner of a career 82:80 TD:INT ratio. Tampa Bay has also been especially stingy against the run of late as they have surrendered under 80 rushing yards per game over that time and Ryan Mathews’ (concussion) likely absence helps their outlook as well. @RotoPat may have summed up the Eagles team and fans attitude towards Sanchez the best with the following tweet. Enjoy.
Thanks to NFL.com, Rotoworld, and ESPN for providing the statistical information. Be sure to comment below with any questions or remarks. You can follow me on Twitter @MattMoczy and I’m more than willing to answer any questions.