The Steelers (16.00 fantasy points), Jaguars (10.00 fantasy points) and Washington (13.00 fantasy points) were all great D/ST streaming options that fantasy managers were able to take advantage of in Week 10. And believe it or not, the highest scoring fantasy defense of the week, the Kansas City Chiefs, is owned in fewer than 16 percent of NFL.com leagues (more on the Chiefs in a bit). That just goes to show you how unpredictable these things can be. But, as I do every week in this space, I will try to recommend a few solid streaming options ahead of Week 11 so you can target some of these units on the waiver wire and get a step ahead of your competition.
Some of the streaming D/ST qualifications that I use here each week include good matchups, home teams, favorites, and obviously good defenses.
Now, we look ahead to Week 11 for some additional recommendations with the caveat that defensive fantasy points are one of the most difficult things predict with complete accuracy, but if you're in need, here are some suggestions based on the above guidelines.
The Chiefs will be a coveted streaming D/ST option this week following the unit's third straight double-digit fantasy point outing against the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Of course, the Chiefs Week 10 success was basically handed to them on a silver platter with an injured Peyton Manning offering up four interceptions and just five pass completions before being pulled from the game midway through the third quarter. Kansas City added another interception when Brock Osweiler took over, and the unit recorded five sacks in the game while allowing Denver to score just 13 points against them.
Kansas City's D/ST started this season strong with two double-digit fantasy point games to open the year but followed up with two consecutive negative point performances against Green Bay in Week 3 and Cincinnati in Week 4. But since then, the unit has averaged 12.6 fantasy points per game over its last five contests, and in that same span has limited its opponents to an average of 14.0 total points per game. The Chiefs defense has also recorded at least two interceptions in each of their last four games and is tied for the sixth most sacks in the NFL with 26.
In Week 11, the unit heads to San Diego to take on a banged up Chargers offense sans pass-catching weapons Keenan Allen and (possibly) Malcom Floyd who would be limited at best after suffering a torn labrum in Week 9 if he does play. That leaves Philip Rivers with Steve Johnson (who is one of this week's top waiver wire pickups), Dontrelle Inman and a less-than 100 percent healthyAntonio Gates as his main targets. And while San Diego boasts one of the top passing offenses in the league, the team can't run the ball. The Chargers have the third worst yards per carry average in the NFL (3.6) and the fourth worst rushing yard total in the league (768). So in a game where Rivers will likely attempt somewhere between 40-50 passes, he may find it tough to get anything going with two of Pro Football Focus' top rated linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali in his face and top five safety Eric Berry and rookie corner Marcus Peters and lurking in the secondary.
The Jets D/ST has had great success against bad teams this season with fantasy point totals of 17.00, 14.00 and 14.00 against Cleveland, Indianapolis and Jacksonville respectively. In those three games alone, New York collected a combined total of six interceptions, nine sacks and eight recovered fumbles. And while the Jets lost on Thursday night against the Bills by a score of 22-17, the final score was more a result of New York's offense turning the ball over four times, rather than poor play on defense.
So, if the Texans are forced to throw, which will likely be the only way for them to move the ball (Houston ranks ninth in the NFL with 362 pass attempts for an average of 40.22 per game), Yates will be trying to force the ball into the hands of his top playmaker, DeAndre Hopkins. You don't have to be a genius to know that Week 11 will be Hopkins' turn on Revis Island. While Darrelle Revis hasn't been a complete shutdown corner this season, he's coming off a game where he allowed just three receptions for 14 yards Sammy Watkins on seven targets (although Watkins had him beat on a deep ball in the first quarter but mistimed his jump). Of the 50 times Revis has been thrown at this season, he's allowed just 23 receptions according to ProFootballFocus. In other words, he's allowing less than 50 percent of the balls that come his way to be caught.
Enough about Revis though. Another reason New York is a solid streaming option is their run defense. The Jets still rank first in the NFL in total rushing yards allowed (793) and rush yards per game (88.1) as well as fourth in total yards allowed per game (318.4). That's bad news for a Houston offense that has the second worst rushing yardage total in the NFL this season. If they're available in your league, scoop up the Jets D/ST for Week 11.
The Buccaneers D/ST has been a sneakily decent play over the last month, averaging 8.5 fantasy points per game in its last four outings. Interestingly enough, Tampa Bay's defense has actually posted better fantasy stats on the road than they have at home this season. The unit is averaging 7.00 fantasy points per game at home, and 8.25 FPPG on the road. The Bucs surrendered just six points to Dallas on Sunday while sacking Matt Cassel three times. The unit's single interception came on the final play of the game when Cassel heaved up a Hail Mary to Dez Bryant in the end zone (he seems to like doing that). The pick was Tampa Bay's fourth in their last three games and seventh total takeaway in that same span.
In relief of Bradford on Sunday, Sanchez completed just 14 of 24 pass attempts for 156 yards and an interception. If he starts for the Eagles in Week 11 and you're looking for a D/ST punt play, especially in daily leagues, consider the Buccaneers. At worst, they're sure to snag few picks from good ole Sanchez who carries an 82-81 career touchdown to interception ratio.
If you're desperate
The Titans are by no means a great fantasy D/ST, but let me try to make a case for them as a desperation play this week against the Jaguars. As if we hadn't learned by now, the Thursday Night Football games get weird. The teams have little time to practice and prepare for the games and they end up being relatively low-scoring contests.
The Titans have allowed fewer than 275 pass yards in eight of nine games and rank fifth in the NFL with 27.0 sacks and have nine interceptions this season. Blake Bortles has thrown for fewer than 190 yards in two of his last three games, has the fourth-most interceptions in the NFL with 11, including four in his last three games, and has been sacked 28 times, third most in the league.
The Titans defense has quietly averaged 6.4 fantasy points per game this season and while that mark isn't blowing anyone away, Tennessee has been consistently producing positive numbers for fantasy owners without any real duds, save for Week 2 against Cleveland (1.00 FPs).
Again, if you're desperate, Tennessee's D/ST should be able to post somewhere between 5.00 - 7.00 fantasy points on Thursday night in Jacksonville, so give them a look in deeper leagues.
The Bears D/ST has played better lately with fantasy totals of 8.00 and 9.00 point in their last two games against San Diego and St. Louis respectively. Until Sunday, Chicago had allowed just two rushing touchdowns all season (Todd Gurley scored the third against them in Week 10). Chicago's unit has also posted better fantasy points per game totals on the road this season (6.4 FPPG) than at home (2.25 FPPG). The unit has recorded four takeaways in their last three games and have limited each of their last two opponents to 13 total points.
So, if you're absolutely desperate, consider a Bears D/ST that has been posting solid fantasy numbers lately and will be looking to take advantage of a second string quarterback's first career start.
Matt Franciscovich is an associate fantasy editor at NFL.com. He suggests you check out Amos Lee and his band's rendition of the "Game of Thrones" theme song. Hit him up on Twitter @MattFranchise for music recommendations and fantasy advice.