Fantasy Football Defensive Streaming: Week 11 Edition

It's been fun targeting the Cleveland Browns for streaming purposes over the last two weeks, but now with the Browns on bye, which defenses should you look to roster in Week 11?

The beauty of defensive streaming in fantasy football is that the traditional raw statistics (yards and points allowed) really aren’t that important -- case in point, the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10 against Cleveland.

While Pittsburgh completely shut down the Browns’ run game (just 15 yards allowed), Johnny Manziel totaled 372 passing yards. While the importance of yards allowed is small, turnovers and sacks forced are of the utmost importance. The Steelers sacked Manziel six times and forced three turnovers, finishing as the second best fantasy defense last week.

The other two picks from last week’s article, Baltimore and Oakland, were underwhelming, finishing as the 20th and 25th ranked fantasy defenses on the week, respectively. It can be tough to trust defenses that have such glaring deficiencies, but ultimately targeting turnover/sack-prone offenses supersedes what we may think of a defense in real football terms.

Moving on to Week 11, we find a trio of streaming options with plus matchups waiting for us to exploit. 

Tennessee Titans

Owned – ESPN: 18.3%, Yahoo: 8%
numberFire Positional Rank: 7th

Since their zero fantasy point performance back in Week 6 against Miami, the Tennessee Titans’ D/ST has been a consistent fantasy producer, albeit in a very unspectacular way, alternating 6 and 5 fantasy point outings each of their last 4 games.

They rank 11th in overall defensive efficiency according to our metrics here at numberFire and get an exploitable matchup this week against Jacksonville.

Defenses facing the Jaguars have finished as top-10 fantasy options five times out of nine games played, and although he has made improvements from last season, Blake Bortles is completing just 55.3 percent of his passes with a 3.1 percent interception rate this season. The injury to T.J. Yeldon makes this an even more enticing situation should the rookie not be able to suit up on a short week.

Even though Tennessee is currently a three-point road underdog, this is still a good spot for a defense that has been outplaying expectations facing an offense that has been very generous in the turnover department.

Baltimore Ravens

Owned – ESPN: 35.7%, Yahoo: 43%
numberFire Positional Rank: 6th

After last week’s letdown against Jacksonville, I’m a bit hesitant to go back to the well with Baltimore, but there are signs pointing to this week being a bounce-back effort from the Ravens’ defense.

First off, the Ravens are home favorites, something that we should automatically look for when searching for streaming candidates. Second, Case Keenum has been named the starter for this week, which would be a big time downgrade for most teams, unless your original starter is named Nick Foles.

Either way, Keenum has played sparingly during his four years in the league, sporting a 55.2 completion percentage, an 11:8 touchdown to interception ratio, and has been sacked 22 times in 330 career drop backs.

The Rams rank 32nd in overall offensive efficiency according to our metrics, signaling this as a manageable situation for a Ravens’ defense that ranks 17th overall defensively.

Aside from Todd Gurley, there simply aren’t any offensive weapons for St. Louis to be worried about. The Ravens have one of the highest fantasy point floors of all the lower-owned D/ST streaming options this week.  

Jacksonville Jaguars

Owned – ESPN: 5.6%, Yahoo: 2%
numberFire Positional Rank: 15th

Piggybacking on what I laid out regarding the Tennessee defense, the other D/ST in the same game is another intriguing option for those looking to stream the position.

The Jaguars are another defense that is probably not very good but can still be usable for fantasy purposes. They have been horrid against the pass, ranking 29th according to our metrics, but have played very good run defense, ranking 7th by our numbers.

Jacksonville checks off the "home favorites" box on our streaming application and also faces a Titans' offense that has been graciously giving to opposing D/ST’s this season. Defenses facing Tennessee have finished as top-10 fantasy options six times, with three of those as the number-one overall weekly defense.

Despite showing rookie inconsistencies at times, Marcus Mariota has played relatively well this season, but has been sacked 20 times in just seven games played.

I would much prefer rostering the Titans’ defense in this game, but among the readily available options on waiver wires, Jacksonville is definitely worth taking a look at.