Justin Bailey

Getting Defensive

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Getting Defensive: Week 10

Monday, November 6, 2017

The defenses I touch on are not my ranks, but my overall thoughts on the defenses I find notable. The goal of these pieces is to give you a concise, actionable rundown on defenses for the upcoming week.

Defensive order is based on their opponents implied team total, from lowest to highest. The team in parenthesis is the defenses opponent.

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Worth Mentioning  

Defenses that are highly owned, or worth noting overall.


Panthers (vs. Dolphins — 15.3-point implied team total)


Aside from the Dolphins having the third-lowest scoring rate in the NFL, they take on a defense that is allowing the third-lowest scoring rate to opposing offenses. Picking a good defense comes down to their ability to generate sacks and turnovers and the Panthers’ defense should boast a high floor in this game as they rank second in Football Outsiders’ adjusted sack rate.


Lions (vs. Browns — 15.5-point implied team total)


Not much not need to be said against a defense that’s playing the Browns. The Lions will be at home to square off against a team that has the league’s worst scoring and turnover rate.


Steelers (@ Colts — 17.25-point implied team total)


It’s not ideal the Steelers are on the road, but the Colts have an implied team total of just 17.25 points against one of the best defenses in the league. Their offensive line will have their hands full as the Steelers defensive line ranks fifth in adjusted sack rate, while the Colts' O-line ranks dead last. The Colts' offensive line has allowed a league-high 35 sacks. 


Rams (vs. Texans — 17.5-point implied team total)


It’s safe to say any defense that is up against Tom Savage will be in streaming consideration. Obviously, the Rams aren’t low owned enough to be considered a streamer, but targeting the Texans will be a consistent trend going forward. The Texans may struggle to keep Savage upright as they’ve allowed 26 sacks this season, ranking 31st in adjusted sack rate while the Rams' defensive line rank fourth in adjusted sack rate, forcing 23 sacks this season.


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Seahawks (@ Cardinals — 18-point implied team total)


The trend of backup quarterbacks continues as the Seahawks take on Drew Stanton and the Cardinals. The Seahawks will be on the road, but the Cardinals have an implied team total of just 18 points, four points below the league average. Stanton has a higher career interception rate (3.9 percent) than touchdown rate (2.9 percent). 


Jaguars (vs. Chargers — 18.5-point implied team total)


The only way the Chargers should be able to move the ball against the Jaguars is on the ground, as they rank 32nd in rush DVOA, but first in pass DVOA. The Chargers will have a tough time against a defense allowing the lowest scoring rate to offenses and boast a top-three turnover rate.


Vikings (vs. Redskins — 20.75-point implied team total)


The Redskins’ offensive line has been plagued by injuries, and if the injuries continue into Week 10, the Vikings should have a field day as they’ve forced the eighth-most sacks this season.


Saints (@ Bills — 22-point implied team total)


The Saints currently have the league’s sixth-best defensive unit, per PFF. There are a few things working against the Saints in this game, however.  For starters, they’re on the road and the Bills are implied for 22 points. The second thing is the Bills don’t turn the ball over often as they have the third-lowest turnover rate this season. However, Tyrod Taylor has been sacked 26 times this season (sixth-highest).

Matchup Downgrade

Highly Owned Defenses with limited upside in the current matchup.

Broncos (vs. Patriots — 26.75-point implied team total)

The Broncos have now surrendered at least 21 or more points in their last four games, including a 51-point outing against the Eagles in Week 9, and a 29-point outing against the Chiefs in Week 8. Things won’t get easier against a Patriots offense that should be able to exploit them in the middle of the field, where they are most vulnerable.

Bengals (@ Titans — 23-point implied team total)

The Bengals have been a serviceable defense, but they are on the road against the Titans, who are implied for 23 points. They may struggle in this one unless they can generate pressure on Marcus Mariota. The Bengals have generated 22 sacks this season (12th-highest), but the Titans’ offensive line ranks 11th in adjusted sack rate and the Bengals have the third-lowest turnover rate this season.

Cardinals (vs. Seahawks 23.5-point implied team total)

The Cardinals’ defense has taken a step back this season as they rank as PFF’s third-worst unit. They’re now set to take on a Seahawks offense that is implied for 23.5 points, about 1.5 points above the league average.

Potential Streamers

See Above.

Bears (vs. Packers — 19-point implied team total)

The Packers’ offense has struggled with Brett Hundley as the signal caller. They’ll head to Chicago to take on a defensive unit ranked seventh-best by PFF. With Green Bay implied for just 19 points, the Bears boast a decent floor. They’re currently allowing just 5.0 yards per play, the 10th-best mark in the league.

Patriots (@ Broncos — 19.25-point implied team total)

The Patriots aren't great from a talent standpoint, but the Broncos will be starting Brock Osweiler once again. Opposing defenses against the Broncos have scored at least eight or more fantasy points in five of their last six games.

Jets (vs. Buccaneers — 19.5-point implied team total)

The Jets are an intriguing options against a Buccaneers team implied for just 19.5 points. They’ll be without Jameis Winston (shoulder) and Mike Evans (suspension) although, he’ll probably appeal and win because that’s how the NFL works.

Giants and 49ers note:


I decided to make a note on these two teams because I am 99 percent sure people will wonder why I didn't mention them as streamers. Sometimes when two bad teams play each other, the games can shoot out. Think back to when the Colts and Browns played each other earlier in the season. I think that may be possible in this game. Both offenses aren't great, but neither are their defenses. This game has one of the lowest over/under on the slate, but each team ranks inside the top-six in pace of play (Football Outsiders), with the 49ers running the quickest offense overall. Both defenses rank in the bottom-five in scoring rate allowed to offenses and the Giants rank 27th and the 49ers rank 24th in turnover rate. So, while both offenses are subpar, their defenses are hemorrhaging points and not forcing turnovers. Each team is also dealing with their fair share of injuries. Olivier Vernon (ankle) is questionable, Janoris Jenkins is suspended indefinitely, and the 49ers placed Jaquiski Tartt on IR. 

Kickers in Order of Implied Team Total

Kicker fantasy points have a strong correlation to Vegas implied team totals. Here are the top kickers who garner low-to-medium ownership (70% or lower) in order of implied team total (minimum 22-point implied team total) in order to help you find possible streamers.



Chris Boswell (27.75-point implied team total)

Graham Gano (24.3-point implied team total)

Mike Nugent (23.75-point implied team total)

Blair Walsh (23.5-point implied team total)

Chandler Catanzaro (22.5-point implied team total)

Josh Lambo (22.5-point implied team total)

Stephen Hauschka (22-point implied team total)

Connor Barth (22-point implied team total)

Justin Bailey has been working with Rotoworld since 2015. His stat-forward analysis can also be found on FantasyLabs and 4for4. Follow him on Twitter - @justinbailey32.
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