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Week 10 Fantasy Defense Rankings

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

What if I told you the New York football Giants have the third most defensive fantasy points scored up to this point on the season. Surely ESPN is in the process of making this 30 for 30 when they finish as the third highest scoring fantasy defense this year — oh wait - they face New England this week? And then go on bye next week? I guess the production on that documentary could hold off for the time being.

You might notice some changes in terms of colors in the rankings. Here are what the colors signify:

Green = Must starts for regular fantasy leagues. Does not apply to daily.

Blue = Sleeper/Streaming picks for fantasy. You could use this for regular or daily fantasy but...

Red = Picks for daily fantasy. These are the defenses that should get you the best value for their price. I'm using the prices listed on Draft Kings.

Rank Team Opponent
1 Denver Broncos Kansas City Chiefs
2 Carolina Panthers at Tennessee Titans
3 Cincinnati Bengals Houston Texans
4 St. Louis Rams Chicago Bears
5 New York Jets Buffalo Bills
6 Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks
7 Pittsburgh Steelers Cleveland Browns
8 New England Patriots at New York Giants
9 Seattle Seahawks Arizona Cardinals
10 Philadelphia Eagles Miami Dolphins
11 Green Bay Packers Detroit Lions
12 Buffalo Bills at New York Jets
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Dallas Cowboys
14 Oakland Raiders Minnesota Vikings
15 Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers
16 Tennessee Titans Carolina Panthers

I marked the St. Louis Rams as a must start, yet they are ranked below the Bengals. That's because the Bengals are not the second highest scoring defense in fantasy like the Rams are, so I would not consider them a must start just yet, but I do like the Bengals chances against the Texans. The top option in the Houston offense is obviouslyDeAndre Hopkins, but Adam Jones is amongst the top corners in the league and could probably hold his ground in man coverage. The Bengals have also had extra time to prepare given that they played in the Thursday night game last week.

The Carolina Panthers have a really nice schedule for the next three weeks as they face Tennessee, Washington, and Dallas. After that, it's completely awful for the fantasy playoffs. But for three straight weeks they are going to be must starts given that Carolina has the fourth most fantasy points in Yahoo! standard leagues. Going up against the Titans this week, you might be skeptical to start Carolina after Marcus Mariota put up a lot of points last week against the Saints, but don't worry. The Carolina defensive backs won't tip passes into Delanie Walker's hands that go for touchdowns.

The Jets play Thursday night against the Bills and they may not have Antonio Cromartie for the game, but it shouldn't discourage you from starting them. There have been nine Thursday night defenses that have scored within the top 12 for that week. That includes the Patriots in week one, the Broncos and Chiefs in week two, the Giants in week three, the Steelers in week four, the Saints in week six, the Seahawks and 49ers in week seven, the Patriots in week eight, and the Bengals in week nine. So aside from week five, at least one Thursday night defense has always finished in the top 12 for the week. And did you notice that the SAINTS were one of them? They scored 19 against the Falconson Thursday night, and they are among the worst fantasy and real life defenses! So I'm buying the hype on short weeks. The Bills are also a startable option because of this.

It's tough to stream defenses this week because there aren't many sexy options out there. The one I would target is Pittsburgh if they are out there in your league, but they are owned in half of Yahoo! leagues. So the other streamer would be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4% owned). The Bucs held their own against the Giants last week, forcing them to settle for field goals. They also collected two interceptions against Eli Manning who has done a very good job limiting the turnovers this season. Starting a defense at home going up against Matt Cassel should be a good move as he has thrown just as many interceptions (four in three games) as touchdowns. In the three games Cassel has started, the Giants scored 16, the Seahawks scored 5, and the Eagles scored 12.

Oakland and Cleveland are the two cheapest defenses in Draft Kings, going for $2,100 and $2,000 respectively. If Teddy Bridgewater does not play for the Vikings on Sunday after being temporarily unconscious in his last game from a poke in the eye from Aqib Talib (I may have mixed up those stories), then both of these defenses are facing back up quarterbacks and should be heavily considered as budget plays.