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Week 11 Defense/Special Teams Rankings

The fantasy playoffs are right around the corner and if you're on the bubble in your league: EVERY. POINT. MATTERS. Do your research, use these rankings, and you'll find some Week 11 glory.

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The Minnesota Vikings defensive stock continues to fall while the Seahawks have not only started to play really good defense, but are putting the rest of the NFC on notice with their all-around team play. It'll be interesting to see which defense between Seattle and Philadelphia will play the best this weekend in their matchup. If you're a fan of good defense (obviously you are because you read rankings on defenses) then this is the game of the week.

Last week was a swing and a miss on calling out Clay Matthews. Note to self, don't call out a perpetually injured player because chances are they can't hear in the rehab facility. The call out this week is not for a player that has had a bad season, but for one that had a no-show last week in the stats column: Fletcher Cox. I can't tell if he didn't play or if he was double-teamed all day, but there are goose eggs all across his game log for Week 10. Philadelphia won anyway, but they'll need him to show up in the stat sheets against Seattle to contain the mobile Russell Wilson and agile C.J. Prosise.

Week 11 Rank





Seattle Seahawks

vs. PHI

The Seahawks defense has stepped up their game recently. That was on full display last week as the Seahawks handled the Patriots and Philly's weapons aren't nearly as threatening. There red zone defense has also been on point. Top defense for this week.


Kansas City Chiefs

vs. TB

KC's defense bailed them out last week with a (stop me if you've heard this before) Marcus Peters forced turnover. Dee Ford has continually been a menace (10 sacks) and should give Jameis Winston fits all game. Winston can throw TD's though so it's important for them to stay disciplined. And stop punting the ball into the stands, Marcus.


Philadelphia Eagles


Philadelphia still ranks #1 in defensive DVOA and proved it last week holding Matt Ryan to what would've been a season-low in yards had it not been for a 76-yard bomb to Taylor Gabriel. Seattle showed flashes of great offense last week, but Philly is a much better matchup.


Minnesota Vikings

vs. ARI

In their 4 losses, the Vikings have only managed 3 sacks compared to 19 in 5 wins. The energy for this defense seems to be running dry and Arizona has some weapons. Michael Floyd has had the dropsies, but playing much better and Larry Fitzgerald will likely play despite injury. It might be time to bench MIN until they prove themselves once again.


Buffalo Bills


The Bills lead the league in sacks (30), but have allowed large chunks of points in their last 3 games to the Dolphins, Patriots and Seahawks. Hopefully last week's bye helped them get their heads on straight in that department. CIN has had troubles scoring when AJ Green isn't getting his stats so they'll need good games out of Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore.


Arizona Cardinals


It was kind of alarming that the Cards allowed Colin Kaepernick to torch them for so many yards in the first half of week 9's game. They tightened up though in the second half and fortunately, the Vikings offense might actually be worse than the Niners.


Baltimore Ravens


When Terrell Suggs isn't crashing Dak Prescott conference calls, he's helping lead the Ravens to a #2 defensive rating in DVOA, according to Football Outsiders. It's time to start giving this defense more respect as they've been the catalyst for a team who's offense is struggling. Stopping Ezekiel Elliott will be no small task, but there are worse defenses out there.


Miami Dolphins


Time to wake up LA! We finally get Jared Goff on the field so he can use that blank stare to dissect defenses instead of a clipboard. The Dolphins get the first crack at him and I have a feeling Ndamukong Suh is licking his chops and warming up the separate savings account reserved for fines. Something just doesn't sit right with me about Goff not starting until now. Could be a big day in LA for the Fins.


New York Giants

vs. CHI

Landon Collins is continually making his case for Defensive MVP, but will it be enough? Against the Bears, it might be. The G-Men's surprisingly stout run-D (92.1ypg allowed) has been a great compliment to the secondary, led by Janoris Jenkins and Collins. Jay Cutler's already lost the locker room, Alshon Jeffery is suspended, and it's a good time to grab the Giants D.


Dallas Cowboys

vs. BAL

The Cowboys defensive mantra hasn't changed all season long: "Don't screw it up for the offense." Okay, that's not really their mantra, but the offense leads the league in time of possession (33:39) allowing the defense extended rests and for Rod Marinelli to game plan well enough with the bodies he's got. Flacco and the Ravens have also struggled on offense, but the Mike Wallace connection might start clicking so be careful.


New England Patriots


As HBO's and the Patriots #1 fan, Bill Simmons, has pointed out, the Pats front 7 has been bad all year. I think missing Chandler Jones and now Jamie Collins might have had a bigger immediate impact than originally thought. I learned not to sleep on the Patriots. Playing against SF might be a good matchup because SF can't score (22nd in ppg) and the Pats are 6th (18.1 ppg allowed).


Washington Redskins

vs. GB

The Washington Professional Football team has been playing some pretty solid defense of late. The Packers are also on their millionth option at RB by claiming Christine Michael off waivers from Seattle (psst, Ted Thompson, there's a reason he was cut after being a starter all year). WAS just has to avoid the barrage of passing yards from Rodgers when Kirk "Ooo-weee" Cousins puts them ahead.


Tennessee Titans


Titans stout defense from earlier in the season has started to slip away and are susceptible to good QB's taking advantage of them. Andrew Luck torched them in their last meeting leaving this defense with negative points. Should probably stream a different option.


Los Angeles Rams

vs. MIA

I'm not trying to turn on Jared Goff already because he could still be really good! But a rookie QB coming in at Week 11, with no bye week to prepare, isn't usually a good thing. So this defense could be on the field a lot if the young rookie makes a lot of mistakes. They also might still be without Robert Quinn (illness). And has Ryan Tannehill finally figured it out?! For real, this time. He hasn't thrown a pick in 4 the last 4 games.


Green Bay Packers


I'm out on the GB defense until their secondary gets healthy. They really need Sam Shields back so they have a guy that can cover a WR1, which Jamison Crowder is starting to look like. The defense is still only allowing 84.4 ypg on the ground, but can they stop Crowder, Jordan Reed, and Pierre Garcon?


Detroit Lions

vs. JAX

Despite DeAndre Levy being a personal hero of mine and possible return to action soon, there's not too much going right for the Lions defense. They're coming off a bye, so there could be a chance for them to improve their yards per game allowed average which ranks 23rd.


Chicago Bears


The Bears have been a sneaky good team at getting to the QB with 24 total sacks. They now play a (potentially) Gronk-less Pats offense, but again I repeat: I've learned not to sleep on the Pats. They need more than a good pass rush here because of how quickly Brady likes to get the ball out. Pass on the Bears.


Houston Texans

@OAK (in Mexico City)

Houston's defense has played really well and it's like they don't even need JJ Watt. Whitney Mercilus is a great outside linebacker and as of week 9, A.J. Bouye has the #1 DB ranking from Pro Football Focus (P.S. he's the 3rd string CB). Even though their secondary has been really good, Oakland will be hard to slow down. Exercise caution as the Texans make the trip across the border.


Carolina Panthers

vs. NO

I'm blaming last week's loss more on the offense then the Panthers defense. CAR has scored 18, 9, and 7 fantasy points on defense in the past 3 games so I'm starting to believe in them a little bit again. But another recurring theme in these rankings is to not trust a defense against Drew Brees.


Cincinnati Bengals

vs. BUF

Opposing defenses have scored just over 5 fantasy points per game against the Bills offense so far this season, thanks in large part to Shady McCoy being so damn crafty and the backup runners adding some punch. The Bengals are 24th in rushing yards allowed per game so expect a heavy dose of McCoy and Tyrod Taylor carrying the rock this week.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers


The Buccaneers managed to take Jay Cutler's lunch last week with 4 forced turnovers and earning a defensive touchdown. I don't see the Chiefs offering them that much room to make plays. Consider last week an outlier as TB is still 26th in points allowed.


Oakland Raiders

vs. HOU (in Mexico City)

Oakland has been better in the ppg allowed department (24.8) and Houston has trouble scoring. They're still allowing an absurd amount of yardage overall, though (398 ypg). Being tied for the lead league in forced fumbles (12) gives them a good chance to score points, though. Also, rumor has it that the losers of this game in Mexico City have to stay and build Trump's wall so that's motivation.


Pittsburgh Steelers


Pittsburgh's defense has struggled enough without the loss of Cameron Heyward for the remainder of the season. They play Cleveland this week so there is upside. Going forward, however, I'd look for a better streaming option.


Jacksonville Jaguars


The Jags are 4th in passing yards allowed and that might be all Detroit can do. Where they lack, is the running game, where they rank 28th. The poor JAX offense puts a lot of pressure on this defense and it's just too much to overcome. Detroit might not actually trail in a game this week!


New Orleans Saints


Props to Cameron Jordan who's been playing quite well this season. The Saints have stepped up their play and the defense can be credited towards making them contenders in the NFC South. They managed to score good points against Denver, but I like CAR's offense a lot more.


Indianapolis Colts

vs. TEN

The Colts had a bye week to prepare for this game while the Titans may be picking up some momentum for the big game they laid down in Week 10. Indy is only managing 2.1 fantasy ppg, according to ESPN Standard Scoring. Don't expect them to go above that sad average.


San Francisco 49ers

vs. NE

Another outlier week for a defense last week as the Niners played the Cardinals close and didn't let up a whole lot of points. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Carson Palmer isn't Tom Brady. Despite the Patriots being absent Gronkowski for the week, they're still a dangerous offense.


Cleveland Browns

vs. PIT

Ben Roethlisberger has been hobbling around the back field because of a leg injury, but don't expect that to last much longer. Ben will find his groove, and the Browns are the best team to play against when you need to get rolling. It goes without saying, but keep the Browns on waivers.