Week 10 Team Defense Rankings & Projection
There are no bye week issues for defenses this week, outside of maybe the Chiefs. With the Falcons, Cowboys, and Jets on bye, it does limit two good matchups for opposing defenses as the Cowboys continue to struggle and the Jets are the Jets. It was a big week for defensive touchdowns as the Ravens and Titans both game away with one and were two of the top-scoring defenses. The Giants and Bills also played well. Looking at Week 10 it is the usual suspects that are in good spots but there are a handful of streaming options to deploy this week.
Week 10 Top Options
The Steelers were a bit lackluster when it came to facing a Dallas Cowboys offense without Dak Prescott last week, but they still managed a decent score. This week they will face Joe Burrow and the Bengals, who have certainly improved this season. This is still a team with a struggling offensive line and a quarterback that has had some turnovers just due to the high volume and constant pressure. Pittsburgh should bounce back this week. Staying in the AFC North, the Ravens had a strong defensive performance and face the Patriots this week. New England has not shown to be able to move the ball against stronger defenses and they don’t have any playmakers that will make you think they can overcome this type of matchup. While Baltimore has dealt with some injuries of late, this is still a top-five unit. Over the past three games, the Patriots have allowed 24 fantasy points to opposing defenses. They have averaged 133 yards on the ground, but just 177 through the air with six turnovers.
I don’t love the matchup for the Buccaneers, but they remain one of the best defenses in the league. Their run defense continues to be stifling and has limited Christian McCaffrey over the last few matchups. Tampa has scored the 5th most fantasy points per game this season and have 28 sacks over eight games. This is before the matchup against the Saints. They have also forced 14 turnovers. The Patriots will have to rise to the task if they have a chance at winning in this one. New England still has a solid fantasy defense, ranking 9th in scoring before the Jets game. I would anticipate that going up after that game. Baltimore’s offense remains pretty stagnant but they might be able to run over this Patriots run defense that has struggled a bit. Chicago’s defense has been the reason they are over .500, but things are evening out for them now. The offense remains the issue. This group matches up well against the Vikings, given they have a top ten run defense and are top five against the pass. The corners can slow down Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson.
While the 49ers will get back some of their playmakers this week, I still don’t trust them much on the road. The Saints (40%) are in play as a streaming option this week. San Francisco has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game over the last five games to opposing defenses. In that span, they have allowed 14 sacks in five games, and have ten turnovers. They also did give up a touchdown. New Orleans is certainly in the mix this week, and the pass-rush should be able to get to Nick Mullens, who will make another start. While he is a backup, there really has not been much difference between him and Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Eagles (38%) are fresh off a bye this week and get the Giants, who have allowed the 5th most fantasy points per game this season. They have allowed 23 sacks in eight games, and have 15 turnovers in that span. They were able to get some work out of the ground game the last two weeks but that will be tough against a Philadelphia run defense that ranks inside the top half. Philadelphia has been a decent fantasy defense this season, scoring 7.8 fantasy points per game. They also have a strong pass rush with 28 sacks over the first eight games.
Over the last few seasons, the Packers (18%) have not generally been a defense we look towards in fantasy. They have only scored double-digit fantasy points twice this season but get a Jaguars team without Gardner Minshew. The Houston defense made them look better than they actually were last season. Beating the Packers on defense is done with the run game and it will be tough to do with the Packers offense putting up big numbers against a bottom ten Jaguars defense. This group should be able to put together a strong fantasy outing. If not, then they are hopeless moving forward.
Defenses To Avoid
There are a few defenses to avoid this week and one is the 49ers. They might have a streaming spot or two down the line but overall this team is banged up from top to bottom. They gave up 30+ to the Packers last week and now have to travel to New Orleans to face a Saints team that is finally getting healthy. With Michael Thomas back and Emmanuel Sanders, the secondary that has lost a few names will have their handful. Dealing with Alvin Kamara has also been a task not many can complete. The 49ers defense is simply just name value at this point. This Saints team also doesn’t turn the ball over or allow sacks. Opposing defenses are averaging just 2.7 points per game this season.
While Buffalo allowed 34 fantasy points this week, they had five sacks, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles. We haven’t seen the pass rush work that well in a while for Buffalo. They face Arizona this week, who are not giving up a ton of fantasy points to opposing defenses. The Cardinals haven’t allowed a ton of sacks this season and a lot of that has to do with how mobile Kyler Murray is. While he has had his turnover issues, this game just seems like it is going to be a shootout which results in poor fantasy outcomes for the defenses.
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