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Rent-a-Defense: Week 10

A look at the waiver wire performances in Week 9 and the best waiver candidates for Week 10

Unless most of the teams in your league carry a backup defense, more than half of the league should be available to you every week. Perhaps instead of playing one above average defense every week, regardless of matchup, we should instead target the widely available waiver wire defenses with the best matchups in any particular week? You can always make exceptions if your rent-a-defense gets hot - heck, you might find a team worth starting all year by accident. Even if you don't, good matchups will continue to get greater in number as more QBs get injured or yanked as the season goes on. You can steal some points from bad weather come December. Each week I'll list the startable fantasy defenses on most waiver wires and rank them.


**Seattle, Houston, Detroit, Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville are better than any rent-a-defense, but assumed to be owned in all leagues**

Week 9 Results

Philadelphia (vs Denver) - 3 sacks, 2 INT

It was a lot worse than the merely adequate fantasy output makes it seem.

A Look Ahead: BYE @DAL CHI - The Eagles D/ST only has one really good matchup left (Week 15 @NYG), but they have a four-game streak of at least five combined takeaways and sacks. They’re aggressive and good (and getting Ronald Darby back), and Carson Wentz is spotting them to leads. Consider holding them through the bye.

Houston (vs Indianapolis) - 3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 1 DEF TD

A big win for Week 9 thanks to an effective Eddie Pleasant blitz and Jacoby Brissett holding onto the ball for too long.

A Look Ahead: @LAR ARI @BAL - Houston D/ST’s scoring has been top 10 to date, but that could take a nosedive without Deshaun Watson. We might come back to them with a few more poor quarterbacks left on the schedule, but they are not worth a hold at the Rams this week.

New Orleans (vs Tampa Bay) - 4 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 1 ST TD

Another big hit for Week 9 thanks to a first quarter blocked punt in the Superdome (that should give you chills). It might have been even better if Jameis Winston hadn’t gotten hurt and left the game.

A Look Ahead: @BUF WAS @LAR - The Saints are the #2 D/ST since Week 3, trailing only Jacksonville. We’ll stick with them at Buffalo.

Arizona (vs San Francisco) - 5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery

Another hit in a very predictable rent-a-defense week. This strategy becomes more workable later when there are more backup quarterbacks are in. We’ll target CJ Beathard as long as the 49ers keep playing him.

A Look Ahead: SEA @HOU JAX - It’s not absurd to picture coming back to this D/ST after they face Russell Wilson.

Los Angeles Rams (at New York Giants) - 2 sacks, 1 INT, 2 fumble recoveries

Like the Eagles and Saints, the Rams D/ST was hurt by the overall team effectiveness putting the game out of reach so early. They were still a strong D/ST and might be the D/ST to own this week.

A Look Ahead: HOU @MIN NO - This is a good week to own the Rams D/ST.

Detroit (at Green Bay) - 3 sacks

Brett Hundley wasn’t effective, but he was safe with the ball.

A Look Ahead: CLE @CHI MIN - You’ll absorb this week’s disappointing result to have a shot at a yahtzee this week.

Tennessee (vs Baltimore) - 2 sacks, 2 INT

It could have been better, but it wasn’t a dud. Joe Flacco throwing the ball 52 times is going to be good for the opposing defense.

A Look Ahead: CIN @PIT @IND - We might come back to them later

Carolina (vs Atlanta) - 2 sacks, 1 INT

Two early fumbles by the Panthers kept them from controlling this game.

A Look Ahead: MIA BYE @NYJ - Jay Cutler actually looked good last week. Probably a throw em back

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

New York Jets (vs Buffalo) - 7 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries

The Bills offensive line let the Jets have a jailbreak on too many snaps.

Week 10 Candidates

**Seattle, Houston, Detroit, Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville are better than any rent-a-defense, but assumed to be owned in all leagues**

New Orleans (at Buffalo)

The Saints D/ST has been elite since an 0-2 team start. The Bills offense imploded last week and made the Jets D/ST one of the best plays of the week. The Saints are on the road and the Bills are undefeated at home, but the New Orleans D/ST did well at Carolina and in London earlier this year.

A Look Ahead: WAS @LAR CAR - I’m willing to play the Saints D/ST against almost any opponent at the Superdome. With four home games left, I’m looking to hold onto them.

Pittsburgh (at Indianapolis)

The Steelers D/ST has multiple sacks in every game. The Texans D/ST lost JJ Watt and Whitney Mercilus and were still a great play last week against Jacoby Brissett. The Steelers do play down to competition, especially on the road, but the hope is that the bye week will keep that from happening.

A Look Ahead: TEN GB @CIN - Two straight games at home including one against Brett Hundley makes the Steelers look like a pick up and hold coming out of their bye.

New York Giants (at San Francisco)

For the rest of the season, the D/ST facing the 49ers will be a resident here, unless it’s a D/ST that is already universally owned. The Giants D/ST has been ice cold save for an ambush of a too relaxed Broncos team on a Sunday night, but so was Arizona going into last week.

A Look Ahead: KC @WAS @OAK - The last time we’ll look at the Giants D/ST this year after we had such high hopes this year.

Minnesota (at Washington)

The Vikings defense is good enough to be universally owned, but they are coming off of a bye and have been quiet for fantasy this year. Being on the road is less than ideal, but the Washington offense and offensive line are both ricketty and the last two D/ST’s to face them have been successes.

A Look Ahead: LAR @DET @ATL - A year after being a darling of the fantasy world for a half season, the Vikings D/St is looking like waiver fodder, with an argument to stash them for a Week 15/16 combo of Cincinnati at home and Green Bay possibly without Aaron Rodgers on the road.

Chicago (vs Green Bay)

The Bears D/ST has multiple sacks in every game this year and they have multiple takeaways in their last three games. They’ll be at home and relish the chance to chase Brett Hundley and generally make the Packers offense miserable.

A Look Ahead: DET @PHI SF - There’s an argument to hold the Bears D/ST for Week 13 against San Francisco and Week 16 against Cleveland. You may even consider them next week at home against the Lions and in Week 14 at Cincinnati. I’m not sure they have proven themselves to be at that level of value, but it’s worth considering.

New York Jets (at Tampa Bay)

The Jets are coming off of their best D/ST performance of the year and they are going into a pirate ship that is adrift in the doldrums. The Jets actually have multiple takeaways in each of the last five games and their pass rush finally came alive against the Bills last week.

A Look Ahead: BYE CAR KC - Bye bye

Week 11 Preemptive Pickups

Baltimore (at Green Bay)
Kansas City (at New York Giants)
New Orleans (vs Washington)
Denver (vs Cincinnati)