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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.
**Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Los Angeles Rams, and Arizona are assumed to be rostered**
Week 9 Results
New England (at Carolina) - 1 sack, 3 INT, 1 DEF TD, 6 pts allowed
Bill Belichick still has Sam Darnold’s number. Actually, the whole NFL has Darnold’s number.
A Look Ahead: CLE @ATL TEN - The Browns aren’t a generous offense to opposing D/ST’s but the Patriots defense is hot and we should consider sticking with them.
New Orleans (vs Atlanta) - 2 sacks
The Saints decided to not show up until the fourth quarter
A Look Ahead: @TEN @PHI BUF - The Titans are peaking despite losing Derrick Henry. No thanks.
Pittsburgh (vs Chicago) - 3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 1 INT
The Bears were actually the better side of this matchup, but T.J. Watt, ahem the Steelers defense did enough to justify playing them.
A Look Ahead: DET @LAC @CIN - The Steelers defense is probably the #1 option this week with the Lions coming to town.
Indianapolis (vs New York Jets) - 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 1 INT
The Colts got to the Jets third string quarterback, Josh Johnson, but it didn’t result in fireworks as the entire second half was basically garbage time.
A Look Ahead: JAX @BUF TB - We will stick with the Colts this week.
Dallas (vs Denver) - 4 sacks
The pass rush was the only bright spot for the Cowboys on this miserable afternoon
A Look Ahead: ATL @KC LV - Has the mystique of the Cowboys defense been broken? Do the Falcons have the running game to follow the Browns script?
San Francisco (vs Arizona) - 2 sacks
A Look Ahead: LAR @JAX MIN - We’re still waiting for this defense to wake up
Miami (vs Houston) - 5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 3 INT
Tyrod Taylor has been known for not turning the ball over, but that wasn’t the case in his return to the field against the Dolphins.
A Look Ahead: BAL @NYJ CAR - We may come back to them in Week 11 if Zach Wilson is starting.
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