In Week 10 of the fantasy football season owners face a very difficult decision in two major DST showdowns, with the Miami Dolphins visiting the Detroit Lions, and the Buffalo Bills hosting the Kansas City Chiefs. Sporting the league’s No. 1 overall defense, the Lions have been the highest rated DST through the first nine weeks of the season, allowing 15.8 points with 23 total sacks and 12 turnovers. But over the last three weeks the Dolphins have slowly crept up with dominant performances, capped by their Week 9 shutout of high-scoring San Diego, which included three interceptions, four sacks and a fumble recovery.
The Dolphins DST has now totaled 11 sacks and 10 turnovers in the last three games, and given up an average of nine points, shooting them into the top ranked spot in most fantasy leagues.
K.C. is right behind Detroit in terms of points per game, allowing 17.3 (No. 2 in the NFL), and its won three straight, all started by a terrific road victory over the Chargers.
The upstart 5-3 Bills are right in the thick of the AFC East and Wild Card race, and own victories over both Miami and Detroit. Buffalo has also been either the No. 1 or No. 2 pass rushing team in the league, and even after a bye week remain No. 2 with 28 sacks. The Bills are also still No. 2 in the NFL with 18 total turnovers.
So who to pick? The consistent and rested Lions, or the rising Dolphins? The streaking Chiefs, or the balanced Bills?
Well, we might have to look at each side’s offense to make the right pick. For the Lions, it seems highly likely that they’ll have top receiver Calvin Johnson back from an ankle injury. A huge boost for Detroit, and a major problem for Miami. Johnson’s presence alone will open things up for running back Joique Bell, and even Theo Riddick or Reggie Bush, should he return. However, the Lions offensive line has allowed quarterback Matthew Stafford to be sacked 24 times, a fact that might neutralize Johnson’s re-insertion in the lineup. Miami’s offense has also been rolling, with quarterback Ryan Tannehill firing off six touchdowns to one interception in the last three games. Not to mention dangerous playmaker and receiver Mike Wallace lurking.
In this instance it might be best to sit both Detroit and Miami. Both offenses have the chance to flare up and negate any positive fantasy points for either DST.
On the flip side, it might be wise for owners start Kansas City and Buffalo. These are two teams with very similar defensive styles, capable of neutralizing the other’s quarterback with an intense pass rush. And both sides have only one true playmaker, making things a little easier on the defense. The Bills will focus most of their attention on K.C. running back Jamaal Charles, and the Chiefs can contain rookie receiver Sammy Watkins with their No. 1 ranked pass defense.
For the rest of the league, especially those looking to replace New England and Houston’s DSTs, take a look at our Start/Sit choices for Week 10 below.
Week 10 Starts/Sits
Sit: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Miami, Detroit, Dallas, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Oakland, St. Louis, N.Y. Giants, Chicago, Carolina
Start: Kansas City, Buffalo, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, N.Y. Jets, Denver, Arizona, Seattle, Green Bay, Philadelphia
Byes: Houston, Minnesota, Indianapolis, New England, San Diego, Washington