With two weeks left to make the playoffs or solidify seeding, fantasy owners will need a reliable DST to plug into their lines up week-to-week for one less position to fret over.
That squad could be the St. Louis Rams. In Week 11 the Rams were the surprise darling of the league after holding the Denver Broncos to a season-low seven points, sacking Peyton Manning twice and picking him off another two times.
The Rams are clicking at the best time after they're poor start to the season, and owners should be encourage by their late surge and schedule for the next four weeks. That incredible 2013 Rams pass rush that fantasy owners missed for the first six weeks of the season? It’s back. The Rams have unleashed 18.0 sacks in the last five games, and while two sacks might not seem like much, consider the Broncos offensive line had allowed only nine sacks in the previous nine games.
St. Louis’s schedule for the rest of the fantasy season includes a trip to San Diego this week, then home versus Oakland, a jaunt to Washington and then a two-game home-stand vs. Arizona and the New York Giants.
One by one, let’s pick off each squad’s shortcomings. The Chargers offense has completely wilted and could barely muster 13 points against Oakland. The Raiders are the only winless team in the NFL, and also boast the lowest scoring offense in the league at 15.2 points per game. The Redskins offense is currently torn asunder by their quarterback and coach sniping at each other publicly, while the Giants and Eli Manning can’t seem to hold on to the ball, and have averaged 14.4 points during their five-game losing streak.
NFC-best Arizona is the one red flag, but by Week 15, it’s very possible that Drew Stanton regresses back to his mean. He already threw two picks against Seattle’s super secondary, and the Rams pass rush can pressure Stanton into even more mistakes.
In Week 12 the Rams are a surefire start for fantasy owners, and in the coming weeks, but let’s take a look at several other teams that could also be started. As always, start and sit at your own discretion.
This is a Bengals DST that started off red-hot, until injury woes set in. In the first three weeks of the season they racked up 7.0 sacks and six interceptions, holding opponents to an average of 11 points. They took a huge hit in Weeks 5 to 7, allowing more than 35 points on average to New England, Carolina (yeesh) and Indianapolis. But there schedule has been much easier recently, and last week they held New Orleans to a season-low 10 points. In Week 12 they could feast Houston and quarterback Ryan Mallett, especially if Arian Foster remains on the sidelines.
Coming off a bye week, the rested Ravens get to pick on Drew Brees and the Saints. Yes, they are missing cornerback Jimmy Smith for the rest of the year, but even with only six interceptions on the year the Ravens are still one of only five teams to allow 18 or fewer points per game and they’ve generated 25 sacks, tied for No. 11 in the NFL.
New England Patriots
Squaring off against Calvin Johnson might be scary, but New England faces a Lions squad that hasn’t claimed a road victory against a .500 or better team all season. The Pats have already held Manning and Andrew Luck in check in consecutive weeks, not to mention the debacle against Chicago’s high-powered attack. Lions QB Matthew Stafford has also thrown five interceptions in the last four weeks.
Sit: Cleveland, Atlanta, Detroit, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Houston, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Miami, Washington, N.Y. Giants, Denver
Start: Kansas City, Tennessee, Philadelphia, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, N.Y. Jets, Buffalo, Arizona, Seattle, St. Louis, San Diego, San Francisco, Dallas, Baltimore, New England
Byes: Pittsburgh, Carolina