Two of the top scoring defenses in all of fantasy football will be sidelined this week. The majority of leagues are entering the final stretch of the season with two games left until the playoffs, and most owners would still love to use the Cincinnati Bengals and Seattle Seahawks.
Alas, both are on byes, and we’ve already warned you about the St. Louis Rams from here on out. So who to go with?
The Fantasy Defensive Pick of the Week belongs to the New York Giants, who host the rival Dallas Cowboys.
It’s easy to discredit New York, since three of the four wins in their streak have come against back-up quarterbacks, and the other was an ugly victory over Oakland’s Terrelle Pryor, who was battling an injury and rarely looks to pass.
Yes Dallas quarterback Tony Romo, for all his peccadilloes and mistakes over the years, is far better than the likes of Josh Freeman, Scott Tolzien, Pryor, and Nick Foles (at least for now).
But The Cowboys are coming off their worst loss of the year, a 28-point road letdown to New Orleans during which they didn’t convert a single third down and generated 193 total offensive yards. Dallas is also 0-3 coming out of the bye in the last three years, negating a week of rest, and a 28th ranked running game makes the Cowboys offense very one-dimensional.
New York owns the second best winning streak in the league, and it’s entirely attributable to its defense. During the run, the Giants have forced seven interceptions, and pressured passers for five sacks and another 25 hits.
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul finally looked healthy against Green Bay, and safety Antrel Rolle is among the league leaders in interceptions with four. The Giants should have Romo and receiver Dez Bryant draped all game.
Check out some of the other top defensive picks for fantasy owners this week.
Byes: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Seattle
They start a three-game road trip in Week 12 against Oakland’s backup Matt McGloin. Tennessee is seventh in passing yards allowed, and fifth in opponent third down conversion. McGloin likely had some beginners luck against Houston last week, and the Titans should stunt his progress.
They’re 4-1 on the road, and have given up 14 points per road game. Week 12 opponent Arizona has done a slightly better job of protecting quarterback Carson Palmer, but he’s still been sacked seven times in their last three victories. Colts linebacker and NFL sack leader Robert Mathis should have a field day against the Cardinals.
San Francisco 49ers
Despite the loss, the 49ers are just the third defensive unit to hold New Orleans to two touchdowns or less this season. They’ll face a Washington crew desperate for a win and sporting the NFL’s best rushing attack. In the last four weeks the 49ers have allowed one team to rush for 100 or more yards, and just two rushing scores. Use San Francisco as a second or third option if the above teams aren’t available.
This is the week their league-worst eight-game losing streak ends, and it’s only because they face Jacksonville, the only team in the NFL with a worse record.