Two defenses fantasy football players must own for the playoffs

      November 15, 2013 @ 12:01:03 PDT

Buffalo Bills DT Marcell Dareus
Marcell Dareus will muscle OLs

If you're in solid position to make your fantasy football playoffs, it's time to start planning ahead, stashing useful players on your bench.

Or in this case, defenses. In the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Industry Insiders League -- a 120-team, 10-division battle royale -- it looks like I'll make the postseason, a 40-team, multi-stage survivor series, so to speak.

I don't usually carry two DTs unless it's a formidably deep league like this one. I've done so now because I want to save a hammer FAAB bid for the postseason, and it helps to get a jump on any advantage possible.

Ergo, I've paired the Houston Texans with the Buffalo Bills. Take a look at their remaining schedules through the traditional fantasy playoffs.

Check out all those Jacksonville Jaguars duels. Squee.

When picking a DT, I focus much less on points allowed and instead on the trench matchups, and for these two clubs, I'm optimistic on how their respective defensive lines will overpower their competitors' front five for most of these contests.


As for the midrange tilts: Geno Smith could torment the Bills' secondary, but the New York Jets rook should be sacked a bunch in the process. The Atlanta Falcons' offensive line should be weak enough to manipulate, yet with Roddy White moving back into form, there's more risk than there was just a few weeks ago. Of course, smart betters typically go against Matt Ryan on the road.

The Indianapolis Colts' absence of Reggie Wayne hasn't stopped them in recent weeks, and T.Y. Hilton worked Houston the last time he faced them. But with Gary Kubiak returning, it'll be helpful for Wade Phillips to focus on just D again without the team being in second-half chaos.

I dig how the rest of these matchups play out. Maybe the Denver Broncos will be in position to rest their playmakers, including Peyton Manning (ankle), but I'll wait on that one.

The Bills are still widely available (65 percent of leagues I polled) and even Houston, who's only loose in 22 percent, could still be snagged in several games (for J.J. Watt alone).

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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