I admit it, my Week 10 fantasy defense/special teams (DST) rankings are probably a little biased. They definitely reflect my pro-Baltimore, anti-Pittsburgh tendencies.
I have Baltimore much higher and Detroit slightly higher than the ECR (Expert Consensus Rankings) for Week 10 and both Pittsburgh and Miami lower than the ECR. It also just so happens that these four teams play each other this week — the Ravens at Dolphins for "Thursday Night Football" and Lions at Steelers on Sunday.
But there's some sound, rational thought behind all four of these decisions.
First off, the Ravens are second in the NFL in total offense. Conversely, the Dolphins are third from the bottom. Wanna guess where Pittsburgh ranks? The Steelers are just a handful of spots up from the Dolphins, having accumulated the eighth-fewest yards per game in the league. And Pittsburgh is one of the few teams in the league yet to notch 30 points in a game. How bad is that? The Jets, Texans, and Lions, teams that have combined for THREE wins, all have done this at least once this season. Another team that hasn't cracked the 30-point mark yet? Jacksonville. That's right, the Steelers and the lowly 2-6 Jaguars have some striking offensive similarities.
So yup, I like the Detroit DST this week. The Lions also have the eighth-highest "QB Hurries" rate and against the oh-so-quick-flicker that Ben Roethlisberger is, what could happen? And conversely, Pittsburgh is a better actual defense than fantasy defense. The Steelers are tied for the third-fewest INTs in the league. Pay for Pittsburgh (or Miami) at your own peril and ignore Baltimore (or Detroit for that matter) at your own risk this week!
NFL Defense/Special Teams (DST) Rankings: Week 10
Teams on bye: Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, New York Giants
— Rankings by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.