The ups and downs of the Detroit Lions' defense (particularly the pass rush) this season has been reflected in their fantasy output. In Yahoo! scoring, they've posted 9, 0, 16, 10, 7, 10, -2, 12 and -2 fantasy points over their nine games.
Tough matchups against the Baltimore Ravens (Week 7) and Los Angeles Chargers (Week 10), as well as a bye week (Week 9), has surely led to the Lions' defense not staying rostered in many fantasy leagues lately.
Over the next five weeks, here's the Lions' schedule.
Week 11: vs. Chicago Bears
Week 12: vs. Green Bay Packers (Thanksgiving)
Week 13: at New Orleans Saints
Week 14: at Chicago Bears
Week 15: vs. Denver Broncos
Fantasy Football: Go get the Detroit Lions' D/ST for the playoff push
Entering Week 11, the Bears are surrendering the third-most fantasy points to opposing defenses (Yahoo! scoring). The expected return of quarterback Justin Fields is actually great news for the Lions' struggling pass rush. And they play Chicago twice in the next four weeks.
The Packers are mid-pack in fantasy points allowed to defenses. But they have scored 20 or less points in seven straight games, with multiple sacks allowed and turnovers in all but one of them.
The Saints have also not been especially generous in fantasy points to opposing defenses. But they have allowed multiple sacks in seven of 10 games, and coming out of their Week 11 bye it'll be Derek Carr or Jameis Winston under center. Nothing to be scared of, and if Winston were the quarterback more turnover opportunities come into play.
The Broncos are on a better track now after a bad start to the season. But they are still a bottom-10 team (as in, among the most generous) in ceding fantasy points to opposing defenses this year. Russell Wilson has been sacked at least four times in four of the last five games.
Waivers clear in some fantasy leagues on Wednesday morning each week. The Lions' D/ST has naturally been added in droves this week, but as of Wednesday afternoon they were still available in 43 percent of Yahoo! leagues and more than 55 percent of ESPN leagues.
At minimum, it's worth checking to see if the Lions' defense is available in your league after waivers have cleared. If you're in a league where waivers clear Thursday morning and you need a defense, go put in a bid-right now.
Week 16 against the Minnesota Vikings and Week 17 against the Dallas Cowboys will be hairy matchups to rely on the Lions' defense in. But to get to and deep into the fantasy playoffs, there aren't many better multi-week options who might be available this week.