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College Fantasy Football: Defenses to watch for Week 11

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Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky Wildcats (AP Images)

We move onto Week 11 of the college football season. Here are five defenses you should consider to start in your fantasy leagues.

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IOWA

The Iowa-Northwestern game is shaping up as one of those slow, boring, grind-it-out Big Ten matchups with an over/under dropping to 44 points and that’s perfect for fantasy owners looking for points on defense. The Hawkeyes are still not getting the respect they deserve being owned at a 45 percent clip even though they’re giving up just 18.5 points per game. That number is inflated especially after the last two weeks when Purdue scored 38 and Penn State scored 30. After two-straight losses, Iowa comes out strong and shuts down an average Northwestern attack.

KENTUCKY

This pick comes down to a few thoughts: Tennessee scored 14 points last weekend against Charlotte. All of those points came in the first quarter and one touchdown was on an 82-yard punt return. So for three quarters, an SEC team, at home, against a weak defense, did not score a single point. That’s just hard to comprehend. So in comes Kentucky, which has an excellent defense, and is a tough team coming off a disappointing loss to Georgia last weekend. I don’t see the Wildcats folding. They’re coming to get back on track and to get a big win in Knoxville. The over/under is at 42.5. That’s great news for fantasy owners plus Kentucky is getting no respect, owned in only 16 percent of leagues.

LSU

Arkansas has shown the ability to score points at times this season, but against strong defenses like Auburn and Texas A&M the Razorbacks have not found much success. Yes, Arkansas scored 31 against Alabama, which remains mind-boggling but 14 points came in the fourth quarter when the Crimson Tide had third-stringers in the game. LSU got a little embarrassed in a 29-0 loss to Alabama last weekend but this is a strong-willed team that will look to take out some frustration against Arkansas. A ball-control offense, Arkansas won’t have much room to move the ball or score points.

MICHIGAN

This one is too easy. Michigan has arguably the best defense in the country allowing just 13.5 points a game, the Wolverines held Penn State and Michigan State to seven points each in back-to-back weekends and now they travel to Rutgers, one of the worst Power Five schools out there. Scarlet Knights QB Artur Sitkowski was surprisingly decent against Wisconsin last weekend but he has been woeful this season, throwing for four touchdowns and 15 interceptions. It would shock no one if Michigan held Rutgers scoreless.

SYRACUSE

Everyone knows Syracuse’s offense is explosive, but the defense might not be getting enough respect as the Orange have done a decent job against talented offenses this season. Clemson only scored 27, Wake Forest had only 24 last weekend and Syracuse held Florida State to seven points early this season but the Seminoles have been terrible so that might not be as telling.

After a 77-16 drubbing last week at Clemson, what can Louisville have left? Are the players really going to come out firing on all cylinders, especially if Syracuse starts scoring quickly in the first quarter? This could be another ugly game where the Orange win easily.