We have said all season you have to match up your defense against the shaky quarterbacks. With the Browns and Vikings having cloudy quarterback situations, it makes the Patriots and Ravens defenses great streaming plays in fantasy leagues this week.
Sure, you might consider taking a shot in the dark on the Oakland Raiders because they are facing the Jets and error-prone quarterback Geno Smith, but we wouldn’t trust a subpar defensive unit on the road in crunch time, no matter how juicy the matchup.
Re-Charging their playoff hopes
The San Diego Chargers are on the outside looking in with regard to the final wild-card spot in the AFC, but a home matchup against the disappointing New York Giants might be just what they need right now. The Giants have been the worst team in fantasy against defense/special teams, so if you’re digging deep for a unit this week, consider the Chargers, particularly at home.
Saint no way
It is going to be tough to trust the Saints defense in any fantasy league after that performance in Seattle on Monday night. They do return home, but the matchup is still bad. The Panthers have been the second-best team in fantasy against defense/special teams. There is no way you can start the Saints in standard leagues this week.
Like them more
The Panthers, meanwhile, are heading to one of the toughest places to play in football. Seattle and Kansas are tough for noise, but there is nothing like the Superdome in a big game. It can get rocking. The Panthers might not look like a great play in those conditions, but defense wins big games.
We still rank the Panthers as a starting unit in all leagues and one of those we like more than the consensus below:
- Baltimore Ravens
- Carolina Panthers
- Cincinnati Bengals
- San Francisco 49ers
- San Diego Chargers
Like them less
You might think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a favorable matchup for an opposing defense, but that just has not been the case this season. Despite starting a rookie quarterback and losing their starting running back to injury for the season, the Bucs have been in the top eight against fantasy defense/special teams.
It makes the Bills defense a bad play on the road and one of the units that we like less than the masses this week:
- New England Patriots
- Arizona Cardinals
- Miami Dolphins
- New Orleans Saints
- Buffalo Bills
|1||Baltimore Ravens||Bal||vs. Min||5||+4|
|2||Kansas City Chiefs||KC||at Was||2||0|
|3||Seattle Seahawks||Sea||at SF||3||0|
|4||New England Patriots||NE||vs. Cle||1||-3|
|5||Carolina Panthers||Car||at NO||8||+3|
|6||Cincinnati Bengals||Cin||vs. Ind||9||+3|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||SF||vs. Sea||11||+4|
|8||St. Louis Rams||StL||at Ari||7||-1|
|9||Arizona Cardinals||Ari||vs. StL||6||-3|
|10||San Diego Chargers||SD||vs. NYG||13||+3|
|11||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||TB||vs. Buf||17||+6|
|12||Denver Broncos||Den||vs. Ten||12||0|
|13||Detroit Lions||Det||at Phi||28||+15|
|14||Dallas Cowboys||Dal||at Chi||23||+9|
|15||Green Bay Packers||GB||vs. Atl||20||+5|
|16||Chicago Bears||Chi||vs. Dal||21||+5|
|17||New York Jets||NYJ||vs. Oak||19||+2|
|18||Pittsburgh Steelers||Pit||vs. Mia||18||0|
|19||Miami Dolphins||Mia||at Pit||16||-3|
|20||New Orleans Saints||NO||vs. Car||14||-6|
|21||Philadelphia Eagles||Phi||vs. Det||27||+6|
|22||Buffalo Bills||Buf||at TB||15||-7|