Monday, January 24

Fantasy Defense Rankings Week 8: Who to start, sit in D / ST in fantasy football

Losing the Ravens and Raiders D / ST by byes this week is not particularly shocking to our Week 8 fantasy defense rankings. They are also not “mandatory starts” (although the Ravens are very proprietary), nor are they favorable matchups for rival defenses. That means we have a full complement of waiver cable top units, sleepers and streamers at our disposal to make getting-started decisions a little easier, sit them down.

The Bengals (@ Jets), Chargers (vs. Patriots), Seahawks (vs. Jaguars), Eagles (@ Lions), and Bears (vs. 49ers) top our list of potential streamers who are widely available in most leagues. Some of those teams are extremely risky, namely the Seahawks and Eagles, but given the matchups, they all have a huge lead, boom or bust. The Patriots, Jets and Jaguars entered Week 7 in the top five in fantasy points per game (FPPG) allowed for D / ST, with the Lions ranking 10th. The Bears are just a decent D / ST, at least for fantasy purposes, and they have a median offense at home, so they have some potential.

Field marshal | Running backwards | Wide receiver | Tight end | Kicker

The Falcons (vs. Panthers) and Chiefs (vs. Giants) are also in favorable matchups and have similar boom-bust profiles as the Seahawks and Eagles. However, they have shown even less competence. You can always take a chance, especially since you both play at home, but you take a huge risk. On the other hand … they must, right?

Field marshal | Running backwards | Wide receiver | Tight end | Kicker

Among regular starters, the Patriots (@ Chargers), the Saints (vs. the Buccaneers) and the Colts (vs. the Titans) are doing better on the benches this week. The Colts always seem to play tough against the Titans, as evidenced by the sack and three takeaways they had in Tennessee in Week 3, so if you feel like you have to stick with them, you may be able to get away with it. If not, look to broadcast one of the possible sleepers mentioned above.

We’re also getting to that time of year where the weather could be a factor and convert some teams that we haven’t even mentioned here into potential starting units. We saw him last week at the Colts-49ers fumble festival. Be sure to keep track of the pre-weekend weather forecasts.

Overall this is a pretty good week for the D / ST, although it would be nice if some better defenses had some of the more favorable matchups. As it stands, most fantasy owners should be able to feel good about the D / ST in their lineup before Sunday, and that’s all you can ask for from this position.

Note: We will update these D / ST ratings throughout the week, so check back for the latest player movement and analysis.

Fantasy Defense Rankings Week 8: Who to start, sit in D / ST in fantasy football

Rank Team
1 Los Angeles Rams @ HOU
2 Pittsburgh Steelers at CLE
3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ NO
4 Buffalo Bills vs. MIA
5 Cincinnati Bengals @ NYJ
6 Los Angeles Chargers vs. NE
7 San Francisco 49ers at CHI
8 Denver Broncos vs. WAS
9 Seattle Seahawks vs. JAX
10 Philadelphia Eagles in DET
eleven Carolina Panthers at ATL
12 Cleveland Browns vs. PIT
13 Chicago Bears vs. SF
14 Dallas Cowboys in MIN
fifteen Indianapolis Colts vs. TEN
sixteen New England Patriots in LAC
17 Arizona Cardinals vs. GB
18 Atlanta Falcons vs. CAR
19 Kansas City Chiefs vs. NYG
twenty Minnesota Vikings vs. DAL
twenty-one Tennessee Titans in IND
22 Green Bay Packers in ARI
23 New Orleans Saints vs. TB
24 New York Jets vs. CIN
25 Jacksonville Jaguars @ SEA
26 Washington @ DEN Soccer Team
27 New York Giants at KC
28 Miami Dolphins at BUF
29 Detroit Lions vs. PHI
30 Houston Texans vs. LAR

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