Unless most of the teams in your league carry a backup defense, more than half of the league should be available to you every week. Perhaps instead of playing one above average defense every week, regardless of matchup, we should instead target the widely available waiver wire defenses with the best matchups in any particular week? You can always make exceptions if your rent-a-defense gets hot - heck, you might find a team worth starting all year by accident. Even if you don't, good matchups will continue to get greater in number as more QBs get injured or yanked as the season goes on. You can steal some points from bad weather come December. Each week I'll list the startable fantasy defenses on most waiver wires and rank them.
**Chicago has a great matchup in Week 9 and should be played over rent-a-defenses but is assumed to be rostered**
Week 8 Results
New England (at Buffalo) - 3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 1 INT, 1 DEF TD, 6 pt allowed
A Look Ahead: GB @TEN BYE - Back to the waiver wire
Houston (vs Miami) **Thursday** - 2 sacks, 1 INT
The Texans dominated the game, but Brock Osweiler didn’t commit any gaffes, so this was a miss.
A Look Ahead: @DEN BYE @WAS - Case Keenum can be generous, but being on the road lessens the attractiveness here.
Kansas City (vs Denver) - 5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery
A Look Ahead: @CLE ARI @LAR - Two more weeks of going with the Chiefs
Pittsburgh (vs Cleveland) - 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 safety
A blowout as expected, but few splash plays from the defense. Too bad you don’t get points for getting the coach fired.
A Look Ahead: @BAL CAR @JAX - We won’t come back to the Steelers until at least Week 11.
Cincinnati (vs Tampa Bay) - 6 sacks, 4 INT, 1 DEF TD
Jameis Winston say hello to the bench. The Bengals delivered and then some for the highest D/ST score of the week by a good margin.
A Look Ahead: BYE NO @BAL - No plans to use the Bengals in the upcoming weeks.
Arizona (vs San Francisco) - 4 sacks
The Cardinals generated pressure and stifled the 49ers offense, but it didn’t result in any takeaways.
A Look Ahead: BYE @KC OAK - We may come back to them in Week 11.
Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda
New Orleans (at Minnesota) - 4 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 1 INT, 1 DEF TD
A good defensive performance to be certain, but a botched crossing route by Stefon Diggs made the Saints night.
Washington (at New York Giants) - 7 sacks, 2 INT
Washington’s stellar defense took their show on the road and raised awareness for plays in future weeks.
Week 9 Candidates
**Chicago has a good matchup in Week 9 and should be played over rent-a-defenses but is assumed to be rostered**
Kansas City (at Cleveland)
The Chiefs have actually been a Top 10 D/ST to date on the strength of their big weeks. This week they head to Cleveland to take on an offense in disarray
A Look Ahead: ARI @LAR BYE - One more week of use after this, then we’ll come back to them after their bye.
Carolina (vs Tampa Bay)
Welcome back Fitzmagic! This could be a shootout, so be careful in points and yards allowed leagues, but we know about Ryan Fitzpatrick’s propensity for turnovers. The Panthers have been a good to great play in four of their last five games, so they might be rostered.
A Look Ahead: @PIT @DET SEA - They probably shouldn’t be rostered again until the next time they play the Bucs (Week 13)
Washington (vs Atlanta)
The Falcons offense is good, but they were ambushed by the Steelers to the tune of six sacks and a defensive score in Week 5 and the Washington defense is red hot coming into this one.
A Look Ahead: @TB HOU @DAL - Another reason to like Washington this week is the favorable Week 10 matchup despite being on the road.
Dallas (vs Tennessee)
The Cowboys defense is rested and healthy, they have a strong front seven, and their two good D/ST games this year have come at home, and this one is in prime time.
A Look Ahead: @PHI @ATL WAS - Their offense will have to carry them the next two weeks.
Seattle (vs Los Angeles Chargers)
Philip Rivers isn’t an easy draw, but this defense is coming on and they have had multiple takeaways in all but one game this year.
A Look Ahead: @LAR GB @CAR - Russell Wilson will have to do the heavy lifting in these matchups, but Weeks 13 and 15 against the 49ers could be good to us.
Minnesota (vs Detroit)
How will Detroit react to losing stalwart slot receiver Golden Tate? The Vikings defense was banged up last week, but they had three strong performances leading up to Week 8.
A Look Ahead: BYE @CHI GB - We’ll move on from them this week until Week 15 (Miami)
Week 10 Preemptive Pickups
New York Jets (vs Buffalo)
Kansas City (vs Arizona)
Green Bay (vs Miami)
Indianapolis (vs Jacksonville)