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.
**Buffalo is assumed to be rostered**
Week 2 Results
Cincinnati (at Dallas) - 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery
The Cowboys defense, not the Bengals, brought the intensity for this one. Cooper Rush might actually get the Cowboys through the time without Dak just fine.
A Look Ahead: @NYJ MIA @BAL - Bengals are off of the rent-a-defense candidate list until further notice
Green Bay (vs Chicago) - 3 sacks, 1 INT
Not a complete dud, but the Bears unwillingness to pass, even when down big, could discourage us from targeting them.
A Look Ahead: @TB NE NYG - It’s a road game, but Tom Brady will be shorthanded (to put it lightly), so the Packers are in play this week, and you’ll want to start them in Weeks 4-5 anyway, so stick with them.
Pittsburgh (vs New England) - 1 INT
No T.J. Watt makes all the difference.
A Look Ahead: @CLE NYJ @BUF - It was a nice one week run for the Steelers as a strong D/ST
LA Rams (vs Atlanta) - 3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 2 INT
A hit as the Rams controlled this game even though they almost let the Falcons come all the way back from a 28-3 deficit. A Jalen Ramsey interception at the end saved the game and helped fantasy teams that relied on the Rams.
A Look Ahead: @ARI @SF DAL - D/STs facing Kyler Murray haven’t done well yet from a fantasy perspective, so we’ll move on.
New Orleans (vs Tampa Bay) - 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery
Tom Brady actually played pretty well, considering the circumstances. We wanted to be on the other side of this one.
A Look Ahead: @CAR MIN SEA - We always have Baker Mayfield to pick on and will consider doing that this week.
Miami (at Baltimore) - NADA. ZILCH. BUPKIS.
Lamar Jackson was a wizard against the Dolphins defense that embarrassed him last year and the Ravens still lost.
A Look Ahead: BUF @CIN @NYJ - No thanks.
Denver (vs Houston) - 3 sacks
This was maybe the worst game of the day, entertainment-wise. The Broncos won because they were the least bad team.
A Look Ahead: SF @LV IND - We won’t be going back to the Broncos for at least a few weeks.
Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
Tampa Bay (at New Orleans) - 6 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 3 INT, 1 DEF TD
The Saints offensive line isn’t doing him any favors, but Interception Fest Jameis Winston made an appearance in the fourth quarter.
Jacksonville (vs Indianapolis) - 5 sacks, 3 INT, 0 pts allowed
The Colts made incursions into Jaguars territory, even to goal to go downs, but Matt Ryan is still one of the worst quarterbacks in the red zone.
Atlanta (at LA Rams) - 1 safety, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery, 2 INT, 1 ST TD
A blocked punt touchdown made the Falcons D/ST week.
Baltimore (vs Miami) - 1 sack, 2 INT, 1 DEF TD
It’s easy to forget that the Ravens actually got a defensive score in this stunning loss.
Kansas City (vs LA Chargers) - 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 DEF TD
The 99-yard return by seventh-round rookie Jaylen Watson might have been season-changing for both teams.
Week 3 Candidates
Green Bay (at Tampa Bay)
It looks like Tom Brady won’t have Mike Evans or Chris Godwin for this one, and his offensive line is banged up, to say the least. The Packers could force some mistakes if they can take the early lead on the road.
A Look Ahead: NE NYG NYJ - The main reason to play the Packers D/ST this weekend is to get this run of home games.
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