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.
Week 3 Results
Green Bay (at Tampa Bay) - 3 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries
Not a fantasy bonanza for the Packers defense, but good enough to be a contributor. Tom Brady is keeping mistakes to a minimum while trying to make do with a depleted wide receiver corps.
Philadelphia (at Washington) - 9 sacks, 1 fumble recovery
The Eagles defense is looking like a top-tier fantasy unit through three weeks. The offense is giving them juicy game scripts, and Carson Wentz cooperated with some sacks that were on him, not the offensive line.
A Look Ahead: JAX @ARI DAL - The Eagles look like a D/ST to play every week going forward. Congrats if you added them.
Kansas City (at Indianapolis) - 5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery
Matt Ryan didn’t make any big mistakes, and he actually led a game-winning drive in this one.
A Look Ahead: @TB LV BUF - Watch to see if the game is moved from Tampa with Hurricane Ian approaching. The best decision here is to move on with Brady not feeding fantasy D/ST scoring despite being short handed.
Baltimore (at New England) - 3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 3 INT
A Look Ahead: BUF CIN @NYG - We’ll come back to the Ravens in Week 6. They are a top 5 D/ST to date, but not worth clogging a roster spot with the waiver wire still humming.
Dallas (at NY Giants) - 5 sacks, 1 INT
The Cowboys continue to get a ton of pressure, with their second straight game recording five or more sacks. The turnovers haven’t come in bunches yet, but that could change this week…
A Look Ahead: WAS @LAR @PHI - Carson Wentz is turning back into a pumpkin just in time for this matchup. Yes, we should be interested.
LA Chargers (vs Jacksonville) - Nada. Zilch. Bupkis.
A Look Ahead: @HOU @CLE DEN - There is so little momentum here that even Davis Mills isn’t an attractive enough opponent to start the Chargers D/ST this week.
Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
Cincinnati (at NY Jets) - 4 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 2 INT
And with this, the Jets are ushered back into our offenses to target list, especially if Zach Wilson is back this week.
Denver (vs San Francisco) - 1 safety, 4 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 INT
The Broncos defense did enough to carry the team to a truly ugly victory. The 49ers also lost all-world left tackle Trent Williams in this one.
Carolina (vs New Orleans) - 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery, 2 INT, 1 DEF TD
Week 4 Candidates
Philadelphia (vs Jacksonville)
The Jaguars offense looks good and has only allowed two sacks and one takeaway so far in three games, but the Eagles are a different kind of test that could force them to play from behind. You pick up and play the Eagles if they are out there because they are probably one of the few D/STs that are preferable to streaming.
A Look Ahead: @ARI DAL BYE - We’ll stick with the Eagles through the bye and only drop them if they are running cold after a hot start.
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