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 increase as more quarterbacks 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.
**Assumed to be rostered: Philadelphia, Buffalo, San Francisco, Dallas**
Week 5 Results
Jacksonville (vs Houston) - 1 sack
When the Jaguars offense struggles, the defense struggles. The Texans were able to lean on Dameon Pierce in this defensive stalemate.
A Look Ahead: @IND NYG DEN - The Jaguars defense might still be good against Matt Ryan, but we are much less sure of it than we were a few weeks ago.
San Francisco (at Carolina) - 6 sacks, 1 INT, 1 DEF TD
Emmanuel Moseley had a pick-six and then tore an ACL. Ugh. Mission accomplished but at a cost.
Green Bay (vs New York Giants - London) - 1 safety, 1 sack
If it wasn’t the Packers losing this game, it would have been nearly a total loss for this D/ST.
A Look Ahead: NYJ @WAS BUF - Zach Wilson is actually playing well. Next.
Tampa Bay (vs Atlanta) - 5 sacks
Actually, five sacks weren’t too bad in this offense-centric week around the NFL
A Look Ahead: @PIT @CAR BAL - The Bucs are worth leaving in against a rookie quarterback who is still learning the limits of his abilities.
Minnesota (vs Chicago) - 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery
Justin Fields is playing well, and the Bears were in this game to the end.
A Look Ahead: @MIA BYE ARI - Maybe if Skylar Thompson is starting, we’ll go back to the Vikings after all.
Dallas (at LA Rams) - 5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 INT, 1 DEF TD
Here’s your Yahtzee of the week. The Rams are looking like an offense we can pick on.
A Look Ahead: @PHI DET CHI - Facing the Eagles is a tough draw, but the Cowboys D/ST is good enough to justify playing them this week to keep them for the long haul and not need to carry a second defense as we begin the bye week gauntlet.
Tennessee (at Washington) - 3 sacks, 1 INT
The interception came at the end to save the game. That should be worth more in fantasy, eh? The Titans defense was strong but gave up two long bombs to Dyami Brown.
A Look Ahead: BYE IND @HOU - Bye-bye.
Miami (at New York Jets) - 2 sacks
Guess we don’t have Zach Wilson to kick around anymore.
A Look Ahead: MIN PIT @DET - The Dolphins are fading and off of our roster if we used them last week.
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