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.
**Philadelphia, Baltimore, New England, Dallas, and Buffalo are assumed to be rostered**
Week 12 Results
Seattle (vs Las Vegas) - 1 sack, 2 INT
The Seahawks D/ST was productive enough, but the Raiders offense was excellent and didn’t allow the Seahawks defense to play downhill.
A Look Ahead: @LAR CAR SF - The Rams are still a good D/ST target, and the Seahawks are still a good Week 13 option.
Miami (vs Houston) - 5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 2 INT, 1 DEF TD
A Look Ahead: @SF @LAC @BUF - These aren’t favorable matchups, but the Dolphins defense is improving and still worth consideration.
Kansas City (vs Los Angeles Rams) - 3 sacks, 2 INT
The numbers don’t tell the full story of domination here, but KC D/ST was still one of the best D/ST plays of the week.
A Look Ahead: @CIN @DEN @HOU - You’ll suffer through whatever you get from the Chiefs D/ST this week to get the upcoming matchups vs Denver and Houston (and Denver again in Week 17)
Washington (vs Atlanta) - 1 sack, 1 INT
Marcus Mariota wasn’t good enough to win but was safe with the ball, and only a deflection interception to save the game kept this from being a complete bust of a D/ST play.
A Look Ahead: @NYG BYE NYG - Daniel Jones hasn’t been as subject to the big gaffe this year and probably isn’t worth targeting right now.
New York Jets (vs Chicago) - 2 sacks, 1 INT
Trevor Siemian didn’t have a lot of success after a hot start for the offense, but it didn’t result in any big plays.
A Look Ahead: @MIN @BUF DET - The Jets D/ST has been pretty consistent at producing sacks and takeaways, but these matchups aren’t very favorable.
Pittsburgh (at Indianapolis) - 3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 1 INT
A Look Ahead: @ATL BAL @CAR - We’ll throw the Steelers back
Denver (at Carolina) - 1 fumble recovery
The Panthers D/ST was the side to be on in this matchup.
A Look Ahead: @BAL KC ARI - So long, Denver.
Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
San Francisco (vs New Orleans) - 1 sack, 2 fumble recoveries, 0 pts allowed
The elusive shutout may be announcing that the 49ers are back an every-week D/ST start, and it certainly puts the Saints on our target list.
Minnesota (vs New England) - 3 sacks, 1 ST TD
Thank Kene Nwangwu for the kickoff return touchdown to make the Vikings D/ST a hit.
Week 13 Candidates
Seattle (at Los Angeles Rams)
We’ll keep targeting the Rams offense until it backfires.
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