As the fantasy regular season comes to an end, I wanted to first congratulate those who made the playoffs. Secondly, I want to take a look at 2 fantasy DEF/ST I’ve talked a lot about this season for very different reasons: the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots. The Jaguars owned the fantasy defense landscape in 2017. They took over the season lead in Week 5 and never gave it back again. They led the league in sacks, fumble recoveries, fewest points allowed, and DEF/ST touchdowns. They were second in interceptions. They beat 2nd place by a point per game and nearly doubled the output of the #12 fantasy defense, the New England Patriots.
It basically felt like the Patriots played 2 seasons in 2017. They were awful to start the year and spent the first 5 weeks as the #32 fantasy defense, dead last in the entire league. I repeatedly complained about how high their ownership % remained and called for you all to cut them. Then, they flipped a switch. From Week 7 on, they allowed fewer than 10 points per game on average and strung together 5 consecutive top 12 fantasy weeks from Week 9 to now. They crawled from the cellar all the way to the top 12.
It was a crazy regular season from top to bottom on fantasy defense so let’s see who dominated Week 13 and who is going to help you win that #FootClanTitle.
Week 13 Top Performances
Miami Dolphins: vs DEN
What a game for the Dolphins. They harassed Trevor Siemian all game long to the tune of 3 sacks and 3 interceptions including one they took back for a pick 6. They also added not 1 but safeties in the game, something that does not happen very often. Those 2 safeties immediately put the Dolphins in a tie for the season lead in the category. The Broncos offense only managed an FG in this game and Miami finds themselves as the top fantasy defense in Week 13.
Week 14 Matchup: vs NE
Even without Gronk, there is no way you’re starting the Dolphins against the Patriots in the fantasy playoffs.
Dallas Cowboys: vs WAS
This was a big surprise. The Cowboys went from looking dead in the water to a legit playoff contender real quick on Thursday. They sacked Kirk Cousins 4 times and forced 4 turnovers. Rookie kick returner Ryan Switzer took a punt to the house late in the 2nd quarter to help this effort. They held the Redskins to just 14 points and put themselves back into relevance for the NFL playoffs.
Week 14 Matchup: @ NYG
Not sure who will be starting at QB for the Giants but after letting their coach and GM go, this team is in flux. You can probably do better than the Cowboys this week but if the waiver wire is bare, they aren’t the worst streaming option.
Los Angeles Rams: @ ARI
After seeing a game with 2 safeties, we should’ve been ready for the unexpected and the Rams delivered with 2 blocked kicks against the Cardinals. They sacked Blaine Gabbert 6 times and had one of the more athletic picks 6’s that I’ve seen on Alec Ogletree‘s leaping interception. That was one of two picks thrown by Gabbert as the Rams finish in the fantasy top 3.
Week 14 Matchup: vs PHI
Even after a dud against Seattle, I’m still not ready to tell you to start a DEF/ST against Carson Wentz and Co. I think this will be the highest scoring game of the week and will be telling you to avoid both of these defenses in Week 14.
Week 14 Starts
New England Patriots: @ MIA
New England should make it 6 weeks in a row as a top fantasy performer after this week. The Patriots have been as solid as can be as of late and the Dolphins offense has been less than spectacular. They are giving up 3 sacks and 3 turnovers per game over their last 3 games.
Cincinnati Bengals: vs CHI
This Bears offense is the worst in the league when it comes to total yards and the Bengals should be able to make Mitch Trubisky miserable. I expect a lot of QB pressure and almost no points out of the Bears.
Los Angeles Chargers: vs WAS
The Chargers are red hot right now with 4 consecutive top 12 finishes and the Redskins have given up back-to-back top 3 weeks to fantasy defenses. Kirk Cousins could be in for a long day with the way Joey Bosa and this Los Angeles front 7 have been harassing QBs.
Stream of the Week
Buffalo Bills: vs IND
The Bills defense has been a roller coaster this year. They started the season with 4 top 12 finishes their first 8 games but have only had 1 since then. They held their own against the Patriots last week and get a great matchup with the Colts in Week 14. Indy gives up the 3rd most points to fantasy defenses and the Bills are available in 85% of leagues.
Week 14 Sits
Baltimore Ravens: @ PIT
If you’re good enough to be playing in Week 14, you’re good enough to know not to mess with the Steelers at home. Pittsburgh hasn’t given up a top 12 performance since Week 5. Bench the Ravens.
Carolina Panthers: vs MIN
Minnesota and Case Keenum hasn’t allowed a top 12 fantasy defense output since Week 4. This offense is doing big things with Keenum at the helm and the Panthers are coming off being smacked by the Saints.
Philadelphia Eagles: @ LAR
All season I’ve been saying to avoid Jared Goff and this high scoring Rams offense and that will not change here. The Eagles allowed a ton of points to the Seahawks last week and do not find themselves in a favorable matchup for their 2nd consecutive West Coast tilt.
Top DEF/ST Year-to-Date
The table is arranged by YTD fantasy points but all categories are sortable. Also, I have ranked teams on a Yards-per-Game basis in Passing/Rushing.
|Team||Fantasy Points||Weeks in Top 12||Points Allowed||Sacks||Int||Fum Rec||Def/Ret TD||Safety||Blocked Kick||Rank vs Pass||Rank vs Run|