Week 12 Fantasy Football DEF/ST Strategy

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Never a good look when two of the top three performances were on your “Week 11 Sits” and the other you made a point to say that they were unlikely to do well again this season…ugh! In my defense (pun semi-intended), I made 11 predictions and got five of them right and 50% is about the best you can hope for when predicting DEF/ST.

So, with those disclosures aside, Week 11 was pretty solid for fantasy defenses. For the 2nd straight week, nine D/ST scored 10+ fantasy points. Plus, we got four D/ST TDs and four defenses with four interceptions. Three of those four defenses were your top-3 D/ST for Week 11, and clearly, I did not see that coming!

Week 11 Top Performances

Atlanta Falcons vs CAR
So, last week when I said Atlanta beating down New Orleans was just a fluke…it still was but that trend may continue. This team is fired up trying to save their coach and you can’t quantify that kind of emotion. The Falcons sacked Kyle Allen five times and picked him off four times. They held the Panthers to just three points, meaning that they kept the best RB in football out of the endzone, and they scored their own TD on a punt return in the 1st quarter. Wild game.

Week 12 Matchup: vs TB
Last week, I told you that you wouldn’t be able to play the ATL defense again this entire season…now I’m telling you that they are streamable for Week 12. I do not like this defense but Jameis gonna Jameis. They are going to allow more points than they did to Carolina, but they may match their four INTs again too.

New Orleans Saints @ TB
The Saints needed a rebound game after their letdown to Atlanta and Jameis giveth…four times. One of those four interceptions was an errant ball that looked like it was meant to be thrown away but Marcus Williams took it back 55 yards for a TD. They also sacked Winston twice and that rounds out the #2 DEF/ST performance for Week 11.

Week 12 Matchup: vs CAR
It’s not like Carolina’s offense is scary but Christian McCaffrey is, so expectations must be tempered. I’m sure New Orleans will be able to sneak into the top-10 this week based on sacks and INTs, but the top-5 might be a stretch.

Cleveland Browns vs PIT
What a game for the Browns. This team looks so undisciplined and so electric at the same time. A bad Steelers offense helped their cause quite a bit on Thursday night too. They sacked Mason Rudolph four times and intercepted him a further four times. They only allowed one Pittsburgh TD on the night and that was late in the 3rd quarter. For 59 minutes and 52 seconds, all was well in C-Town. By now, I’m sure you know what happened in those last eight seconds and as a result, the Browns have lost Myles Garrett for the rest of the season. A crushing end to an otherwise valiant effort by the Browns.

Week 12 Matchup: vs MIA
Hard to trust the Cleveland DEF/ST, especially after losing their best player. But, it’s still the Dolphins so they will be a playable fantasy D/ST. Miami gives up the most fantasy points to DEF this season.

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Week 12 Starts

Pittsburgh Steelers @ CIN
I know, I know, believe me, I know. Pittsburgh let the world down on Thursday night but Cleveland has the tools to have games like that, Cincinnati does not. The Bengals are still hurt everywhere and might be losing Auden Tate now too. It will be Joe Mixon vs the world and that does not bode well for the Bengals’ offense.

Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Chicago Bears vs NYG
Khalil Mack breakout game incoming. The Giants have allowed 22 sacks in their last four games and the Bears are due for a big game after registering no QB sacks vs the Rams. Probably going to see good defense and bad offense on both sides of the ball in this game.

Buffalo Bills vs DEN
Brandon Allen has played relatively well in both of his starts but playing the Bills in Buffalo should be a rude awakening for him. Denver gives up the 9th most points to fantasy defenses and has given up multiple sacks and at least one turnover in each game with Allen at QB.

Stream of the Week

Oakland Raiders @ NYJ
The Raiders are far higher owned than my normal Stream of the Week at 63% but my loophole here is that they were also the Week 11 Stream of the Week and they delivered. If you took advantage of them during their matchup with the Bengals, you get to play them again this week against the Jets. The Raiders have five sacks in each of their last two games and multiple sacks in five of their last six. The Jets give up the most points to fantasy defenses and the 2nd most sacks in the NFL.
Other Streaming Options: TEN, DET, JAX, WAS, NYG

Week 12 Sits

San Francisco 49ers vs GB
The Niners rebounded well in their 2nd game vs Arizona but the Packers are coming off a bye and should come into this game as healthy as they’ve been in a while. Green Bay gives up the 3rd fewest points to D/ST. San Fran’s ROS schedule is brutal for fantasy DEF so you may want to start looking elsewhere.

Los Angeles Rams vs BAL
If you’ve watched Lamar Jackson play lately, there is no explanation needed. You can’t stop him and you can barely hope to contain him. The Ravens give up the 2nd fewest points to fantasy DEF. I honestly don’t know that you will be starting the Rams for the rest of the fantasy season.

Denver Broncos @ BUF
Denver has played well as of late but so has Buffalo and the Bills are at home. While the Bills do give up the 13th most points to D/ST, they have only turned the ball over twice in their last six games and have not thrown an INT in their last five games.

Top DEF/ST Year-to-Date

All Stats and Scores from FantasyData.com, your league scoring may differ. Ranks vs Pass/Run are based on Yards per Game allowed.

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Reader McReadyface says:

How can the Jets and the Dolphins both give up the most points to fantasy Defenses?

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