Week 3 NFL Defense (DEF) Fantasy Football Rankings: Stats & Projections

New England was far and away the best fantasy football defense this week, which against Miami you stand a pretty good chance of being the top scoring defense. Outside of them, it was a pretty lackluster defensive week. Green Bay returned some value at home against Minnesota. Kansas City and Houston also provided strong numbers. Baltimore, Buffalo, Denver, and Dallas all were disappointing given their opponents and projected fantasy points this week. Looking ahead at Week 3, we have some returning teams to the top of the list, but also some noteworthy defenses that are in tough spots. You can find our season long rankings here.

Week 3 Team Defense Rankings, Stats, Projection

Rank Team Week 3 Opponent Yards Per Game Allowed Points Per Game Allowed Sacks Per Game Takeaways Per Game Week 3 Fantasy Projection
1 New England NYJ 308.0 3.0 1.0 1.0 11.9
2 Chicago @WAS 213.0 10.0 5.0 0.0 10.2
3 Buffalo CIN 223.0 16.0 4.0 1.0 10.0
4 Minnesota OAK 345.0 12.0 4.0 3.0 9.9
5 Dallas MIA 470.0 17.0 1.0 2.0 9.8
6 Tennessee @JAX 346.0 13.0 5.0 3.0 9.2
7 Houston LAC 510.0 30.0 1.0 1.0 8.8
8 Seattle NO 429.0 20.0 5.0 3.0 8.8
9 Jacksonville TEN 491.0 40.0 0.0 0.0 8.8
10 LA Chargers @HOU 376.0 24.0 2.0 0.0 8.0
11 LA Rams @CLE 343.0 27.0 3.0 3.0 8.0
12 Philadelphia DET 398.0 27.0 1.0 0.0 8.0
13 Indianapolis ATL 435.0 30.0 4.0 2.0 7.8
14 Pittsburgh @SF 465.0 33.0 1.0 0.0 7.8
15 Carolina @ARI 349.0 30.0 1.0 1.0 7.7
16 Green Bay DEN 254.0 3.0 5.0 1.0 7.7
17 Tampa Bay NYG 256.0 31.0 1.0 2.0 7.7
18 Baltimore @KC 200.0 10.0 3.0 3.0 7.6
19 Kansas City BAL 428.0 26.0 1.0 2.0 7.6
20 Denver @GB 357.0 24.0 0.0 0.0 7.6
21 NY Giants @TB 494.0 35.0 0.0 0.0 7.5
22 Washington CHI 436.0 32.0 1.0 0.0 7.5
23 Atlanta @IND 269.0 28.0 1.0 0.0 7.4
24 Cincinnati @BUF 233.0 21.0 4.0 1.0 7.2
25 San Francisco PIT 295.0 17.0 3.0 4.0 7.2
26 Arizona CAR 477.0 27.0 3.0 2.0 7.1
27 Detroit @PHI 387.0 27.0 5.0 1.0 7.0
28 New Orleans @SEA 414.0 28.0 6.0 1.0 7.0
29 Cleveland LAR 339.0 43.0 4.0 0.0 6.5
30 NY Jets @NE 370.0 17.0 1.0 4.0 6.3
31 Oakland @MIN 344.0 16.0 3.0 0.0 6.2
32 Miami DAL 643.0 59.0 1.0 0.0 5.1

Week 3 Top Options

New England PatriotsGiven the Patriots have the softest schedule in the league this season, and face the Jets and Dolphins twice a year, this is going to be a top ranked defense most weeks. They crushed Miami and also brought in two defensive touchdowns. New England will get another soft divisional matchup, this time at home. The Jets are without Sam Darnold, and Le’Veon Bell has been banged up as well. Overall this offense wasn’t scaring anyone anyway, but now without two key starters, this is easy picking. The Patriots should return to the top of the table this week when all is said and done. The Bears disappointed last week, but are in a good bounce back spot this week. They get Washington on the road, and will face another offense that has a lack of playmaking options. Chicago continues to get pressure on the quarterback as well.

I expected more from the Bills against the Giants, but they will welcome Cincinnati this week. The Bengals only source of offense has come through the air, which Buffalo has one of the top secondaries in football. The Bengals are also struggling to get the run going and this offensive line wasn’t in good shape heading into the year. The front seven should also be able to get pressure on the quarterback and slow down a backfield that has yet to get going. Minnesota struggled on the road against the Packers, which could have been expected. They welcome Oakland this week, who project to be one of the lower scoring teams in football. Both Minnesota and Dallas are in terrific bounce back spots and are easy starts at home against bottom five teams.

Seattle could jump to a top ten defense this week if Drew Brees is out. He left Week 2’s game early, and did not return. Seattle’s defense has been better at home, and the Saints offense struggled once Brees left the game. While this group isn’t quite the same from a few seasons ago, they should be able to capitalize on a Brees-less offense. If Brees ends up playing, Seattle would be knocked down a few pegs.

Streaming Options

Green Bay PackersHouston is around the 50-60% owned mark right now, and are in a good spot once again this week at home. They get a Chargers offense that struggled to get anything going last week in Detroit. A big part of this was a hindered Mike Williams, an absent Hunter Henry, and a battered offensive line. That will continue into Week 3 against Houston. The Titans will be on the road this week, and are around the same ownership mark as Houston. Tennessee struggled against Indy a bit, which was to be expected given they don’t allow a ton of fantasy points to opposing defenses. The Jaguars certainly do, and with a backup quarterback that has nothing to offer but getting Twitter riled up, I would expect the Titans to do well.

If you are looking for more bottom of the barrel ownership percentages, Dallas struggled last week, but get Miami at home this week. The Dolphins allowed seven sacks, four interceptions, and two touchdowns in Week 2 to New England. Dallas struggled defensively against Washington, but this is a great spot to stream. Pittsburgh would be the other flyer worth taking, as they are around 20 owned. They travel to San Francisco this week, who have put up over 70 points in the first two games. That is a bit more on the teams they have faced. Pittsburgh has struggled allowing points, but once again that is a bit more on the teams they have faced. The Packers defense has looked legit over the past two weeks, and are less than 10% owned. They welcome Denver, who has an offense moving about two yards at a time. Green Bay is one of the top streaming defenses for this week.

Top Defenses To Sit This Week

Baltimore RavensThe Chiefs-Ravens game is one that I am staying away from for defenses. Dating back to last season, they are allowing less than six fantasy points per game to opposing defenses. Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes are both off to strong starts, and points should follow. While there might be some sacks and turnovers, it likely won’t be enough to overtake the amount of points each team gives up. New Orleans is a team that gets Seattle on the road, and opposing defenses averaged 5.5 fantasy points per game against the Seahawks last season. I would look for a streaming defense in this spot, hard to see the New Orleans defense putting up fantasy points. Cleveland is on the primetime game, and get the Rams. Pretty easy call to not start defenses against the Rams. Defenses scored the 5th fewest fantasy points against them last season.

Jason Guilbault has been writing and podcasting in the fantasy sports world for over five years. You can find his work at Daily Fantasy Cafe. He is an avid Tottenham fan, and follows the Boston sports teams. When he isn’t diving into stats, he is enjoying the outdoors or down at the local brewery.

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