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In week 17, there are a plethora of great defensive options to start in fantasy. After weeks of without being named as the top fantasy defense, the New England Patriots have reasserted themselves as the best unit of the week. However, the San Francisco 49ers have fallen outside of the top ten due to their recent struggles coupled with a tough matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. With the Fantasy Football Super Bowl on the line, it’s paramount for owners to get the boost they need to secure a victory. In order to assist fantasy owners, I have provided my insights and analysis to help you select the best fantasy defense.
New England Patriots
Throughout the entirety of this season, the Patriots defense has been a top-rated defense, which leads the NFL in turnovers and defensive TDs. Over the last two weeks, the Patriots have scored 26 fantasy points, five turnovers, and one defensive TD. This week, they have a favorable matchup against a Miami Dolphins offense, which they scored a whopping 35 fantasy points against in their most recent competition. Even though it’s unlikely that they’ll have another 30+ point outing, they are still likely to continue their dominance against their AFC East rival.
Sean McDermott’s defensive unit is primed to be a terrific option this Sunday. This season, the Bills’ defense has stymied opposing offenses, by holding them to the second-fewest points allowed this year. This week, the Bills will hold a rematch against a New York Jets offense, which they held to a measly eight points in week one. Due to the stellar play of Tre’Davious White and the Bills’ secondary, you can expect them to perform phenomenally well for your fantasy roster.
New Orleans Saints
According to Yahoo Fantasy Football, the New Orleans Saints defense has scored the tenth-most fantasy points this season. Although, they are ranked inside the top three because they have one of the best matchups this week against the Carolina Panthers. Since week 11, the Panthers offense has allowed almost 18 fantasy points, 19 turnovers, and 27 sacks to defenses. Given that the Saints have been an opportunistic defense that ranks in the top three for sacks, and generated 20 turnovers, they have a great opportunity to go off in week 17.
Kansas City Chiefs
Since week 13, the Kansas City Chiefs have scored 10+ fantasy points and held offenses to less than ten points in three of their last four contests. More importantly, the Chiefs held the Broncos and Bears to just three points in their last two games. On Sunday, the Chiefs will have the fortune of competing against a Chargers offense that has given away 29 turnovers this season (tied for the fourth-most). If you’re scouring the waiver wire, looking for a fantasy defense, you still have time to add a Chiefs defense that is owned in less than 43% of fantasy leagues.
Since week 14, the Vikings defense has transformed into a productive unit that is averaging 16 fantasy points per game. Within this same period, they have been a terrific unit that has forced 12 turnovers. This week, the Vikings have a favorable matchup against an inept Chicago Bears offense that is allowing more than 11 fantasy points to defenses. Over their last two contests, the Bears have struggled offensively and scored an average of eight points per game. Therefore, Minnesota has a high likelihood of generating double fantasy points on Sunday.
This season, the Baltimore Ravens have been a stifling unit that ranks in the top five for restricting yardage and points per game. In addition, they have been one of the most opportunistic units in the NFL, forcing a turnover in every game since week four. On Sunday, the Ravens will compete against a Pittsburgh Steelers offense that has surrendered 28 turnovers on the year (sixth-most). While the Ravens have opted to rest many of their key offensive players in week 17, you can best believe that their defense will look to harass Duck Hodges and the entire Steelers offense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Surprisingly, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense has been a fantastic fantasy defense, which is averaging 12.2 fantasy points since week 12. Throughout this season, the Buccaneers defense has forced a turnover in all but one of their contests. This week, they will face an Atlanta Falcons offense, which they generated 16 fantasy points against in week 12. Given that the Falcons offense is an extremely careless unit, which has given away the ball 24 times (tied for ninth-most), you can expect the Bucs to make life difficult for Matt Ryan and the dirty birds.
New York Jets
The success of the Jets’ defense has been one of the most shocking aspects of the 2019-2020 season. In fact, the Jets have been the seventh-best fantasy defense, which has scored six defensive TDs this season. This week, they will compete against a Bills offense that ranks in the bottom-ten concerning points per game. Since this game is likely to be a low scoring affair, both teams are likely to be safe defensive options.
For the first time this season, the Colts have landed on my top fantasy defense list. Last week, the Colts exploded for 29 fantasy points, after they stymied the Panthers offense to a lowly six points and three turnovers. Due to their high volatility in recent weeks, their floor is lower than the rest of the defensive options on this list. Nevertheless, they are worth the risk, given that they were able to hold their own against the Jacksonville Jaguars in their last meeting.
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are the most surprising fantasy defense in week 17. After a rough stretch from weeks 4 through 12, the Packers have rebounded to score 9+ defense-fantasy points in four straight games. More importantly, they have held their last four opponents to less than 16 points, and forced eight impactful turnovers. This Sunday, they will compete against a lifeless Lions offense that hasn’t scored more than 20 points for five weeks in a row. Consequently, Green Bay is worth starting if you’re in desperate need of a fantasy defense.
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