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This week will be brutal for fantasy owners with top defenses like the Patriots, due to their matchup against high-powered offenses. As a result, fantasy owners are rushing to replace their incumbent defensive starters with a quality alternative. The good news is that many defenses are going against teams like the Panthers and Rams, who have struggled profusely in recent weeks. In order to bolster for fantasy lineup by Sunday, you can find the nine best fantasy defenses for week 12.
Steelers vs. Bengals
The Steelers defense is a great fantasy option in week 12 due to their dominance and matchup. This Sunday, Pittsburgh faces a Cincinnati Bengals offense that is scoring the third-fewest points per game this season. To make matters worse, QB Ryan Finley has failed to throw for 200+ yards in either of his two starts this year. Finley’s struggles are likely to continue against a Steelers defense that has been stellar at limiting opponent points in recent weeks and is tied for the second-most defensive touchdowns.
Saints vs. Panthers
The Saints are a top-three fantasy defense against the lackluster Panthers. Kyle Allen and the Panthers have only managed to score 16.3 points per game over their past three games which is the 5th worst in the league. Conversely, the Saints are limiting teams to the 8th fewest points per game since week 8. Moreover, Allen has thrown nine picks in his last four games and fumbled seven times on the season. Therefore, the Saints are primed to be a quality fantasy pick for week 12.
Ravens vs. Rams
Given the Rams’ recent offensive inefficiency, the Baltimore Ravens look to be a safe bet fantasy wise. Since week 7, the Ravens defense has stifled opponents to the 3rd fewest points per game. In addition, Baltimore has ranked in the top ten for most defensive TDs due to the play of their cornerbacks, like Marcus Peters. Jared Goff and the Rams offense has been the 7th worst over the previous three weeks. Furthermore, Goff’s struggles against top defenses like the Bears and Ravens, so expect him to be flustered and rattled this weekend.
Bears vs. Giants
Despite their regression from 2018 to 2019, the Bears‘ defense has limited teams to the fourth fewest points per game this season. In fact, Bears opponents are being limited to an average of 10 points the last two weeks. This week they’re competing against a Giants offense that ranks in the bottom ten in terms of yards and points per game. Rookie QB, Daniel Jones has the most fumbles in the league which is great news for a Bears’ defense that ranks in the top ten when it comes to recovering fumbles.
Bills vs. Broncos
The Buffalo Bills defense have been an elite unit for the entirety of the season. They are currently limiting offenses to the third least points per game this season, and rank in the top ten in terms of sacks. You can expect the Bills to be especially stifling against a Broncos offense that is scoring the sixth lowest points per game this season. In addition the Broncos offense have trouble moving the ball, as they are a bottom ten unit when it comes to generating yards. Therefore, the bills are one of the safest fantasy bets.
49ers vs. Packers
While the Packers offense has been a productive, the Niners defense has been an elite unit in 2019. San Fran presently limits teams to the second fewest points per game and ranks in the top three at limiting total yardage. The 49ers are tied for the most sacks in the NFL, due to the play of their stellar rookie, Nick Bosa. Compared to the last few seasons, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has seen a regression in terms of QBR, and passer rating, so it’s not crazy to start San Francisco’s D/ST in week 12.
Browns vs. Dolphins
For the fourth week in a row, a Miami Dolphins opponent has made the cut list for top 9 defenses. This is because Miami is the second worst scoring unit that is generating the 4th fewest yards per game. Even with the loss of Myles Garrett, Cleveland’s front seven has been formidable, generating the eighth most sacks in the NFL. With Cleveland’s defense stepping up in recent weeks, limiting teams to the fifth least points per game since week 8, you’d be crazy to bench them this Sunday.
Falcons vs. Buccaneers
Picking up the Atlanta Falcons defense would be a great move in week 12. Tampa Bay’s quarterback, Jameis Winston has been a turnover machine this season, throwing 13 interceptions over the past five games. To make matters worse for the former Florida State Seminole signal-caller, he is tied for the second most fumbles in the league (11). Atlanta’s defense has stepped up in recent weeks, holding opponents to the second fewest points per game since week 8. Look for the Falcons defensive line to be extra dominant against a buccaneers offensive line that is allowing the fifth most sacks in the NFL.
Lions vs. Redskins
While the Lions defense has been lackluster for a majority of the season, they are going against a Washington offense that has been horrendous this whole year. The Redskins offense has scored the least points per game, and generated the second least yards per game this year. Even more appealing, Washington’s OL has allowed 4.7 sacks per game since week 8, which is the most in the league. Consequently, the Lions are a safe bet for week 12.
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