Week 15 Team Defense Rankings & Projection
It was a monster week for defenses and special teams as we had multiple over 15 points and two defenses go into the 20s. Both the Cardinals and Rams hit the 20 fantasy point mark this week while the Chiefs and Bears were next in line. Even Dallas and Denver put up strong fantasy scores. The Colts and Saints were certainly the bigger disappointments given that over 60% of fantasy managers started them this week. Week 15 has the chance to repeat the big scores as a lot of better defenses are in excellent spots. However, there are a few prominent defenses that I will be taking out of my lineups. With us being in the midst of the playoffs a defense can make the difference.
Week 15 Top Options
For those with the Pittsburgh Steelers defense this week, expect a rebound against the Bengals. Cincinnati continues to struggle without Joe Burrow, making defenses an easy target for fantasy. Cincinnati’s offensive line is a real issue and that bodes well for a Steelers team that ranks top-five in sacks this season. The Bengals are bottom five in fantasy points allowed to defenses on the season. Sticking in the AFC North, the Baltimore Ravens are in a great spot against Jacksonville. It will be interesting to see if Gardner Minshew gets the start, given he took over for Mike Glennon in the second half. It doesn’t matter much who starts as the Jaguars offense has been struggling for most of the season. Baltimore’s defense has suffered some injuries but has gotten enough key players back to where they are a solid option.
Seattle did their job this week against the Jets and get Washington this week. Without Antonio Gibson the playmakers are really only Terry McLaurin. The Seahawks defense has capitalized on some good matchups of late which is why the rostered percentage is rather high now. Seattle has a good enough pass rush to break through this line and get pressure on Alex Smith. The Rams are coming off a monster week and now face the Jets. This one is fairly obvious and the Rams pass rush is going to destroy the Jets line. New York was also down two key wide receivers last week. Miami is playing well and even despite giving up 31 to the Chiefs they still scored seven points. New England has been bleeding fantasy points to defenses at times this season, as the offensive line struggles and they lack a passing offense.
The Buffalo Bills (51%) would be the first defense to look at for me. They are available in about half of leagues everywhere and face Denver this week. The Broncos have allowed an average of 8.7 fantasy points per game this season. Drew Lock has been a turnover machine as the Broncos overall have 21 interceptions. Buffalo has a very good secondary and a pass rush that is getting better and better each week. Cleveland Browns (45%) are next in line as they face the Giants. Daniel Jones returned last week as the Giants allowed the Cardinals to hit 20 fantasy points and scored just three points.
Overall the Giants have allowed the 8th most fantasy points per game to defenses. The turnovers are an issue and the offensive line can’t protect Jones. You can go back to the well with the Arizona Cardinals (28%) this week. Jalen Hurts certainly gave the Eagles a spark but I like the athleticism of the Cardinals defense ot be able to negate Hurts’ rushing ability.
Defenses To Avoid
New Orleans is coming off a dreadful performance against the Eagles. Even if Jalen Hurts started they were not prepared to show up. Now they face the Chiefs this week and I doubt we see another three-interception day for Patrick Mahomes. Opposing defenses have averaged 3.2 fantasy points per game against the Chiefs this season. On the flip side of this game, the Chiefs will face a Saints team that has allowed 3.8 fantasy points per game. I wouldn’t trust the Chiefs in what should be a high scoring game. On a week with a lot of matchups more in favor of defenses, you shouldn’t have a tough time going after some of them.
There are a few defenses that look to be in good spots but are so far removed from being even an average defense that you can’t use them. The Chargers are one of them as they continue to struggle. They get Las Vegas who can move the ball and have been moving the ball well this season. Los Angeles just can generate enough fantasy production. The Titans are another one as they face Detroit. The Lions have been playing well offensively despite no Kenny Golladay or D’Andre Swift the last few weeks. Tennessee struggles against the pass and despite playing well against Jacksonville, I would bank on Stafford putting up some decent points.
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