Week 16 Team Defense Rankings & Projection
It was a quiet week at the defense position and there were a lot of let-down games from big defenses. This was certainly not the week to have those down games as the fantasy playoffs are now heading into the championship week. Buffalo and Baltimore both came through in a major way but the Rams and Patriots both fell flat. Jumping into Week 16 there are plenty of enticing matchups. Make sure to check out some of the matchups for higher-owned defenses as there are a few to sit this week.
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Week 16 Top Options
Cleveland is a strong streaming option but the matchup against the Giants had many picking them up for Week 15. They get the Jets, who are no longer winless but still are a struggling offense we like to target defenses against. New York has allowed the 8th most fantasy points to opposing defenses this season. While the Browns have battled injuries in the secondary this season, they should be able to generate a strong pass rush to help in this game. Tampa Bay struggled out of the gates against the Falcons and then turned it on in the second half. Detroit struggles in pass protection and might be without Matthew Stafford who left late again and has dealt with rib injuries for the last few weeks
The Ravens defense is battling a lot of injuries, especially in the secondary. They played great this week against the Jaguars and now get to face the Giants. New York has allowed 41 sacks this season and turned the ball over 20 times, and these are before we head into their Sunday night game. They are allowing the 7th most points per game to defenses this season. Chicago’s defense has been up and down but the upside is there this week. They take on a Jaguars team that might not have James Robinson next week and he has been their offense this season. I prefer Chicago over some of the teams below in the tougher matchups section as the upside is far better for them. Buffalo is in a strong spot this week against the hapless Patriots offense. Overall the Bills defense has been getting stronger as the season goes on and any time you can get the Patriots to have to throw the ball, the game is over.
If any of the above teams are available they will be your top priority to pick up. Looking at some teams less than 50% rostered, the Chiefs (49%) standout as they face another NFC South team this week. They take on the Falcons, and this is a spot where I like the Chiefs to be able to attack a pass-heavy Falcons team, leaving the door open for plenty of sacks and interpretations. The Falcons offensive line has had a very up and down year this season and has allowed 33 sacks. Ryan is also capable of having a multi-interception game.
The Arizona Cardinals (31%) struggled to stop Jalen Hurts this past week and didn’t have a great game but I like them returning this week against a 49ers team that is missing plenty of options on both sides of the ball. The quarterback play from San Francisco has not been good and Raheem Mostert left the game against Dallas with an injury. Arizona should be able to have a decent day on the defensive side and are a deeper league option to consider.
Defenses To Avoid
The Colts defense has been scuffling over the second half of the season and now face a Steelers team that doesn’t give up many points to opposing defenses. They have allowed 11 sacks all year and Ben Roethlisberger is throwing the ball at a quicker rate that makes it tough to get any sort of pressure on him. Indy struggles to get a ton of pressure already and I don’t love the secondary matchups with the Steelers wide receivers. I will be looking at higher upside options over the Colts this week.
While Jared Goff and the Rams looked awful last week against the Jets, they face a Seattle team that has generally struggled against better offenses. Los Angeles matches up well given the receivers can take advantage of a weaker secondary. The question is always which Jared Goff and Sean McVay show up. Overall this defense ranks middle of the road this week. The Patriots take on the Bills this week and likely without Stephon Gilmore. New England isn’t equipped to take on a red-hot Buffalo defense right now.
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