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Week 12 Rankings (2016): Top 15 Defenses

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 12:18
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by Ray Kuhn

It feels like the NFL season just started, but in fact we are just two weeks away from the fantasy playoffs. This has been one of the more difficult seasons in recent memory, and most leagues will likely go down to the fourth quarter in Week 13 before the playoff bracket is finalized. Every point matters, so let’s take a look at how the defenses rank for this week:

  1. New York Giants – at Cleveland
  2. Miami Dolphins – vs San Francisco
  3. Buffalo Bills – vs. Jacksonville
  4. New England Patriots – at New York Jets
  5. Denver Broncos – vs. Kansas City
  6. Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cincinnati
  7. Tennessee Titans – at Chicago
  8. Seattle Seahawks – at Tampa Bay
  9. Pittsburgh Steelers – at Indianapolis
  10. Kansas City Chiefs – at Denver
  11. Detroit Lions – vs Minnesota
  12. Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Green Bay
  13. New Orleans Saints – vs. Los Angeles
  14. Minnesota Vikings – at Detroit
  15. San Diego Chargers – at Houston


  • Target the backup quarterback and exploit the situation. With Brian Hoyer already sidelined, Jay Cutler is now done for the season with a shoulder injury. That leaves Matt Barkley under center for the Bears who are also without Alshon Jeffrey and Zach Miller. So far the Titans have the 23rd ranked fantasy defense, but this week they will benefit from facing a reeling franchise. Tennessee ranks sixth in the NFL in blitz rate and are in a good position to add to the nine interceptions they have.
  • Another possible streaming option who will be taking advantage of of a backup quarterback is the Steelers. Pittsburgh, as of Tuesday night, is owned in just 37.7% of ESPN leagues but have already seen a 20.3% surge in ownership. As it is the Colts are 22nd in the league against fantasy defenses, and they likely will be without Andrew Luck on a short week.
  • The Saints are the 30th ranked fantasy defense this season, so there aren’t many situations in which they should be recommended (it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they are owned in just 3.7% of ESPN leagues). However New Orleans couldn’t possible have a better match-up as they face the Rams, who are allowing the most points to opposing defenses. Todd Gurley did find the end zone last week, but he still isn’t injecting too much fear into opposing defenses. Jared Goff struggled in his debut and the Saints shouldn’t have any issues dealing with the rookie quarterback.

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 12 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends


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