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:
New York Giants – at Cleveland
Miami Dolphins – vs San Francisco
Buffalo Bills – vs. Jacksonville
New England Patriots – at New York Jets
Denver Broncos – vs. Kansas City
Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cincinnati
Tennessee Titans – at Chicago
Seattle Seahawks – at Tampa Bay
Pittsburgh Steelers – at Indianapolis
Kansas City Chiefs – at Denver
Detroit Lions – vs Minnesota
Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Green Bay
New Orleans Saints – vs. Los Angeles
Minnesota Vikings – at Detroit
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: