Fantasy Defense Rankings Week 14: Who to start, sit at D/ST in fantasy football

If there’s one thing fantasy football owners don’t need the week before the fantasy playoffs, it’s four good D/STs on bye. Our Week 14 fantasy defense rankings are definitely feeling the losses of the Patriots, Colts, Dolphins, and Eagles, and they’re further weakened by some of the tough matchups for highly owned defenses. That opens the door for several legit sleepers and waiver wire streamers, but it’s still a tough week overall.

First, let’s look at the unfavorable matchups. The Rams (@ Cardinals), Cardinals (vs. Rams), Buccaneers (vs. Bills), and Bills (@ Buccaneers) are in a little group of death, at least for fantasy owners. The Rams and Bills have had some turnover issues lately, so the Cardinals and Bucs are still very much in play, but it’s reasonable to expect fewer points than usual. The Steelers (@ Vikings) and Ravens (@ Browns) are also in relatively tough spots on the road, at least according to the matchup stats. Given some of their recent struggles, it’s reasonable to keep them on the bench, but we all know both defenses have big-play potential. 

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | Kicker

The Packers (vs. Bears), Panthers (vs. Falcons), Titans (vs. Jaguars), Broncos (vs. Lions), Saints (@ Jets), Seahawks (@ Texans), and Chargers (vs. Giants) are all under 50-percent owned in Yahoo leagues, and all have starting potential this week. The matchup numbers all say “yes” even if the season-long numbers say “no” for some of those defenses.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | Kicker

The decision to trust one of these defenses or stick with your usual starting unit comes down to whether you think you’ll need big points or just a solid floor. A team like the Seahawks or Chargers could easily bust despite the favorable matchups, while the Rams and Bills will almost certainly get some sacks and a turnover or two. We generally recommend playing the matchups, but clearly this is the type of week that will put that strategy to the ultimate test. 

As tough of a week as this shapes up to be, it’s good to know there are options. Big plays will ultimately rule the day, so evaluate your team needs and available D/STs and go from there. 

Note: We’ll be updating these D/ST rankings throughout the week, so check back for the latest analysis and player movement.

Fantasy Defense Rankings Week 14: Who to start, sit at D/ST in fantasy football

Rank Player
1 Green Bay Packers vs. CHI
2 Carolina Panthers vs. ATL
3 Dallas Cowboys @ WAS
4 Tennessee Titans vs. JAX
5 Denver Broncos vs. DET
6 New Orleans Saints @ NYJ
7 Arizona Cardinals vs. LAR
8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. BUF
9 Seattle Seahawks @ HOU
10 Buffalo Bills @ TB
11 Los Angeles Rams @ ARI
12 Los Angeles Chargers vs. NYG
13 Minnesota Vikings vs. PIT
14 Kansas City Chiefs vs. LV
15 Cleveland Browns vs. BAL
16 Baltimore Ravens @ CLE
17 Pittsburgh Steelers @ MIN
18 Las Vegas Raiders @ KC
19 Atlanta Falcons @ CAR
20 New York Jets vs. NO
21 San Francisco 49ers @ CIN
22 New York Giants @ LAC
23 Cincinnati Bengals vs. SF
24 Detroit Lions @ DEN
25 Chicago Bears @ GB
26 Washington Football Team vs. DAL
27 Jacksonville Jaguars @ TEN
28 Houston Texans vs. SEA

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