Fantasy Defense Rankings Week 15: Who to start, sit at D/ST in fantasy football

No position can be overthought like D/ST, especially when every possible option is at our disposal. As always, matchups are going to dictate potential sleepers and streamers, but start ’em, sit ’em decisions will still be difficult in the first round of the fantasy football playoffs. Our Week 15 fantasy defense rankings are here to help you find the best options.

As always, some highly owned defenses have tough matchups. The struggling Steelers (vs. Titans) continue to drop in ownership numbers, but if you’ve stuck with them and somehow made the playoffs, now’s the time to abandon ship. The Panthers (@ Bills), Ravens (vs. Packers), and Saints (@ Buccaneers) are also virtually unplayable this week (unless Josh Allen’s ankle injury keeps him out against Carolina), though, to be fair, the Saints had one of their best fantasy days of the season against the Bucs last time they played. This game is in Tampa, though, so we’re not nearly as optimistic.

WEEK 15 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide Receiver | Tight end | Kicker

The Rams (@ Seahawks), Chiefs (@ Chargers), and Broncos (vs. Bengals) are also in tough spots, but they’re still startable depending on your other options. The Broncos are usually better at home — and Joe Burrow throws his fair share of INTs — and we know the Rams have the talent to produce against anyone. The Chiefs are also as hot as any D/ST in the NFL right now, so there are plenty of reasons to like these teams despite their opponents. The Patriots (@ Colts) also have a tough matchup on paper, but we’re not worried about them against mistake-prone Carson Wentz.

WEEK 15 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide Receiver | Tight end | Kicker

If you need/want a sleeper, the top matchups go to the Dolphins (vs. Jets), Eagles (vs. Washington), 49ers (vs. Falcons), Vikings (@ Bears), and Bengals (@ Broncos). With the exception of the Dolphins, none feel like sure things, but the numbers are at least in their favor. The Eagles were struggling prior to their bye, but perhaps getting a rest will help. The 49ers, Vikings, and Bengals tend to give up big plays, so they’re more of the “boom-or-bust” variety. Chances are, you can find a safer option, but if you’re a big underdog and want to go all-in on a high-ceiling team, then you can try your luck with San Francisco, Minnesota, or Cincinnati. 

If you really want to take a chance, you could try either the Jaguars or Texans. The two defensively challenged teams play each other, and it’s entirely possible the defensive deficiencies of each team are outweighed by their offensive issues. Both teams rank in the top three in defensive fantasy points allowed to D/STs. We usually recommend playing the matchups, but we can’t bring ourselves to put these teams in the top 15. However, they have just as good of a chance to “boom” as the sleepers we listed above.

It’s to ever really feel confident about most D/STs going into a week. Anything can happen, and a lucky bounce or two could be the difference in a top-five outing and a disappointing performance. We’ll make sure to watch the injury report closer to game day, as some key offensive line or defensive injuries can turn busts into sleepers and sleepers into busts in a hurry.

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 15: Who to start, sit at D/ST in fantasy football

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