Top 12 Fantasy Football Defense Rankings for Week 1

Week 1 fantasy football defense rankings.
Week 1 fantasy football defense rankings. / Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The defense position is a unique one in fantasy football, with weekly matchups mattering more than you'll find for the rest of your starting lineup.

That means that even in Week 1 you really can't just rely on how highly you drafted a defense to determine which one you should start.

With that in mind, here are the top-12 fantasy football defenses for Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season.

Week 1 Defense Rankings

12. Tennessee Titans (at DEN)

11. Los Angeles Chargers (at CIN)

10. Denver Broncos (vs TEN)

9. Minnesota Vikings (vs GB)

8. Kansas City Chiefs (vs HOU)

The Kansas City Chiefs are Week 1's biggest favorites on FanDuel Sportsbook (-9.5 point spread), and that gives their defense some big upside. Playing with a big lead forces an opponent into obvious passing situations, where sacks and turnovers are more likely. The Houston Texans gave up the NFL's sixth highest sack rate in 2019, and the Chiefs shouldn't have too much trouble getting to Deshaun Watson this week.

7. Indianapolis Colts (at JAX)

6. San Francisco 49ers (vs ARI)

Week 1 isn't a fun spot if you spent a high draft pick on the San Francisco 49ers' defense. They're still a solid starting option, but playing against an Arizona Cardinals' offense that loaded up with one of the game's best wide receivers this offseason means it could be a slow start to the year for the Niners' defense.

5. Philadelphia Eagles (at WAS)

4. Baltimore Ravens (vs CLE)

3. New England Patriots (vs MIA)

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (at NYG)

1. Buffalo Bills (vs NYJ)

The Buffalo Bills' defense has ranked in the top seven in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA metric in each of the last two seasons, and even the loss of Shaq Lawson shouldn't cause too much concern. They get a terrific matchup to open the season, as the New York Jets are already dealing with a ton of injures at the wide receiver position, while Sam Darnold threw an average of 1.0 interceptions per game in 2019.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.