Defensive scoring is way up in the 2019 fantasy football season. Through just 10 games, the New England Patriots have already scored 184 fantasy points, which is just three fewer than the league-leading 187 scored by the Chicago Bears in 2018. The San Francisco 49ers' 138 are also just 12 shy of last year's second-best mark of 150, and there are three defenses averaging double-digit fantasy points per game, up from one in 2018.
Defensive production can be volatile though, and the top unit for a given week can depend heavily on the matchups each defense draws. With that in mind, here are our top 12 fantasy football defenses for Week 12 of the 2019 NFL season.
Week 12 Defense Rankings
12. Baltimore Ravens (at Los Angeles Rams)
The Baltimore Ravens defense just scored 15 fantasy points against MVP candidate Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans. They also scored 13 against Tom Brady in Week 9 and 18 against Russell Wilson in Week 7. The Ravens are 3.5-point favorites on the road against the Los Angeles Rams, per FanDuel Sportsbook, but their recent run of success still makes them a solid play here.
11. Philadelphia Eagles vs. Seattle Seahawks
10. Oakland Raiders at New York Jets
Another defense that has really picked things up recently, the Oakland Raiders' two highest fantasy scores of the season (13 and 17 points) have come in the last two weeks. They have 10 sacks and four interceptions in those two games, compared to 15 sacks and four interceptions in their first eight. They get another favorable matchup in Week 12 as well, as the New York Jets have allowed the league's most fantasy points per game to opposing defenses.
9. Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins
8. Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts
7. Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
6. San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers
The San Francisco 49ers get a significant downgrade this week against the Green Bay Packers. They're second only to the New England Patriots in fantasy points per game on the year, but Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have been one of the worst matchups for fantasy defenses in 2019, not giving up a single double-digit fantasy score. The 49ers are still a fine option for Week 12, but they're not the must-start play they usually are.
5. New England Patriots vs. Dallas Cowboys
4. Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants
3. Cleveland Browns vs. Miami Dolphins
This may seem like a high ranking for a Cleveland Browns defense that ranks 22nd in fantasy points per game (6.3) on the season, but that's the impact a matchup with the Miami Dolphins has. They're giving up the second-most fantasy points per game to the position, and if "defense against Miami" was a single unit, it would rank third in fantasy scoring on the year. The Browns scored a season-high 16 fantasy points in Week 11, and they should have no trouble building on that success.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
1. Buffalo Bills vs. Denver Broncos
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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 their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.