Defenses are sometimes left as an afterthought in fantasy football, but Week 12 served as another reminder as to just how important they can be. Anyone who got a whopping 28 points out of the Atlanta Falcons defense can attest to that.
With that in mind, here are our fantasy football defense rankings for Week 13.
12. New Orleans Saints (at ATL)
11. Indianapolis Colts (at HOU)
10. Chicago Bears (vs DET)
9. Los Angeles Chargers (vs NE)
8. Baltimore Ravens (vs DAL)
7. Green Bay Packers (vs PHI)
6. Minnesota Vikings (vs JAX)
The Minnesota Vikings defense hasn't been especially reliable this season, though two of their best fantasy outings of the season have come in the last four weeks. This is also the best matchup they've had all year. The Jacksonville Jaguars are 9.5-point road underdogs, and whether it's Mike Glennon, Jake Luton or Gardner Minshew under center, they're likely to struggle against a Minnesota D that ranks a surprisingly strong 11th in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA metric.
5. Las Vegas Raiders (at NYJ)
Sure, the Las Vegas Raiders just got beat up on in Week 12, but this is the perfect spot for a bounce-back. The New York Jets have allowed at least 7 fantasy points to opposing defenses on eight occasions this season, including at least 14 points on four occasions. This matchup is enough to make even an underwhelming Raiders D (bottom-five in sacks, T-22nd in takeaways) a strong streaming option this week.
4. Seattle Seahawks (vs NYG)
3. Kansas City Chiefs (vs DEN)
2. Miami Dolphins (vs CIN)
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (vs WAS)
This one's a bit of a no-brainer. The Pittsburgh Steelers' 11.0 fantasy points per game are a full 1.0 more than any other defense has averaged this season. They lead the NFL in both interceptions (15) and sacks (38), and their 101 QB hits are 18 more than any other team has racked up. As 10-point favorites, that absurd pass rush should have no shortage of opportunities to create havoc.
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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.