Top 12 Fantasy Football Defense Rankings for Week 17

Devin McCourty celebrates after a play against the Chiefs.
Devin McCourty celebrates after a play against the Chiefs. / Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

Defensive production can be volatile on a weekly basis in fantasy football, 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 17 of the 2019 NFL season.

12. Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans

11. Baltimore Ravens vs Pittsburgh Steelers

10. Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

9. San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

Usually a top unit, the San Francisco 49ers get a significant downgrade in this spot. This "Sunday Night Football" matchup comes with high stakes — the NFC West crown and possibly a first-round bye are both on the line — and it's likely to be a close game. The Seattle Seahawks scored 27 points the last time they played the 49ers back in Week 10, and San Francisco's defense has cooled off recently, averaging only 3.3 fantasy points per game over their last four contests.

8. Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets

7. Los Angeles Rams vs Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals have allowed the NFL's fifth-most sacks through 16 weeks, and not many teams get after the QB as well as the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams have recorded a pressure (knockdown, hurry or sack) on 29.1 percent of their opponents' dropbacks, which is the second-highest rate in the NFL. Kyler Murray also isn't a lock to play in this one after going down with a hamstring injury in Week 16, which could make the matchup even sweeter.

6. Kansas City Chiefs vs Los Angeles Chargers

5. New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

The New Orleans Saints defense tends to be boom-or-bust for fantasy production, but it's hard to over-look their upside. They have notched at least 16 fantasy points twice in their last six games, and a matchup with the Carolina Panthers positions them well to show off that ceiling again in Week 17. Will Grier just got sacked five times and threw three interceptions (with no TDs) in his NFL debut last week, and the rookie looks like someone well worth picking on with fantasy defenses.

4. Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions

3. Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears

2. Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Redskins

1. New England Patriots vs Miami Dolphins

It's fitting that the NFL regular season ends the way it started — with the New England Patriots' defense poised for a huge game, and the Miami Dolphins' offense ready to get dominated. The Dolphins have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing defenses, and the New England D leads the NFL by a big margin with 14.8 fantasy points per game. FanDuel Sportsbook has the Patriots favored by 16.5 points, and they're a no-brainer pick as the top defense for Week 17.

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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.