The Duel

Top 12 Fantasy Football Defense Rankings for Week 3

Jason Schandl
New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys / Tom Pennington/Getty Images

We just saw the New England Patriots' defense post the highest standard-scoring fantasy total of any player in Sunday's NFL Week 2 slate of games with 37 points, which further highlights just how important a defense can be in fantasy.

You're not always going to find a defense that can single-handedly swing a fantasy matchup, but it's important not to overlook a position that could prove to the deciding factor in any given matchup. With that in mind, here's a look at our 12 top fantasy football defenses for Week 3 of the 2019 NFL season.

12. Carolina Panthers (@ Arizona Cardinals)

11. Kansas City Chiefs (vs Baltimore Ravens)

Just like what we saw in 2018, the Kansas City Chiefs continue to showcase that a defense doesn't need to be especially good in real football to be good in fantasy football. The Chiefs' defense is tied for 10th in the league with 16 total fantasy points through two games in 2019, and that comes after finishing tied for fifth in 2018. The Baltimore Ravens' offense doesn't make for a great matchup in Week 3, but FanDuel Sportsbook still has KC favored by 6.5 points at home, and forcing their opponents to go pass-heavy while playing with a lead is what normally carries the Chiefs' value. Their floor is low, especially in a game with a 55.5-point total, but their upside keeps them in play as a solid boom-or-bust option.

10. Tennessee Titans (@ Jacksonville Jaguars)

9. Seattle Seahawks (vs New Orleans Saints)

8. Philadelphia Eagles (vs Detroit Lions)

7. San Francisco 49ers (vs Pittsburgh Steelers)

6. Green Bay Packers (vs Denver Broncos)

Pending Monday night's game, there have been 15 instances of a defense scoring double-digit fantasy points so far in 2019. The Green Bay Packers are one of only two teams to have two such performances, having dropped 14 points in Week 1 and 10 points in Week 2. Things don't get much tougher for them in Week 3 against the Denver Broncos' offense either, who have already allowed an above-average five sacks through two games. This matchup has a low 43.5-point betting total, and the Broncos shouldn't be expected to do much scoring as 7.5-point underdogs on the road. The Green Bay pass rush has been deadly so far, tied for second with 17 QB hits, and their 15 pass breakups and 3.9 percent interception rate both rank sixth in the league.

5. Buffalo Bills (vs Cincinnati Bengals)

4. Minnesota Vikings (vs Oakland Raiders)

3. New England Patriots (vs New York Jets)

We can't expect a repeat 37-point performance out of the New England Patriots' defense, but they impressed with 10 fantasy points in Week 1 as well. The Pats also draw another great matchup in Week 3 against an injured New York Jets' roster. Likely to still be playing without starting QB Sam Darnold next Sunday, the New York Jets are 17.5-point underdogs on the road against New England. That should translate to plenty of obvious passing situations, giving the New England defense more opportunities for sacks and interceptions.

2. Chicago Bears (vs Washington Redskins)

1. Dallas Cowboys (vs Miami Dolphins)

The Miami Dolphins just gave up one of the highest single-week fantasy scores a defense has ever posted to the New England Patriots in Week 2, and any opposing defense should be considered a must-start against Miami at this point. The Dallas Cowboys' defense hasn't done much in fantasy football so far in 2019, but as absurd 21-point favorites over Miami in Week 2, they should have no trouble joining the list of defenses to beat up on the Dolphins.

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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.