Top 12 Fantasy Football Defense Rankings for Week 5

Jason Schandl
New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills
New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills / Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Defensive scoring in fantasy football has been huge in the 2019 season, and already there have been six instances of a defense eclipsing 20 fantasy points — scores that can single-handedly turn the tide in a fantasy matchup.

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 5 of the 2019 NFL season.

12. Dallas Cowboys (vs Green Bay Packers)

11. Kansas City Chiefs (vs Indianapolis Colts)

The Kansas City Chiefs' defense might not be an elite unit, but regularly playing with a big lead keeps them in play in fantasy football. They are tied for 14th with 31 fantasy points on the season, which puts them only one point out from being a top-12 scorer at the position. They've been boom-or-bust, with two games of at least 11 fantasy points and two games with five or fewer, and this week they're positioned well for a "boom", favored by 9.5 points on FanDuel Sportsbook as they host the Indianapolis Colts.

10. San Francisco 49ers (vs Cleveland Browns)

9. Carolina Panthers (vs Jacksonville Jaguars)

The Carolina Panthers defense struggled to start the year, but they've been on fire over the last two weeks. They've racked up 20 QB hits in that time, scoring 14 sacks, which has lifted them to 13 and 14 fantasy points in those two outings. The Panthers are home favorites against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 5, and pending Monday Night Football from Week 4, the Jags have allowed opponents the league's 11th highest sack rate.

8. Baltimore Ravens (at Pittsburgh Steelers)

7. Buffalo Bills (at Tennessee Titans)

The Buffalo Bills defense is for real. The New England Patriots had scored a combined 106 points across their first three games of 2019, then the Bills held them to only 16 in Week 4, limiting Tom Brady to a 46.2 percent completion percentage with no touchdowns and one interception. Marcus Mariota is no Brady, and he too has a good chance of throwing his first interception of the season against Buffalo.

6. New Orleans Saints (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

5. Los Angeles Chargers (vs Denver Broncos)

Averaging only 17.5 points per game (sixth worst in the NFL), the Denver Broncos are 6-point underdogs on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers, in a game with a low 43.5-point over/under. The Chargers haven't come close to living up to their preseason hype, but their defense has shown plenty of upside when they get a favorable matchup, having racked up five sacks and an interception against the Miami Dolphins in Week 4.

4. Minnesota Vikings (at New York Giants)

3. Chicago Bears (at Oakland Raiders)

This is only technically a road game for the Chicago Bears, who will travel overseas to London for their meeting with the Oakland Raiders. The Bears have yet to allow more than 15 points in a game, and they sit third in the NFL in sacks and tied for fifth in interceptions. The Raiders' offense hasn't been a total disaster, but they're also not nearly good enough to be a major downgrade for Chicago.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (vs New York Jets)

1. New England Patriots (at Washington Redskins)

The Patriots' defense has produced absurd fantasy numbers so far in 2019. They have 84 points through four games, while the next-highest mark (belonging to the Bears) is only 52. They are once again huge favorites this week (14.5 points), and they can be expected to keep rolling in a great matchup with the Washington Redskins, whose QB situation is in flux after rookie Dwayne Haskins struggled in relief of Case Keenum in Week 4.

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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.