Defensive scoring in fantasy football has been huge in the 2019 season, and already, there have been 12 instances of a defense eclipsing 20 fantasy points. Additionally, both the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers defenses rank in the top 35 across all positions in standard scoring fantasy points per game.
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 8 of the 2019 NFL season. If you're looking for rankings at other positions, be sure to also check out our full Week 8 fantasy football PPR rankings.
12. Seattle Seahawks (at Atlanta Falcons)
The Atlanta Falcons have allowed the NFL's 10th-most sacks (19) on the season, and their offense could be in a lot of trouble with Matt Ryan banged up heading into Week 8. The Seattle Seahawks haven't hit double-digit fantasy points since Week 4, but with a pair of 12-plus fantasy point games under their belt, they have the upside to take advantage of this matchup.
11. Tennessee Titans (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
10. Houston Texans (vs Oakland Raiders)
9. Indianapolis Colts (vs Denver Broncos)
8. Detroit Lions (vs New York Giants)
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (vs New York Jets)
6. Chicago Bears (vs Los Angeles Chargers)
5. San Francisco 49ers (vs Carolina Panthers)
The San Francisco 49ers' defense has been incredible this season, ranking second in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA rankings (behind only the New England Patriots) before shutting out the Washington Redskins in Week 7. As 5.5-point favorites in a game with a 40.5-point over/under on FanDuel Sportsbook, we can expect them to continue to dominate this weekend.
4. Los Angeles Rams (vs Cincinnati Bengals)
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (vs Miami Dolphins)
At this point in the season it shouldn't surprise you to see a matchup with the Miami Dolphins elevate a defense to the top of the standings for the week, as any D can be a top unit against Miami. The Pittsburgh Steelers have been no slouches on their own either, with at least 11 fantasy points in each of their last four games.
2. New England Patriots (vs Cleveland Browns)
1. Minnesota Vikings (vs Washington Redskins)
The Minnesota Vikings are the biggest favorites on the slate (14 points) and as mentioned above, Washington just got shut out last week. The Vikes' defense is tied for ninth in the NFL with 19 sacks, and playing with a big lead should let them get after the quarterback often in Week 8.
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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.