Top 12 Fantasy Football Defense Rankings for Week 9

Jason Schandl
Carolina Panthers v San Francisco 49ers
Carolina Panthers v San Francisco 49ers / Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Defensive scoring in fantasy football has been huge in the 2019 season, and there have already 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 9 PPR fantasy football rankings.

12. Chicago Bears (at Philadelphia Eagles)

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (vs Indianapolis Colts)

With the Pittsburgh Steelers' "Monday Night Football" matchup against the Miami Dolphins still to go, they're already fourth in the NFL with 10.3 fantasy points per game. They notched double-digit fantasy points in four straight games heading into their Week 7 bye, and have only posted fewer than seven fantasy points in one game. The Indianapolis Colts don't make for an especially easy matchup in Week 9, but the Steelers' consistency keeps them firmly in play in a top-heavy week for fantasy defense options.

10. Denver Broncos (vs Cleveland Browns)

9. Green Bay Packers (at Los Angeles Chargers)

8. Seattle Seahawks (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense has plenty of potential, but they also leave defenses with big fantasy upside as well. The Bucs have allowed the NFL's fourth-highest sack rate (9.6 percent) on the year, and they're one of only four teams ending at least 18 percent of their drives with a turnover. The Seattle Seahawks haven't rushed the passer well in 2019, but they do rank sixth in takeaway rate (15.5 percent), putting them in a good spot to take advantage of what is quietly a great fantasy matchup.

7. Carolina Panthers (vs Tennessee Titans)

6. Philadelphia Eagles (vs Chicago Bears)

5. New York Jets (at Miami Dolphins)

4. New England Patriots (at Baltimore Ravens)

The New England Patriots have already scored more fantasy points in 2019 (169) than all but one team did in the entire 2018 season, and they've only played half of their regular-season games. Their production is absurd and historically great, but this should prove the toughest matchup they've faced all year by far. The Baltimore Ravens are averaging the NFL's second-most points and second-most yards per game. There are a few strong defenses that do draw great matchups this week, so while the Patriots are still a great play, they're not the week's best option, despite their insane production.

3. Dallas Cowboys (vs New York Giants)

2. San Francisco 49ers (at Arizona Cardinals)

The Patriots have overshadowed the San Francisco 49ers' defense, but don't sleep on what the Niners are doing. Their 14.6 fantasy points per game crush 2018's first-place mark by a defense (Chicago Bears) of 11.9 points per game, and there hasn't been a single team with an average that high for a full season since 2010. The 49ers have recorded either a hurry, QB knockdown or sack on 29.7 percent of their opponents' dropbacks this season, which is 2.0 percentage points higher than any other defense, and the Arizona Cardinals have allowed the NFL's fifth-most sacks per game. This is a terrific spot for an elite fantasy defense.

1. Buffalo Bills (vs Washington Redskins)

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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.