NFL - Fantasy

Top 12 Fantasy Football Defense Rankings for Week 12

Max Staley
Top 12 fantasy football defense rankings for Week 12, including the New England Patriots.
Top 12 fantasy football defense rankings for Week 12, including the New England Patriots. / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

The New England Patriots were the highest-scoring defense of Week 11, recording a whopping 28 points. The next-closest defense was, surprisingly, the Houston Texans, who recorded 16 points. That 12-point difference would've been tied for the fourth-best score of the week, showing just how dominant this Patriots' defense is.

Even against a rock-solid Tennessee Titans' offense, New England is still one of our highest-ranked units of Week 12. If you need help breaking down the rest of the week's matchups, here are our top-12 fantasy football defense rankings for Week 12.

Fantasy Football Defense Rankings Week 12

12. New Orleans Saints (vs BUF)

11. Los Angeles Chargers (at DEN)

10. Cincinnati Bengals (vs PIT)

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (at CIN)

8. Dallas Cowboys (vs LVR)

7. Baltimore Ravens (vs CLE)

The Baltimore Ravens' defense has been underwhelming this season, but they've got a great opportunity in Week 12. The Cleveland Browns' offense has been atrocious recently, scoring fewer than 18 points in six of their last eight games. And the Ravens present real problems for this Browns' offense. With Baker Mayfield and the WR corps being this banged up, Cleveland will need to rely on its running game to compete. But Baltimore allows the second-fewest rushing yards in the league (88.6). That should force Mayfield into plenty of obvious passing situations. And Mayfield does not look ready to take advantage of those opportunities, averaging 124.5 passing yards per game with 3 INTs and 2 TDs over his last two games. If Baltimore can contain Nick Chubb, this game could get ugly fast.

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at IND)

5. Philadelphia Eagles (at NYG)

4. New England Patriots (vs TEN)

After a ho-hum start to the year, the New England Patriots defense has caught fire. Since Week 7, the Patriots are allowing just 10.0 points per game (PPG). New England is also now the highest-scoring defense in fantasy with 121 points on the year, leading the second-place Buffalo Bills by 23. The Tennessee Titans aren't the easiest matchup, but they do turn the ball over at the ninth-highest rate in football. That should be a problem against the Pats, who force turnovers at the third-highest rate in the league.

3. Buffalo Bills (at NO)

2. Chicago Bears (at DET)

1. Carolina Panthers (at MIA)

Seeing the Carolina Panthers top the rankings may come as a surprise, but they're set up to feast this week. Carolina owns the second-best pressure rate in the league (26.6%). The Panthers also have 30 sacks thus far, which is the NFL's third-best mark. That's a matchup nightmare for the Miami Dolphins, who own the league's second-worst pass blocking grade, per ProFootballFocus. Carolina should be able to get home at will in Week 12.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. 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.