Defenses are sometimes left as an afterthought in fantasy football, but Week 14 served as another reminder as to just how important they can be. Anyone who got a whopping 23 points out of the Washington Football Team's D/ST can attest to that.
And starting the right defense is more important than ever now that most leagues are in the semifinals of the fantasy football playoffs. With that in mind, here are our fantasy football defense rankings for Week 15.
12. New York Giants (vs CLE)
11. Washington Football Team (vs SEA)
10. Seattle Seahawks (at WAS)
Don't look now, but the Seattle Seahawks' defense has quietly turned it around. Pete Carroll's group hasn't surrendered more than 23 points in a single game since Week 9, allowing 16.2 points per game (PPG) during that five-game stretch. Even if Alex Smith is able to get back under center for this one, the Washington Football Team isn't exactly an imposing opponent. Plus, the potential for a Dwayne Haskins appearance would give Seattle the ability to rack up sacks and turnovers in bunches.
9. Buffalo Bills (at DEN)
8. Minnesota Vikings (vs CHI)
7. Indianapolis Colts (vs HOU)
6. San Francisco 49ers (at DAL)
5. Cleveland Browns (at NYG)
4. Baltimore Ravens (vs JAX)
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (at CIN)
2. Miami Dolphins (vs NE)
Were the Los Angeles Rams playing literally anyone else, the Miami Dolphins would be the top D/ST of the week. But Miami will have to settle for the No. 2 spot. Brian Flores' squad is currently the third-best defense in fantasy, and this group just managed to put up 10 fantasy points against the Kansas City Chiefs. Things are about to get a whole lot easier against the New England Patriots in Week 15. This is not a good matchup for New England. Cam Newton has the fifth-highest INT% in the NFL, which is a recipe for disaster against a Miami secondary that's forcing INTs at the third-highest rate in the league (3.6%). Newton and the Patriots are also getting sacked at a top-10 rate (7.2%), while Miami's pass-rush ranks top-10 in sack rate (7.1%). Simply put, the league's sixth-worst scoring offense is facing the NFL's second-best scoring defense. What's not to love?
1. Los Angeles Rams (vs NYJ)
The unit that decimated New England in Week 14 is our top play of the fantasy football semi-finals. Defensive coordinator Brandon Staley has worked wonders with this group, turning 2019's No. 17 scoring defense into the league's third-best unit in that regard this season. And this defense is even better from a fantasy perspective. Over their last five games played, the Rams' 65 points is the best such mark in the NFL. No other defense has reached even 55 points in that time. And the league's hottest fantasy defense draws the best possible matchup in Week 15, taking on the New York Jets. There are no shortage of statistics that prove just how inept this offense is. Since Sam Darnold returned in Week 12, this team has more turnovers (6) than touchdowns (4). New York is averaging 11.3 PPG in that time. This is a mismatch, and it could get ugly in a hurry.
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