Defenses are usually just an afterthought in fantasy football. That's leaving points on the board though. Savvy fantasy managers will be scouring the waiver wire to capitalize on the best defensive matchups each and every week, especially during the fantasy playoffs.
With that in mind, here are the top 12 fantasy football defenses for Week 16 of the 2022 NFL season.
Fantasy Football Defense Rankings Week 16
12. New Orleans Saints (at CLE)
11. Cincinnati Bengals (at NE)
10. Detroit Lions (at CAR)
9. Jacksonville Jaguars (at NYJ)
8. Los Angeles Chargers (at IND)
Don't look now, but the Chargers' defense is finally starting to shape up. LA held the Miami Dolphins to 17 points in Week 14 and the Tennessee Titans to 14 points in Week 14, stringing together back-to-back strong outings for the first time this season. The Chargers will look to build on that momentum in Week 16 at home against the reeling Indianapolis Colts, who just suffered the biggest collapse in NFL history and lost Jonathan Taylor for the rest of the season. That puts Los Angeles in position to feast on Matt Ryan, who's taken 38 sacks and leads the NFL with 13 interceptions. This is a perfect spot to fire up the Chargers as they continue to battle for a playoff spot.
7. Washington Commanders (at SF)
6. Tennessee Titans (vs HOU)
The Titans have been struggling lately but are in a prime spot to bounce back this week at home against the Houston Texans. The Texans have one of the worst offenses in the NFL and just lost star running back Dameon Pierce for the season, making their offense even more limited. Houston ranks 30th in points per game and 32nd in yards per game, so Tennessee should thrive here. The Titans just held the high-flying Chargers to 17 points on the road, so look for them to snap their four-game losing streak with a strong defensive effort.
5. Buffalo Bills (at CHI)
4. San Francisco 49ers (vs WAS)
3. Denver Broncos (at LAR)
2. Baltimore Ravens (vs ATL)
This season has been a tale of two halves for Baltimore's defense. In the first half of the season, their poor play squandered multiple double-digit leads for the Ravens and resulted in some surprising shootouts. Baltimore's unit has clamped down during the second half, however, yielding 14 points or less in five of its last six games. Up next is a tantalizing home matchup on Christmas Eve against the Atlanta Falcons, who managed just 18 points last week in Desmond Ridder's NFL debut against a weak New Orleans Saints defense. Expect another big performance here from the Ravens' defense against a rookie quarterback.