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 17 of the 2022 NFL season.
Fantasy Football Defense Rankings Week 17
12. Kansas City Chiefs (vs DEN)
We've been saying it all season, but if a team is playing the Denver Broncos you have to start them in fantasy. The offense has been completely ineffective since Week 1 and just got Nathaniel Hackett fired. Russell Wilson is coming off the worst statistical game of his career after posting a 3.6 QBR against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 16. The Broncos have absolutely nothing to play for and now must go to Kansas City, which is one of the toughest road environments in football. Expect another ugly day from Denver's offense, which ranks last in scoring (15.5 points per game) and 26th in total yards.
11. Washington Commanders (vs CLE)
10. Los Angeles Chargers (vs LAR)
9. Arizona Cardinals (at ATL)
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (at HOU)
The Jaguars' defense hasn't been great this season, but they're in an enviable spot here. They just held the New York Jets to three points in Week 16 and will have a few extra days to rest up and prepare for this week after playing on Thursday Night Football. Jacksonville also gets to face one of the worst offenses in the league in the Houston Texans, who rank 31st in scoring and 32nd in total yards. The Texans have not scored more than 24 points in any game this season and have topped 20 points just three times. The Jaguars held them to a mere 13 points and 248 yards of total offense back in Week 5, so look for Jacksonville's unit to shine once again.
7. Cleveland Browns (at WAS)
6. New York Giants (vs IND)
The Giants' defense has cooled off after a hot start, but Week 17 presents a perfect opportunity to bounce back when the Indianapolis Colts come to town. The Colts have been a dumpster fire on offense this year, ranking 30th in scoring and 24th in total yards. Now they're without Jonathan Taylor and may be starting Nick Foles at quarterback again in Week 17. Indianapolis is limping to the finish line and New York is in a prime spot to take advantage at home.