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 with several teams on bye this week.
With that in mind, here are the top 12 fantasy football defenses for Week 9 of the 2022 NFL season.
Fantasy Football Defense Rankings Week 9
12. Los Angeles Rams (at TB)
11. Jacksonville Jaguars (vs LV)
10. Miami Dolphins (at CHI)
This is more of a play against the Bears than it is for the Dolphins, who haven't been anything special defensively this year. Miami has been stout against the run, however, yielding the sixth-fewest rushing yards per game in the NFL. That run-stuffing ability should come in handy against Chicago's run-first offense, which ranks first in rushing yards per game but last in passing yards per game. If the Dolphins can take away the run, that will force Justin Fields to throw the ball and rely on his underwhelming receivers, which will likely lead to mistakes. Fields has also been the most-sacked quarterback in the NFL this year (31 times), giving Miami tons of streaming appeal this week.
9. Seattle Seahawks (at AZ)
8. Green Bay Packers (at DET)
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs LAR)
6. Indianapolis Colts (at NE)
5. Baltimore Ravens (at NO)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (vs TEN)
The Chiefs' high ranking here may seem surprising, but this is a good matchup for them. Not only are they at home coming off a bye, but they've also had an extra week to prepare for the Titans' one-dimensional offense. Kansas City has struggled against the pass this year but has excelled against the run, giving up the third-fewest rushing yards and second-fewest rushing touchdowns per game. That means they should be able to slow down Derrick Henry and force Ryan Tannehill to throw the ball, which isn't his strong suit. Tennessee will likely need to air it out to keep pace with Patrick Mahomes, which will expose Tannehill and the Titans' limited passing attack. With Tannehill averaging just 166.2 passing yards per game over his last five games, Tennessee will likely struggle to move the ball.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (at HOU)
2. New England Patriots (vs IND)
Assuming Sam Ehlinger starts again at quarterback for the Colts, the Patriots are easily a top-3 defense this week. Bill Belichick has typically eaten rookie QBs for breakfast throughout his career, and Ehlinger is essentially a rookie with just one career start and four games under his belt. Ehlinger was solid at home against the Washington Commanders in Week 8, but a much tougher road matchup awaits him in Foxborough during Week 9. New England ranks third in the NFL with 10 interceptions and is a good bet to pick off Ehlinger at least once. The Patriots have also hit their stride on defense lately, allowing 17 points or less in three of their last four games. Bank on another strong defensive effort from New England here.
1. Buffalo Bills (at NYJ)
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