Top 12 Fantasy Football Defense Rankings for Week 16 Fantasy Playoffs

Max Staley
Top 12 fantasy football defense rankings for Week 16 and the fantasy football playoffs.
Top 12 fantasy football defense rankings for Week 16 and the fantasy football playoffs. / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

Week 15 was a strange one. Tons of high-level players failed to deliver in the playoffs, while journeymen or backup options generally shined. That trend carried over to defense as well, as the New Orleans Saints, who most thought were unplayable against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, delivered the strongest performance of the week with 18 points.

If you need help breaking down the rest of this week's matchups, here are our top-12 fantasy football defense rankings for Week 16.

Fantasy Football Defense Rankings Week 16

12. New England Patriots (vs BUF)

11. Arizona Cardinals (vs IND)

10. San Francisco 49ers (at TEN)

9. New Orleans Saints (vs MIA)

8. Los Angeles Chargers (at HOU)

7. Los Angeles Rams (at MIN)

6. Green Bay Packers (vs CLE)

5. Dallas Cowboys (vs WAS)

Believe it or not, the Dallas Cowboys have been the highest-scoring defense in fantasy through 14 games played. Dallas has 151, New England has 146, and no other team has more than 126. This juggernaut of a fantasy defense will now face the Washington Football Team, who turned the ball over four times the last time they faced America's Team. Taylor Heinicke also isn't a guarantee to suit up, meaning Dallas could be seeing a heavy dose of Kyle Allen.

4. Miami Dolphins (at NO)

The Miami Dolphins' defense has been on an absolute run lately. Miami is surrendering 13.2 PPG over its last six games, forcing 12 turnovers during that span. That's a recipe for a big day against Taysom Hill and the Saints, as Hill has 4 interceptions and fumbled twice during his three starts. Hill has also taken 7 sacks in that time, while Miami is tied for the fourth-most sacks in the NFL with 37. Expect the Dolphins to rack up turnovers and sacks on Sunday.

3. Buffalo Bills (at NE)

2. Philadelphia Eagles (vs NYG)

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at CAR)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off a tough loss, but you can't put any blame on the defense. Tampa Bay held the Saints to just 9 points in a losing effort, as New Orleans pitched a rare shutout against Tom Brady. Now, Tampa faces off with a Carolina Panthers OL that owns ProFootballFocus' worst pass-blocking grade. That's a recipe for disaster against this dominant Tampa Bay front seven. The Bucs' 37 sacks are tied for the fourth most in the NFL and their 170 pressures are 15 more than any other team in the league has recorded. Cam Newton will be under fire early and often on Sunday.

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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.