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Fantasy Defense Rankings Week 9: Who to start, sit at D/ST in fantasy football

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Let’s start with some good news: Only one of the four D/STs on bye this week (Buccaneers) a regular fantasy starter. The rest (Lions, Seahawks, Washington) can usually be found on the waiver wire at this point. Unfortunately, those three teams being idle still hurts our Week 9 fantasy defense rankings. All three, at least lately, have been prime streaming candidates, creating fewer sleepers and potential waiver wire pickups. 

With those three out, plus a slew of other favorable matchups either going to bad defenses (Dolphins vs. Texans) or really good defenses that are already widely owned (Bills @ Jaguars, Colts vs. Jets, Steelers vs. Bears, Patriots @ Panthers), there aren’t many worthwhile streaming options. 

WEEK 9 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | Kicker

The best bets look the Panthers (vs. Patriots), who have dropped below 50-percent ownership in Yahoo leagues, the Raiders (@ Giants), and Saints (vs. Falcons). You could also try the Chargers (@ Eagles) and Dolphins (vs. Texans), but if Tyrod Taylor (hamstring) is back, that matchup doesn’t look as good.

WEEK 9 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | Kicker

There’s one more potential streamer based on the numbers, but it’s tough to recommend it. We’re talking about the Packers, who are facing the Chiefs. Yes, the Chiefs. Heading into Week 8, Kansas City was tied for the seventh-most fantasy points per game allowed to D/STs. It seems crazy, but with Patrick Mahomes taking sacks and throwing INTs every week, there have been plenty of opportunities for defenses to put up points against this normally high-powered, efficient offense. You could argue the Packers are a better streaming option than the Saints, Chargers, and Dolphins, but it still feels weird to start any D/ST against Kansas City.

As far as normal starters with bad matchups, the Bengals (vs. Browns), Ravens (vs. Vikings), Browns (@ Bengals), and Broncos (@ Cowboys) are tough to rely on this week. The Rams (vs. Titans) also have an unfavorable opponent, but we’re keeping them in our top 12 because of the lack of other top-tier options.

There aren’t many easy answers this week if you’ve been relying on the Bucs, Bengals, Browns, Broncos, or Ravens all year. We preach this every week, but if you have the roster flexibility, make sure to plan for these types of weeks. You probably could have grabbed the Panthers or Raiders for free last week when few owners were thinking about/had the space to pick them up. Now, there will be competition, possibly even on waivers. Our waiver wire watchlist, which we publish every Thursday, looks ahead to the following week so you know who to grab in advance.

Note: We’ll be updating these D/ST rankings throughout the week, so check back for the latest analysis and player movement.

Fantasy Defense Rankings Week 9: Who to start, sit at D/ST in fantasy football

Rank Team
1 Buffalo Bills @ JAX
2 Indianapolis Colts vs. NYJ
3 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. CHI
4 New England Patriots @ CAR
5 Carolina Panthers vs. NE
6 Dallas Cowboys vs. DEN
7 Las Vegas Raiders @ NYG
8 Arizona Cardinals @ SF
9 New Orleans Saints vs. ATL
10 Los Angeles Rams vs. TEN
11 Los Angeles Chargers @ PHI
12 Miami Dolphins vs. HOU
13 Green Bay Packers @ KC
14 Cincinnati Bengals vs. CLE
15 Chicago Bears @ PIT
16 Atlanta Falcons @ NO
17 Baltimore Ravens vs. MIN
18 Minnesota Vikings @ BAL
19 Cleveland Browns @ CIN
20 New York Giants vs. LV
21 Denver Broncos @ DAL
22 Houston Texans @ MIA
23 Philadelphia Eagles vs. LAC
24 Tennessee Titans @ LAR
25 San Francisco 49ers vs. ARI
26 New York Jets @ IND
27 Kansas City Chiefs vs. GB
28 Jacksonville Jaguars vs. BUF



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