Week 15 Fantasy Defense Rankings: Sleepers, busts, waiver-wire D/ST streamers to target
As the fantasy football playoffs roll on, there are always a few tough start ’em, sit ’em choices at each position, but D/ST is often the source of the most frustration. At this point, it’s tough to know if trusting a defense that has performed well on a season-long basis is the way to go or if it’s better to start a top streaming option. Our Week 15 fantasy defense rankings can help you sort through those choices and identify sleepers worth trusting.
This week, many of the top overall defenses have great matchups. The Rams (vs. Jets), Steelers (@ Bengals), Ravens (vs. Jaguars), and Bills (@ Broncos) should all have a chance to rack up sacks and generate a lot of turnovers. If you’ve been riding one of these top units in recent weeks, feel free to continue to trust them as high-floor, high-ceiling plays.
For those who aren’t quite as lucky in the D/ST department, the good news is that there are quite a few worthwhile streamers. The 49ers (@ Cowboys) and Cardinals (vs. Eagles) stand out as the best. The 49ers defense is getting healthier and will be able to contain the Cowboys’ rushing attack and force Andy Dalton into some tough throws against a good secondary. Meanwhile, the Cardinals will be taking on rookie QB Jalen Hurts in the first road start of his career, so they could rattle him if they get some pressure early.
Both sides of the Giants-Browns game could work out as starters, too. The Giants defense has improved under Joe Judge and Patrick Graham, and if James Bradberry can eliminate Jarvis Landry, it may be hard for Baker Mayfield and the Browns passing offense to do much. On the other side, the Browns will have a chance to pressure the sack-prone and turnover-prone Daniel Jones while he continues to recover from a hamstring injury. They have some holes in the back seven, but if Myles Garrett and Co. show up, the Browns will be a top-12 play.
Unfortunately, there are several defenses that have been staples in year-long leagues that will need to be avoided this week. The Saints and the Chiefs are playing one another, so both will have low ceilings while facing top-tier offenses. The Saints do have one of the better defenses in the NFL — and after last week’s mistake-riddled game by Kansas City, it’s tempting to trust New Orleans — but there are many safer options this week.
The Colts (vs. Texans) and Buccaneers (@ Falcons) also qualify as risky starts. They are facing good offenses and have fallen off in recent weeks, especially against the pass. They could pan out, but they fall into the boom-or-bust category this week. The same can be said of the surging Washington D/ST in a matchup with a powerful Seahawks offense.
NOTE: Check back for updates throughout the week.
Week 15 Fantasy Defense Rankings