Defenses (DEF) to Start in Week 17: Fantasy Playoffs Tiers & Rankings

Brad Leibfried analyzes which defenses (DEF) to sit or start in Week 17, and provides his fantasy playoffs rankings and tiers for all NFL defenses. Starting the right defense in fantasy football can be game changer week to week.

Brad Leibfried - RotoBaller

Coming into Week 17, many full-season fantasy championships are on the line.   And sometimes having the right defense can make a world of difference. Here is a look at the Week 17 tiers for which fantasy defenses to consider starting, an important component that can help win your leagues. Good luck RotoBallers!


Week 17 NFL Defenses - Tier Rankings


Tier 1: Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks

Carolina Panthers: The Panthers have the number one scoring defense in the league at 14.7 points per game allowed.

San Francisco 49ers: Top five in both rush and pass defense.

Seattle Seahawks: Number one passing defense in the NFL.


Tier 2: Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs

Tennessee Titans: The Titans have not scored a defensive touchdown since Week 6 in Seattle.

Miami Dolphins: Miami has allowed more than 28 points in only one game this season.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Pittsburgh has a defensive or special teams touchdown in three straight games.

Denver Broncos: Denver has recorded two or more sacks in all but two games this season.

New England Patriots: The Patriots have forced three or more turnovers in five games through Week 16.

New Orleans Saints: Second in the NFL, having allowed just 2,890 passing yards so far this year.

Kansas City Chiefs: Kansas City has scored 11 defensive or special teams touchdowns this year.


Tier 3: Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, San Diego Chargers

Cincinnati Bengals: Vontaze Burfict leads the NFL with 157 tackles this year.

Baltimore Ravens: Last game against the Bengals, the Ravens allowed only 17 points and forced three interceptions.

Indianapolis Colts: The Colts have allowed a combined 10 points over the last two games.

New York Jets: New York has at least one sack in every game this season.

Cleveland Browns: Last in NFL with just eight forced fumbles on the season.

Arizona Cardinals: Number one rushing defense in the league allowing just 84.5 yards a game.

San Diego Chargers: The Chargers have allowed 20 points or fewer in seven of their past 10 games.


Tier 4: Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, St. Louis Rams, Philadelphia Eagles

Detroit Lions: The Lions have failed to force a turnover in 6 of the teams 15 games so far this year.

Atlanta Falcons: 31st in the NFL in rushing defense, giving up 135.9 yards a game.

Houston Texans: Last in the league with just six interceptions this year.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Jacksonville has five straight games with at least one interception.

Chicago Bears: Last in the league with just 28 sacks as a team.

Green Bay Packers: Green Bay has allowed over 26 points in 10 games this season.

Buffalo Bills: Number one in the league with 56 team sacks.

St. Louis Rams: Lead the NFL with 24 forced fumbles.

Philadelphia Eagles:  30th in the NFL in pass defense, allowing 285 yards a game through the air.


Tier 5: Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys

Minnesota Vikings: Last in the league allowing 31.1 points per game.

New York Giants: The Giants have six games this year where they've scored negative fantasy points on defense.

Washington Redskins: Washington has allowed 24 or more points and not scored a defensive touchdown in eight straight weeks.

Oakland Raiders: The Raiders are another team that has at least one sack in every game this year.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs are third in the NFL with 21 interceptions this season.

Dallas Cowboys: 31st in the NFL in sacks; DeMarcus Ware isn’t the play he once was.



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