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

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.