Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Week 12 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2018 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings


Below are RotoBaller's Week 12 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 12 of the NFL and fantasy football season.

Our weekly tiered defense rankings are a guide to making waiver wire pickups to improve your lineups, and to decide which defenses to start, sit, target, avoid or stream for Week 12. Starting the right defense every week can be a difference-maker. Below we have broken out our defense rankings into tiers with analysis on each matchup. Some of these Week 12 defenses have good matchups and are not widely owned, representing fantasy scoring opportunities if they are available on your league's waiver wire for a Week 12 pickup or add. Good luck in Week 12 RotoBallers!

New for this year: Confidence Rating - since every league's DST scoring is different, projections don't make a ton of sense. The confidence rating is a guideline for how much more I like one team over another instead of a straight point projection. A zero means "do not start", then the confidence rises from there. Initial rankings do not factor in Monday Night Football stats. Ranks may be re-evaluated after that game.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

Week 12 Defenses To Start & Stream: Tiers & Rankings

I typically don't recommend rostering two DSTs, but due to popular demand, at the end of the article, I list a few DSTs that will be my top streaming options (i.e., widely available) for NEXT week, so they may be worth adding now before they become hot pickups.

Teams on bye: Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams

 

Tier 1 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
1 1 Chicago Bears @ DET 14.15
2 1 Baltimore Ravens vs. OAK 13.65
3 1 Los Angeles Chargers vs. ARI 13.1
4 1 Houston Texans vs. TEN 12.55

Boy howdy, there are a lot of great DST options out there this week. First and foremost will be the Bears, as they have been most weeks this season. This DST has put up 12+ fantasy points (ESPN standard scoring) in seven of their 10 outings this season, and now they've got a Thanksgiving date with a Lions offense that looks like they'll be without both Kerryon Johnson and Marvin Jones. Matthew Stafford will be looking Kenny Golladay's way early and often, but as good as Babytron is that won't be enough to slow down Khalil Mack and the Bears pass rush. This one might get ugly.

The Ravens are coming off a somewhat disappointing outing against the Bengals in which they managed just one sack and no turnovers. I fully expect them to bounce back against the godawful Raiders offense that just lost their new WR1 (I guess?) in Brandon LaFell for the season. Doug Martin is the only one who seems able to move the ball for the Raiders, and he's dealing with an ankle injury at the moment. Just way too much to like here for the Ravens.

The Chargers have been on a tear in recent weeks, tallying double-digit fantasy points in four of their last six games--and all of that WITHOUT Joey Bosa. Bosa is back in action and should help lead the Chargers in a beatdown over poor Josh Rosen and the Arizona Cardinals. David Johnson's resurgence poses a bit of a threat to the Chargers who are leaky against the run (4.6 YPC allowed), but honestly, you could change out any of the top three DSTs here, and I wouldn't fight you.

Oh yeah, and the Texans are still crushing it. They boast the fifth-most sacks and the sixth-most takeaways heading into Week 12, and while the Titans have certainly improved on offense over the last month or so, they don't have enough to overcome the fearsome Texans pass rush. The Titans have already yielded 33 sacks this year, and J.J. Watt and company will add at least three to that total in addition to adding to their takeaway total.

 

Tier 2 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
5 2 Jacksonville Jaguars @ BUF 10.55
6 2 Dallas Cowboys vs. WAS 10.15
7 2 Tennessee Titans @ HOU 9.75
8 2 Pittsburgh Steelers @ DEN 8.45
9 2 Washington Redskins @ DAL 8.2

Jaguars could probably find their way into the top tier, but to be honest, I think they're going to struggle to get the turnovers necessary to jump into the elite options. Josh Allen will be back under center for the Bills, and their season goal is going to be getting him through the year at near-full health. Expect ultra-conservative game-planning and minimal opportunities for interceptions--that certainly isn't to say that Allen won't STILL turn the ball over a couple of times, and the Bills offensive line still hemorrhages sacks. Huge fan of the Jags this week, one of the safer floors in the league for sure--just lacking the upside of the teams above them.

Speaking of hemorrhaging sacks, the Dallas Cowboys get to host the Redskins on Thanksgiving, who just allowed five sacks to the Texans last week. The losses of guards Shawn Lauvao and Brandon Scherff were absolute backbreakers for this offense, and I expect the Cowboys, who already are tied for ninth in the NFL in sacks (28) to decimate this patchwork offensive line. On top of that, it'll be Colt McCoy under center for the Redskins after Alex Smith's season was ended by a gruesome leg injury. My only fear with the Cowboys this week is that I'm underrating them.

The Steelers DST has quietly been one of the better options for fantasy, as they've got six games this year with eight or more fantasy points. I think they make it seven against the Broncos, especially considering they've put up 11 sacks in their last two games combined and currently lead the NFL with a whopping 37. Case Keenum also has 10 interceptions on the season, so there's turnover upside for the Steelers as well.

 

Tier 3 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
10 3 New England Patriots @ NYJ 7.45
11 3 Buffalo Bills vs. JAC 6.95
12 3 Indianapolis Colts vs. MIA 6.25
13 3 Cleveland Browns @ CIN 5.5
14 3 Philadelphia Eagles vs. NYG 5.15

The Patriots DST has been pretty dependent on defensive touchdowns this season for fantasy relevance--they've exceeded double-digits in fantasy points just three times this season, and only once without scoring a defensive TD. They just don't have the personnel to force turnovers and rack up sacks. With that said, they don't need a ton of help against the Jets, who will be starting either the NFL's leader in interceptions in Sam Darnold (unlikely) or they'll start journeyman Josh McCown who was just embarrassed by the Bills before the Jets' Week 11 bye. The Pats should take this one handily, and with the Jets in catch-up mode, there's potential for fantasy scoring.

How about those Bills, huh? Can't even tank a season properly--gotta pop off with huge wins every now and then just to keep things interesting. They could be in for another good outing against the Jaguars, whose season is more or less lost and could be making a mid-game QB switch again, because Blake Bortles is always one quarter away from a FULL-ON BORTLING. The Bills actually rank 10th in the NFL in takeaways and generate a decent amount of pressure, so they make for a good, cheap streaming option this week.

The Eagles look positively lost on offense, and they're coming off of one of the most devastating losses the franchise has suffered at the hands of the Saints. You have to fade them against good offenses, and while Odell Beckham, Jr. and Saquon Barkley are elite-level talents, Eli Manning keeps the Eagles in the streaming conversation. He hasn't been the interception machine we've seen in years past, and with the rest of the Giants offense relatively healthy the upside is limited.

 

Tier 4 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
15 4 Detroit Lions vs. CHI 4.75
16 4 New Orleans Saints vs. ATL 4.2
17 4 Cincinnati Bengals vs. CLE 3.65
18 4 Seattle Seahawks @ CAR 3.4
19 4 Green Bay Packers @ MIN 3.25
20 4 Minnesota Vikings vs. GB 3.15

The Lions are on the back end of the streaming conversation going up against Mitch Trubisky and the Bears on Thanksgiving--Trubisky has thrown nine interceptions this year and the Lions are tied for ninth in sacks this year with 29, so there's an outside chance at some DST scoring here. However, Trubisky's explosive potential scares me against any middling DST, which is exactly what the Lions are. I'm passing on them if I'm able to.

You can't love the Saints DST in most matchups, and this one against the Falcons is no exception. They simply give up too much through the air--they're 27th in the NFL in passing yards per game allowed. Marshon Lattimore is a beast, but he's a mere mortal next to Julio Jones. However, I wouldn't write them off entirely--they've put up double-digits in fantasy points in three of their last four games, and they boast the second-best run defense in the NFL. I'm not suggesting you start them in anything but the deepest of leagues, but I'll have an eye on this game to see how the defense performs.

 

Tier 5 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
21 5 Carolina Panthers vs. SEA 2.95
22 5 Denver Broncos vs. PIT 2.8
23 5 New York Giants @ PHI 2.65
24 5 Miami Dolphins @ IND 2.3
25 5 San Francisco 49ers @ TB 2.25
26 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. SF 1.75
27 5 Arizona Cardinals @ LAC 1.25
28 5 New York Jets vs. NE 1.1

 

Looking Ahead to Week 13...

  • Tennessee Titans (vs. NYJ)
  • Kansas City Chiefs (@ OAK)
  • Miami Dolphins (vs. BUF)
  • Seattle Seahawks (vs. SF)

More Weekly Lineup Prep


Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!


Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.




More Recent Articles

 

Updated Week 7 PPR Rankings (Top 300)

Welcome to Week 7 RotoBallers. Below are our updated consensus Week 7 PPR rankings for fantasy football, including some running notes on relevant injuries, player news and rankings updates: Josh Gordon has officially been ruled out for Week 7. Todd Gurley was not on the final injury report and is expected to play. David Johnson (ankle)... Read More


Wide Receiver Matchups To Target in Week 7

In Week 6, Julio Jones didn't score, but he came through with a decent fantasy day, going over 100-yards receiving. Brandin Cooks brutal Week 6 showing was a little bit of a surprise given his 2018 track record against the 49ers, but the Rams offensive line was overwhelmed which led to a rough day for... Read More


Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 7

Welcome to our Week 7 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More


Week 7 Start/Sit: Monday Night Football Matchups Analysis

Even if this doesn’t turn out to be great MNF game, at least it's a divisional game with some importance. This is what Jets fans need to tell themselves heading into their second Monday Night Football game of the season. With the New England Patriots coming to town off their annual semi-bye in which they... Read More


The King's Key Starters and Tough Calls - Lineup Spotlights for Week 7

Welcome to Week 7, RotoBallers! Below you will find some of my spotlight plays and tough lineup decisions for the upcoming week of the fantasy football season. These player selections are based off my Premium Weekly Lineup Rankings, available as part of the RotoBaller's NFL Premium Pass. Enter promo code KING at checkout for a... Read More


Fantasy Football Rookies to Watch - Darius Slayton, Jakobi Meyers, Josh Oliver

Week 7 is here RotoBallers, which means we're smack dab in the middle of the regular fantasy season! In case you are new to this column, each week we'll highlight a few first-year players who are worth keeping your eye on. Not all of the players listed below are must-starts, but all of them are... Read More


Fleaflicker's Most Added and Dropped: Week 7

Every year and in every sport, a few teams march effortlessly towards the ultimate prize as if it's been preordained. When seemingly invincible teams like these are beaten, it's not always by the quality of their opponent but instead by their own psychological mindset. They look past a lesser opponent and fall victim to the... Read More


Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 7 Josh Gordon has officially been ruled out for Week 7. Todd Gurley was not on the final injury... Read More


Week 7 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More


Pass Rush vs QB Matchups to Watch - Week 7

It's Week 7 and the injuries just keep piling up. Heading into this week, six different teams will be starting quarterbacks that were not their opening-day starters, and that doesn't take into account teams like the Indianapolis Colts or Kansas City Chiefs, who just lost quarterback Patrick Mahomes (knee) for at least three weeks. To... Read More


Offensive Line Rankings Analysis: Week 7

In Week 6, we once again saw some great football, starting with the New England Patriots continuing their undefeated start to the season and ending with one of the most controversial games of the week as the Green Bay Packers overcame the Detroit Lions. The London games continued with Jameis Winston struggling once again, this... Read More


Is Stefon Diggs Really Back?

Weeks 1-5: 4.6 targets, 3.2 receptions, 50.6 yards per game, one touchdown. Week 6: 11 targets, eight receptions, 167 yards, three touchdowns. All of these numbers show a marked improvement on the season averages of Stefon Diggs in Minnesota. But, do they tell the whole story? Do they really signify that Diggs should be considered... Read More


Inside the Tent - Week 7 NFL Injury Insight

At RotoBaller, we can't stress enough the importance of keeping up with injuries and playing your best lineup week after week. Players are going to get injured, that's an unavoidable fact. What's avoidable though is making the wrong roster decisions based on the injuries surrounding your fantasy squad. If you want to dominate your leagues... Read More


Week 7 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Below are RotoBaller's Week 7 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 7 of the NFL and fantasy football season. In case you missed it, this is our seventh year now writing this weekly column. Our weekly tiered defense rankings are a guide to making waiver... Read More


Week 7 Stream Team - Free Agent and Bye-Week Streamers

Now that bye weeks are in full swing; streaming becomes a more viable and almost necessary strategy. Knowing who to add and when to start them could be the ultimate difference-maker in a weekly matchup. Making the right streaming decisions throughout the season could easily be the difference in winning a championship. Each week, I... Read More