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

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


With the playoff push in full swing, streaming knowledge is essential now more than ever! Below are RotoBaller's Week 13 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream and start for Week 13 of the NFL and fantasy football season. Our tiered defense rankings are your guide to drafting defenses, making waiver wire pickups/adds to improve your lineups, and to decide which defenses to start, sit, target, avoid or stream for Week 13.

Starting the right defense every week can be a difference-maker, so we have broken out our defense rankings into tiers with analysis on each matchup. Some of these Week 13 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 13 pickup or add.

I've been trying out a new format lately, touching briefly on each team that I have ranked instead of picking just a few to analyze in depth. And just as a heads-up, when I mention DST scores, I am referring to ESPN's standard PPR scoring.Let me know what you think on Twitter (@Roto_Dubs). Good luck in Week 13 RotoBallers!

Editor's Note: For a limited time only - buy our full-season NFL Premium and DFS Pass, and you also get our full-season NBA Premium and DFS Pass for free! Take advantage of one of our best offers all year, and get an edge on your competition. Sign Up Now!


Week 13 Defenses To Start & Stream: Tiers & Rankings

Tier 1 Defenses (The "Duh" DSTs)

1. Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. IND)

2. Los Angeles Chargers (vs. CLE)

I would love to put a second gif about this being obvious, but I feel like that's a copout. The Chargers are one of the hottest DSTs in fantasy, averaging 14.4 fantasy points over their last five games. Cleveland still has a commanding lead in the race for most turnovers, and I don't see anyone catching them. Mix all that up, add some lemon zest for taste and enjoy this week.

I should have just done the gif.

3. Los Angeles Rams (@ ARI)

The Rams DST has cooled off a bit over the last two weeks, but in their defense (that's why they pay me the big bucks, folks) they have had two brutal matchups in the Vikings and Saints. The Cardinals present a much easier matchup, although it may not be as easy given how relatively well Blaine Gabbert is playing. Gabbert has five touchdowns over the last two games to go along with 498 yards through the air. The Rams are ninth in passing defense though, and Gabbert is far from a sure thing for production, right Jacksonville fans? The upside remains here.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (@ CIN)

The 28 points allowed to the Packers on Sunday night marked just the second time this season that the Steelers defense has allowed more than 18 points in a game, and it took the game of Brett Hundley's life to do it. The Steelers should return to form against the 31st-ranked Bengals offense and Andy Dalton, who they picked off twice in their Week 7 matchup.

Tier 2 Defenses (Rock-Solid Starts)

5. New England Patriots (@ BUF)

This one is setting up to be a blowout akin to the days of J.P. Losman and Trent Edwards. I have no faith in the Bills to put up much of a fight in this game despite it being at home, and the Patriots have been matchup-proof anyway. They're averaging 12.25 fantasy points per game over their lat four, and the Bills should be in catch-up mode from the first quarter-on. Tyrod Taylor is careful with the ball, but he'll be forced to air it out in this one, and the Pats should take advantage.

6. Baltimore Ravens (vs. DET)

The Ravens have pretty much been a must-start all season, but expectations need to be tempered against a Lions offense that should be able to put up some points. The Ravens (3,060) actually surpassed the Jaguars (3,100) for the lead in fewest yards allowed this past week, so you're absolutely firing them up in Week 13. Just make sure that you aren't banking on 20+ fantasy points.

7. Detroit Lions (@ BAL)

The Lions DST continues to live and die by the touchdown, as they've now tallied seven DST scores in 11 games. However, if you take out the touchdowns in their Week 10 and 11 matchups against the Browns and Bears, and they've scored 3, 6, 5, 3 and 2 fantasy points in their last five games. While of course touchdowns DO count in fantasy, it is still impossible to plan on them, thus limiting the Lions upside. They do still face THE worst offense in the NFL (yardage-wise), so they're a must-start in Week 13.

Tier 3 Defenses (Decent Streamers)

8. Chicago Bears (vs. SF)

The Bears DST's overall fantasy total has been buoyed by a huge game in Week 7 against the Panthers, in which they scored 29 fantasy points. In the past three weeks they are averaging just 3.33 fantasy points per game, so not exactly inspiring a ton of confidence. However, at home against the San Francisco 49ers they should be startable, assuming Jimmy Garoppolo doesn't start in place of C.J. Beathard. If Garoppolo DOES start, knock the Bears down a tier.

9. Philadelphia Eagles (@ SEA)

The Eagles stout run defense has been a large part of why this team is winning so many games, and there certainly isn't anyone in the Seahawks backfield that strikes fear into your heart. The reasons for the lower ranking here are obvious - they play in Seattle and Russell Wilson is playing like an MVP candidate. You'll struggle to find many better options on the waiver wire at this point in the season, so you're likely still starting them and hoping Carson Wentz and the offense can keep the ball moving enough to keep Wilson on the sidelines. Wilso does have five interceptions in his last five games, so there is some upside here.

10. Seattle Seahawks (vs. PHI) 

On the other side of the ball, you're pretty much just hoping that Carson Wentz is off his game. He has a plethora of weapons around him, most notably Zach Ertz, who should be able to beat Seattle at least a few times (they're ranked 14th against tight ends). Still, they are at home, which is what you typically want when selecting a fantasy DST. Also, as I mentioned before, you likely won't find a better option on the waiver wire.

11. New Orleans Saints (vs. CAR) 

The previously resurgent Saints DST has come crashing down to Earth over the last two weeks, posting scores of -4 and 3 against the Redskins and Rams. Those are two of the better offenses in football, sure, but things don't look a ton brighter against Carolina. The Panthers boast only the 15th-ranked scoring offense, but Cam Newton has rediscovered his running ability in 2017 and I'm not confident the Saints will have an answer for him. I hope I'm wrong for the sake of my rankings, but I can see this one devolving into a shootout.

12. Miami Dolphins (vs. DEN)

The Broncos are a mystery wrapped in an enigma...or maybe they're just bad. Speaking of scoring offenses, the Broncos currently sit at 26th in the NFL and are averaging fewer than 18 points scored per game. The Dolphins ranking here is entirely based on that matchup, as they offer very little upside elsewhere--they've tallied three total sacks in their last five games and have just four turnovers in that time frame.

13. Minnesota Vikings (@ ATL)

The Vikings are a better real-life defense than a fantasy defense (pretty sure I've said that a couple times already this season, but they are still capable of a healthy fantasy day under the right conditions. On the road in Atlanta is not the right condition. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones damn sure looked on the same page in Week 12, and if they can reignite the fire then opposing defenses are in for a world of hurt. They make the third tier because it's a dice roll on whether or not that will actually happen, and this is the same defense that held the Rams to seven points just two weeks ago. Hard to find a better option on the waiver wire and all that jazz.

Tier 4 Defenses (Deep Streamers)

14. Green Bay Packers (vs. TB)
15. Denver Broncos (@ MIA)
16. Carolina Panthers (@ NO)
17. Kansas City Chiefs (@ NYJ)
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ GB)
19. Houston Texans (@ TEN)


Tier 5 Defenses (Desperation Plays)

20. New York Jets (@ KC)
21. Cleveland Browns (@ LAC)
22. Washington Redskins (@ DAL)
23. Oakland Raiders (vs. NYG)
24. San Francisco 49ers (@ CHI)


More Waiver Wire Pickups and Analysis

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.