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Is your championship matchup still going on? Below are RotoBaller's Week 17 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 17 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 17. 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 17 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 17 pickup or add. Good luck in Week 16 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: Stay on top of our fantasy football analysis and NFL news all year round. Read our daily articles about risers and breakouts, 2019 redraft rankings, the NFL draft, dynasty leagues and much more. It's always fantasy football season here. Read More

 

Week 17 Defenses To Start & Stream: Tiers & Rankings

So here's the thing with these Week 17 rankings: they're likely going to change throughout the week. As teams declare stars or even entire starting units out, given that many of the games this week will be meaningless for standings and playoff position, the defensive outlooks will shift.

For example, if the Saints come out and admit that they're resting Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram and Michael Thomas, the Panthers DST is going to become a pretty appealing streaming option. Likewise, if the Cowboys decide that it's not worth risking the health of Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith, I'm not going to feel as great about the Cowboys defense.

My rankings will likely shift all the way through Sunday, but what you see below is how they sit as of Wednesday afternoon.

 

Tier 1 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
1 1 Houston Texans vs. JAC 9.65
2 1 Seattle Seahawks vs. ARI 9.45
3 1 Baltimore Ravens vs. CLE 9.1

Tier 2 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
4 2 Philadelphia Eagles @ WAS 8.75
5 2 Los Angeles Chargers @ DEN 8.5
6 2 Los Angeles Rams vs. SF 8.15
7 2 Chicago Bears @ MIN 7.75
8 2 Dallas Cowboys @ NYG 7.2

Tier 3 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
9 3 New England Patriots vs. NYJ 6.85
10 3 Washington Redskins vs. PHI 6.5
11 3 Buffalo Bills vs. MIA 6.35
12 3 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. CIN 6.15
13 3 Tennessee Titans vs. IND 5.8

Tier 4 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
14 4 Kansas City Chiefs vs. OAK 5.5
15 4 Indianapolis Colts @ TEN 5.35
16 4 Miami Dolphins @ BUF 5.15
17 4 Jacksonville Jaguars @ HOU 4.6
18 4 Denver Broncos vs. LAC 4.35
19 4 Minnesota Vikings vs. CHI 3.65

Tier 5 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
20 5 Atlanta Falcons @ TB 3.15
21 5 New Orleans Saints vs. CAR 2.8
22 5 Green Bay Packers vs. DET 2.25
23 5 New York Giants vs. DAL 1.8
24 5 Cleveland Browns @ BAL 1.35
25 5 Carolina Panthers @ NO 1.1

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.