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


A touch late this week, have a brand new baby girl (!) who interferes with the schedule justtttttt a bit. But I certainly still have enough time to crank out those Week 3 defenses!

Below are RotoBaller's Week 3 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 3 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 wire pickups to improve your lineups, and to decide which defenses to start, sit, target, avoid or stream for Week 3.

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 3 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 3 pickup or add. Good luck in Week 3 RotoBallers!

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

Week 3 Defenses To Start & Stream: Tiers & Rankings

Typically the top three tiers will be DSTs you should target, with Tier 4 being options in deep leagues and Tier 5 being desperation plays or good defenses in horrendous matchups.

Returning for this year: Confidence Ratings - since every league's DST scoring is different, projections don't always 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. I take a lot of factors into account here--opponent injuries, home field advantage, weather, etc. The first few weeks I obviously have less data to work with, so the defense's personnel and matchups matter more significantly.

 

Tier 1 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
1 1 New England Patriots Defense vs. NYJ 12.2
2 1 Dallas Cowboys Defense vs. MIA 12
3 1 Chicago Bears Defense @ WAS 11.65
4 1 Buffalo Bills Defense vs. CIN 11.2

*skips breakdown of Patriots defense against the Jets' third-string QB*

*skips breakdown of [INSERT TEAM HERE] against the Dolphins*

Case Keenum has proven surprisingly capable through two weeks with an extremely weak group of talent around him, and he's done it against the Eagles and Cowboys--not exactly pushover defenses. The emergence of Terry McLaurin and the lack of a running game has turned the Redskins into a top-10 passing offense through two games, believe it or not. The Redskins have also done a surprisingly great job keeping Keenum upright, as they've allowed just two sacks through two games. I'm still placing my faith in the fearsome Bears defense, who are fourth in the NFL in yards per game (292.5) and third in points allowed per game (12.0).

Just behind the Bears in both categories are the 2-0 Bills, who have looked outstanding on defense through two games against the Jets and Giants. The Bills were notoriously bad against the run in 2018--and while they didn't shut either down completely, they were able to keep Le'Veon Bell and Saquon Barkley from destroying them while the still-excellent pass defense held down the below-average Jets and Giants air attacks. I love them this week against Andy Dalton, Joe Mixon and the Bengals despite Dalton's solid start to 2019.

 

Tier 2 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
5 2 Seattle Seahawks Defense vs. NO 10.7
6 2 Los Angeles Rams Defense @ CLE 9.95
7 2 Green Bay Packers Defense vs. DEN 9.5
8 2 Los Angeles Chargers Defense vs. HOU 8.6
9 2 San Francisco 49ers Defense vs. PIT 8.4
10 2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense vs. NYG 8.15
11 2 Minnesota Vikings Defense vs. OAK 7.6

My ranking of the Seahawks is (obviously) heavily influenced by the home matchup and of course the absence of Drew Brees. Let's be clear--it's former Pro Bowler Teddy Bridgewater backing him up, not Nathan Peterman. In his first full game in on the road in Seattle though? Last Sunday was just his seventh appearance (one start) since that Pro Bowl 2015 season, and he's going to be thrown directly into the fire. Give me an impactful Seahawks defense in this one all day.

The Rams defense has tallied the counting stats that you need from a fantasy DST with four turnovers and five sacks through two games. Led by the incomparable Aaron Donald, the Rams defense is still talented at every level and they should have a solid showing against a Browns offense that has come up a bit short of expectations in the early goings. Any roster with Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr. and Nick Chubb leading the way is going to win games, but even on the road I trust this defense to make their lives miserable for the afternoon.

Many waved off the Packers' strong Week 1 performance against the Bears as a result of Mitch Trubisky and the offense underperforming, not the Packers defense stepping up. But then they went out and did the same thing to the Vikings in Week 2. Sure Dalvin Cook gashed them for well over 100 yards on the ground, but they forced four turnovers in the game, and added on a sack and a blocked kick. This week they draw Joe Flacco and the bottom-five-scoring Broncos offense at home, and I expect this one to be firmly in hand from kickoff.

The Chargers' talented pass rush has underwhelmed through two games, mustering just two sacks against the Colts and Lions. The Texans' offensive line is the cure for what ails ya, it seems--they've already allowed 10 sacks through two games. Deshaun Watson was just shut down by the Jags secondary, but with the Chargers still missing Derwin James I don't see them containing the passing game entirely. I don't want to say at least three sacks are guaranteed, but this is as safe a bet as you can make.

We can talk about the 49ers and Buccaneers defenses in the same sentence here, as they're both facing similar situations. The've both been surprisingly viable fantasy DSTs through two weeks, and they'll both draw a quarterback that nobody has ever seen before in any meaningful capacity. I'm certainly not going to sit here and declare that Mason Rudolph is better than Ben Roethlisberger, but Daniel Jones certainly could be an upgrade over Eli Manning. The edge here goes to the Bucs for the matchup against the far inferior offense, despite the 49ers likely having a better overall defensive roster. There are weapons on the Steelers for the promising Rudolph to work with, whereas Daniel Jones has to essentially hope that Saquon Barkley doesn't have SEVERAL defenders waiting for him.

 

Middle and Lower Tier Defenses

Tier 3 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
12 3 Jacksonville Jaguars Defense vs. TEN 7.25
13 3 Tennessee Titans Defense @ JAC 6.95
14 3 Houston Texans Defense @ LAC 6.6
15 3 Washington Redskins Defense vs. CHI 5.65

After getting blasted by the Chiefs in Week 1, the Jaguars bounced back in Week 2 with four sacks through the sieve-like Texans offensive line. The Titans' offensive line is similarly porous--they've allowed eight sacks in two games. However, the Jaguars still haven't forced a single turnover, so it's tough to pump them into the top two tiers just yet. They're still a top-12 defense for me, but temper your expectations.

Wasn't the defense supposed to be the only bright spot for Washington this season? Through two games the Skins have proven to be an abysmal fantasy DST. They yielded 30+ points in both games, managed just two sacks and forced a single turnover. This week they'll get the similarly incompetent Bears offense, and something has gotta give. That keeps the Redskins in the top three tiers, but just barely.

 

Tier 4 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
16 4 Philadelphia Eagles Defense vs. DET 5.45
17 4 Pittsburgh Steelers Defense @ SF 5.1
18 4 Carolina Panthers Defense @ ARI 4.6
19 4 Cincinnati Bengals Defense @ BUF 4.15
20 4 Indianapolis Colts Defense vs. ATL 3.85

After looking passable against the Seahawks in Week 1, the Bengals got their teeth kicked in by the 49ers in Week 2. That leaves them in an interesting spot for Week 3 on the road against the 2-0 Bills. Personally I think the Bengals possess one of the worst defensive rosters in football, and I doubt there are many who would disagree. However, Josh Allen is still decidedly not careful and the Bills may be without their dynamic rookie Devin Singletary in the backfield, so the door is slightly ajar for some fantasy value from the Bengals DST.

The Colts front-seven has been very impressive thus far, notching four sacks in each of their first two games. I'd love to show them a bit more respect here, but I'm still wary about the Falcons offense despite their sub-par start. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley can bust a game wide open in minutes, and while the Colts boast the NFL's 10th-best pass defense in 2019 I'm not ready to christen them a consistent top-three-tier defense. Prove me wrong, Colts.

 

Tier 5 Defenses

Rank Tier DST Opponent Confidence Rating
21 5 New Orleans Saints Defense @ SEA 3.5
22 5 Arizona Cardinals Defense vs. CAR 3.1
23 5 Atlanta Falcons Defense @ IND 2.75
24 5 Detroit Lions Defense @ PHI 2.5
25 5 Cleveland Browns Defense vs. LAR 2.25
26 5 Kansas City Chiefs Defense vs. BAL 1.95
27 5 Denver Broncos Defense @ GB 1.7
28 5 Baltimore Ravens Defense @ KC 1.1

More Fantasy Football 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.




More Recent Articles

 

2020 Outfield Rankings - H2H Points Leagues

We've been breaking down rankings for points leagues over the last couple of weeks in order to prepare fantasy owners for draft day. To check out previous analysis articles by position, click the following links: first base, second base, third base, shortstop, catcher, starting pitcher, relief pitcher. Outfield is obviously the deepest of all positions... Read More


ADP Cost Analysis - Luis Robert vs Kyle Tucker

With spring training games officially underway, excitement around the fantasy baseball season simultaneously hits a new peak. As batting orders begin to map out and pitching rotations start to take shape, a lot of movement happens on ADP lists. Prospects tend to gain the most helium around this time of year because we have a... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Josh Lindblom

Josh Lindblom began his professional baseball career at 21-years-old in the Dodgers’ minor league system more than a decade ago, but the pitcher was never able to gain a foothold in the major leagues. Over his career so far, Lindblom has thrown 147 major league innings to go along with 497.1 minor league innings, owning... Read More


Four More Sleeper Prospects for 2020 Redraft Leagues

MLB Spring Training is here. The sights and sounds of baseball are everywhere. That also means fantasy baseball season is just around the corner. And with that comes hundreds of minor league players with dreams of breaking into the major leagues during the coming season. Many will. But others will not. Last week, we took... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers – Jo Adell

The most coveted type of player in fantasy baseball is the batter who can hit home runs, steal bases and hit for contact. Stolen bases are harder to find, as more big-league teams are opting to take a cautious approach to baserunning. Additionally, batting average has declined because hitters are striking out more often, as... Read More


ADP Cost Analysis - Gleyber Torres vs. Corey Seager

Fantasy baseball players acquire draft position through osmosis. The more drafts that take place, the larger sample we gain of how owners of all experience levels feel about someone. Granted, inexperienced players often rely on rankings from experts, which goes to form ADP into something resembling common rankings, but the outcome is unimpeachable, collected data... Read More


ADP Cost Analysis – Aaron Nola vs Lance Lynn

With fantasy baseball draft season in full swing, those of us who partake in this joyous game are now looking through as much draft data as possible in a bid to find players we love who have lower average draft positions (ADP) than we believe they should. All this to eke out as much draft... Read More


2020 Regression Candidates: Breakout Outfielders

Every season in MLB you can count on the fact that you will have breakout performances from players. Sometimes these breakout performances can be seen coming a mile away and sometimes they catch you entirely by surprise. Regardless of which type of breakout we see, you will almost always have to pay up for that... Read More


Bases Loaded Podcast - Quality Start Episode 1

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) and Matt Williams (@MattWi77iams) of the Turn Two Podcast come together for a new co-pod series called "Quality Start". This will be a joint effort and episodes will be found on Bases Loaded as well as the Turn Two Podcast. We are joined by Jorge Montanez (@Roto_Nino) as well for this one.... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Adrian Houser

In life, there seem to be two kinds of people, the flashy and the boring. “Flashy” people like high-end materialistic things such as nice clothing or an expensive car. "Boring” people prefer the simpler things in life like spending time with their loved ones. This seems to be true when it comes to fantasy baseball,... Read More


Taking Out the Trash: Pitchers Who Should Junk Their Worst Pitch

Pitch mix changes can make or break a player’s season. That obviously goes for fantasy value as well as real-life. We've already seen how throwing an effective pitch more often could make a huge improvement a la Patrick Corbin. Sometimes pitchers just need to eliminate a pitch to see their numbers improve. Consider the following: Mitch... Read More


ADP Showdown – Trevor Story vs. Trea Turner

Pitchers and catchers have officially reported and position player workouts are getting underway, which means baseball season is officially upon us! Maybe you haven’t started prepping for your drafts, but fortunately for you, there have already been plenty of drafts, which means that fantasy players out there have already started dealing with tough draft position... Read More


Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitcher Statcast

Statcast metrics such as Barrels and Brls/BBE are great ways to evaluate a batter's performance, so it is only natural to assume that the metrics would be predictive for pitchers as well. As much as batters want to hit a Barrel every time, pitchers want to avoid them at all costs. Yet there is evidence... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Staff Rankings

Below you will find RotoBaller's 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, tiers and auction dollar values for the 2020 MLB season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Mixed, Head-to-Head, Points, AL/NL Only, Two-Catcher Top 2020 prospects, Dynasty leagues, Keeper values Export the rankings easily... Read More


Bases Loaded Podcast - All Things Fantasy Baseball w/ Nick Pollack (@PitcherList)

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) is  joined by Nick Pollack (@PitcherList) and they discuss all things fantasy baseball! Subscribe to the Bases Loaded podcast, part of RotoBaller Radio's Podcast Network. Like and Subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune... Read More


More Recent Articles

 

Biggest Surprises of 2019 - Quarterback

The quarterback position in fantasy football is always one that either gets seriously overvalued, or seriously underrated. We all saw just how much of a difference maker someone like Lamar Jackson could be this year, or Patrick Mahomes last year. This year, we saw Mahomes get drafted extremely early, and while he was still good,... Read More


What Went Wrong with Odell Beckham Jr?

"What Went Wrong?" is a Rotoballer offseason series exploring fantasy players who underperformed their ADP. We'll explain why they fell below expectations and try to determine what it means for their value going forward. Finally free from the decrepit arm of Eli Manning and away from the torturous New York media, Odell Beckham Jr was... Read More


NFL Draft Combine Preview: Running Backs

What always seems to be the highlight for fantasy owners as preparations begin before the NFL Draft is the running back position. Owners clamor to get their hands on the new blood in the league as it has recently shown that it can pay off big time. We've seen the likes of Ezekiel Elliott, Christian... Read More


RB Opportunity Share and Impact (AFC East & North): 2019 Review

We wrap up with our coverage of each of the eight NFL divisions, discussing the teams that are part of them and the running backs that were part of those teams in 2019. To present those teams and players I use a set of easy-to-read charts: treemaps. The graphics will hold all of the players... Read More


Dynasty Price Check - Adam Thielen

Many of you have already begun planning and building your 2020 rosters. This includes best ball owners who have assembled teams in that popular format. A number of owners in redraft leagues are inspecting the early rankings, while those of you who are involved in dynasty leagues have continued your process of relentless roster evaluation. As... Read More


XFL DFS Lineup Picks For Week 3: The Checkdown

Check out this week's XFL fantasy football preview including game breakdowns, player analysis, DFS lineup picks and more for week three of the 2020 XFL season. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune... Read More


D.J. Chark - Dynasty Price Check

Are you ready for some football? If you are in a dynasty fantasy football league, you most certainly are! The time between the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft is a prime opportunity for hardcore owners to evaluate their current team and prepare for their upcoming rookie drafts. We've already looked at young players like Courtland... Read More


RB Opportunity Share and Impact (NFC South & West): 2019 Review

We roll on with coverage of each of the eight NFL divisions, discussing the teams that are part of them and the running backs that were part of those teams in 2019. To present those teams and players I use a set of easy-to-read charts: treemaps. The graphics will hold all of the players of... Read More


Biggest ADP Surprises: Early Fantasy Football Mock Draft

RotoBaller fantasy football analysts Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano review the draft board from RotoBaller's 2020 Way Too Early Mock fantasy football draft. They look at early ADP, reaches, values, and surprises throughout the first 10 rounds. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us... Read More


XFL Week 2 - Quarterback Risers and Fallers

We previously looked at target and opportunity risers and fallers, based on the first two weeks of XFL data. Now, it's time to evaluate the quarterbacks, for better or worse. There are few known commodities, even among seasoned NFL fans, at the quarterback position in this league. Relative unknowns like Phillip Walker and Jordan Ta'amu... Read More


XFL Week 2 - Opportunity Risers and Fallers

We previously looked at target risers and fallers based on the first two weeks of XFL data. The XFL has made it past Week 2 and now we have eight games of data to analyze. No small feat, as nobody knew where this league was going just a few weeks ago. But here we are,... Read More


XFL Week 2 - Target Risers and Fallers

The XFL has made it past Week 2 and now we have eight games of data to analyze. No small feat, as nobody knew where this league was going just a few weeks ago. But here we are, just mere days from Week 3 matchups! With two dates already in the rearview mirror and plenty... Read More