If there’s one thing fantasy football owners don’t need the week before the fantasy playoffs, it’s four good D / ST’s in goodbye. Our Week 14 fantasy defense rankings are definitely feeling the losses of the Patriots, Colts, Dolphins and Eagles, and are further weakened by some of the tough matchups for top-level defenses. That opens the door for several legitimate sleepers and waiver cable streamers, but it’s still a rough week overall.

First, let’s look at the unfavorable matchups. The Rams (@ Cardinals), Cardinals (vs. Rams), Buccaneers (vs. Bills) and Bills (@ Buccaneers) are in a small group of death, at least for fantasy owners. The Rams and Bills have had some turnover issues lately, so the Cardinals and Bucs are still up for grabs, but it’s reasonable to expect fewer points than usual. The Steelers (@ Vikings) and Ravens (@ Browns) are also in relatively tough situations on the road, at least according to head-to-head stats. Given some of their recent struggles, it’s reasonable to keep them on the bench, but we all know that both defenses have great potential to play.

Field marshal | Running backwards | Wide receiver | Tight end | Kicker

The Packers (vs. Bears), Panthers (vs. Falcons), Titans (vs. Jaguars), Broncos (vs. Lions), Saints (@ Jets), Seahawks (@ Texans) and Chargers (vs. Giants) are all less than 50 percent. owned by the Yahoo leagues, and all have early potential this week. All the matchup numbers say “yes” even if the season-long numbers say “no” for some of those defenses.

Field marshal | Running backwards | Wide receiver | Tight end | Kicker

The decision to rely on one of these defenses or stick with your usual starting unit comes down to whether you think you’ll need big points or just a solid floor. A team like the Seahawks or Chargers could easily go bankrupt despite favorable matchups, while the Rams and Bills are sure to get a few sacks and a loss or two. We generally recommend playing matchups, but clearly this is the kind of week that will put that strategy to the test.

As tough as a week is, it’s good to know that there are options. Big plays will finally rule the day, so assess your team’s needs and available D / STs and start from there.

Note: We’ll update these D / ST ratings throughout the week, so check back for the latest player movement and analysis.

Fantasy Defense Rankings Week 14: Who To Start With, Sit D / ST In Fantasy Football

Rank Player
1 Green Bay Packers vs. CHI
2 Carolina Panthers vs. ATL
3 Dallas Cowboys @ FUE
4 Tennessee Titans vs. JAX
5 Denver Broncos vs. THAT
6 New Orleans Saints @ NYJ
7 Arizona Cardinals vs. LAR
8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. BUF
9 Seattle Seahawks at HOU
10 Buffalo Bills @ TB
eleven Los Angeles Rams @ ARI
12 Los Angeles Chargers vs. NYG
13 Minnesota Vikings vs. PIT
14 Kansas City Chiefs vs. LV
fifteen Cleveland Browns vs. BAL
sixteen Baltimore Ravens at CLE
17 Pittsburgh Steelers @ MIN
18 Las Vegas Raiders at KC
19 Atlanta Falcons by CAR
twenty New York Jets vs. NO
twenty-one San Francisco 49ers at CIN
22 New York Giants in LAC
23 Cincinnati Bengals vs SF
24 Detroit Lions in DEN
25 Chicago Bears in GB
26 Washington soccer team vs. DAL
27 Jacksonville Jaguars @ TEN
28 Houston Texans vs. SEA