This is a list of the top Defense targets for NFL games based on potential production and price. The teams are split into three tiers based on likelihood of success. Remember that these rankings take potential production and price into account, so some teams may be higher up on the list despite having a lower projected score if the price point is favorable. Here are some options to consider.
Looking for a different position? Check out the rest of the positional targets:
CREAM OF THE CROP
Carolina Panthers ($3400) – The Panthers defense is a big reason they are one of the top teams in the league this year. They have been the second best fantasy defense so far this season with a 10.6 fantasy point per game average. They are a big favorite here and at home, both things we like out of the defenses we choose to go with. They are slated to give up less than 20 points in this one. They face a struggling Atlanta offense that tends to play poorly from behind. Matt Ryan has been turnover prone lately with an average of two interceptions per game over his last three starts. In fact he now has thrown 11 of them in his last 8 games, so there is a lot of opportunity for this ball hawking defense. The Panthers are averaging 3 sacks and 2.5 turnovers per game and I see no reason to think this game will be any different.
Kansas City Chiefs ($3200) – The Chiefs were one of the worst against the pass early in the year, but the return of Sean Smith changed all of that. Now that they have corners who can cover for a few seconds, the pass rush has been able to get to the QB more often. They blitz a lot and create a ton of pressure. That is why they have 13 sacks, 9 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries in the last 4 games. They are a huge favorite against San Diego here at home. In fact they are the biggest one on the day at -10. San Diego is not running the ball well and Rivers has seen his numbers dip. A struggling offense running into a defense that has been shutting people down is not a good combination. KC should be able to grab a lead and attack Rivers in this one. As good as Rivers is, they should be able to limit the damage and rack up some fantasy points.
Denver Broncos ($3400) – The Broncos are still the top fantasy defense on the year with over a twelve point average. They are also allowing the fewest fantasy points to both the QB and WR position. That is bad news for Oakland, who rely heavily on the passing game. The Broncos are favored by a touchdown and at home where they have been dominant. They are allowing under 200 yards a game through the air, coming up with 3 sacks, and turning the other team over about 2 times per game. They might not still be at the lofty status they were at earlier in the season, but this matchup is a great spot for them and they have put up a lot of big numbers this year.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK
Green Bay Packers ($3200) – The packers are favored at home against a Dallas offense that has struggled. They lost Tony Romo for the season now and Matt Cassel is a lesser quarterback. That has rubbed off on the passing game which is not as efficient at picking up third downs. That does not allow the Cowboys to control the clock and games have gotten away from them. With Aaron Rodgers on the other side, this could be one of those games. If it happens, then Green Bay can sell out rushing the passer and rack up some fantasy points. They are averaging 2.5 sack, 1.5 turnovers, and about 18 points allowed per game at home. They should be able to add to those numbers here.
Seattle Seahawks ($3500) – The Seahawks were dominant last weekend and are playing better football. They face a Baltimore team that has been popular to target against since the Flacco injury. Matt Schaub has gift wrapped a pick 6 in each game since taking over and that was a big reason he is no longer a starter in this league anyway. To top it off he is banged up too, so that is even more incentive to look at the Seahawks. The Seahawks pass attack is on fire right now and they should be able to get a lead against the putrid Baltimore pass D. If that happens, we could see them have a really big day if they force the Ravens to be one dimensional.
St. Louis Rams ($2800) – This is a tougher play, but I think it has a chance for some upside. The Rams offense has not been good lately and that has made the defense shaky as well. This defense always plays well at home though and they could do so again here. Matt Stafford has played well recently, but also struggled at points in the year, especially on the road. The Rams defense has been playing from behind and seeing a lot of ground games in their last few. If they can get a lead or keep this one close, it would give them a lot more chances to go after the QB in passing downs and score some fantasy points.
REST OF THE FIELD
New England Patriots ($3500) – The Patriots are favored here and taking on a high powered passing offense. They are not great against the pass, so that is a concern. The offense is expected to get them a lead though and that is where they rack up the fantasy points. The Patriots have a lot of sacks as a team this year and that has a lot to do with the number of passing downs they see. When they get the lead, they force other teams to abandon the run. That leads to a large number of passing plays being run. The more passing pays, the more chances to score fantasy points by picking up sacks and interceptions.
Arizona Cardinals ($3800) – The Cardinals should actually be a little higher, but since they play the Thursday game, I almost forgot about them. Minnesota will try their best to keep it on the ground and control the game. They were unable to do that last week against Seattle and Arizona has a team with the same make up. They have arguably a better passing attack and than the Seahawks and the Seahawks tore this secondary up last week. They also have arguably a better defense this year, so they too should be able to bottle up the run and force Teddy to pass. That is where they will be able to rack up the fantasy points. They have one of the best ball hawking secondaries in the NFL, so the more you throw the more opportunities those guys have to make plays. They have a good front four that can get pressure without sending extra blitzers, so that makes their coverage schemes and ability to disguise them that much tougher for a QB to figure out.
Philadelphia Eagles ($2500) – The Eagles are strictly a GPP play for me and it has nothing to do with point chasing. Philly is stout against the run and the Bills want to run the ball a lot. That could lead to a lot of long 3rd downs which are not easy to pick up. The Eagles defense has racked up some sacks and picks lately and due to the high pace, they get a lot of chances to make plays. The Eagles defense has had some feast or famine type returns this year. They have scored 12 or more fantasy points in 5 of 12 games and averaged 3.5 points in the other 7. This is strictly a GPP play for that reason, but I could see this being another one of the good games.