Article

Championship Defenses


By: Jordan Vander Ploeg (@ff_jvp)


You know what they say, “Offense wins games but defense wins championships.” That might be true for real football, but it normally isn’t  the case in fantasy football. Team defense is one of the hardest positions to predict, and one of the most frustrating. Having a solid defense for the playoffs could be the difference between winning and losing a championship. This article will feature five team defenses that have excellent matchups and are poised to give you a leg up on your competition!

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#5. D/ST- Miami Dolphins (16% owned)

Matchups:

Week 12 @ Indianapolis Colts (22nd)

  • Not a great matchup; avoid if possible

Week 13 vs. Buffalo Bills (1st)

  • Sacked: 34 times (2nd most)
  • Thrown: 16 interceptions (2nd most)
  • Fumbled: 6 times (tied for 8th most)
  • Averaging: 13.7 pts per game (32nd)

Week 14 vs. New England Patriots (28th)

  • Not a great matchup; avoid if possible

Week 15 @ Minnesota Vikings (11th)

  • Fumbled: 8 times (tied for 4th)

Week 16 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (7th)

  • Thrown: 9 interceptions (tied for 9th)
  • Fumbled: 10 times (1st)
  • Averaging: 17.8 pts per game (29th)

The Miami Dolphins have 80 total points this season, tying them for 4th overall for team defense. The Dolphins have the second most interceptions this season with 15 and have 2 punt return touchdowns. The Dolphins have gotten 13 fantasy points in weeks 1, 2, and 5. The Dolphins boomed against the Jets in week 9, scoring 25 fantasy points. The Dolphins have that “boom or bust” potential but it all depends on their matchup. They have strong matchups in weeks 13 and 16, and have the skill to get you those big elusive defensive points.

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#4. D/ST- Tennessee Titans (11% owned)

Matchups:

Week 12 @ Houston Texans (19th)

  • Sacked: 30 times (6th)
  • Thrown: 7 interceptions (tied for 14th)

Week 13 vs. New York Jets (5th)

  • Thrown: 16 interceptions (tied for 2nd)
  • Fumbled: 6 times (tied for 8th)
  • Averaging: 20.8 pts per game (23rd)

Week 14 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (7th)

  • Thrown: 9 interceptions (tied for 9th)
  • Fumbled: 10 times (1st)
  • Averaging: 17.8 pts per game (29th)

Week 15 @ New York Giants (9th)

  • Sacked: 32 times (tied for 3rd)
  • Fumbled: 5 times (tied for 13th)
  • Averaging: 19.7 pts per game (26th)

Week 16 vs. Washington Redskins (25th)

  • Not a great matchup, but very likely may improve with the season-ending injury to Alex Smith.

The Tennessee Titans have the least amount of points against them per game with 16.8 pts. The teams that they are scheduled to play for the rest of the season are not high scoring teams. This will provide a safe floor of fantasy points. The Titans have 65 total fantasy points this season, currently ranking them as the 16th ranked team defense. The Titans just came off of a stellar game against the Patriots, limiting the Pats to only 10 points. The Titans have not shown a high fantasy point ceiling, but have been a safe play week-to-week. If you are not looking for a boom or bust defense this is the team defense for you, they will provide you with a solid 5-12 fantasy points for the rest of the season.

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#3. D/ST- New England Patriots (57% owned)

Matchups:

Week 12 @ New York Jets (5th)

  • Thrown: 16 interceptions (tied for 2nd)
  • Fumbled: 6 times (tied for 8th)
  • Averaging: 20.8 pts per game (23rd)

Week 13 vs. Minnesota Vikings (11th)

  • Fumbled: 8 times (tied for 4th)

Week 14 @ Miami Dolphins (10th)

  • Sacked: 27 times (tied for 12th)
  • Thrown: 9 interceptions (tied for 9th)
  • Fumbled: 6 times (tied for 8th)
  • Averaging: 19.9 pts per game (25th)

Week 15 @ Pittsburgh Steelers (29th)

  • Not a great matchup; avoid if possible

Week 16 vs. Buffalo Bills (1st)

  • Sacked: 34 times (2nd)
  • Thrown: 16 interceptions (tied for 2nd)
  • Fumbled: 6 times (tied for 8th)
  • Averaging: 13.7 pts per game (32nd)

The New England Patriots defense has the potential to give you quality fantasy points for the rest of the season. The Patriots have 75 total points and rank 10th this season among team defenses. The New England Patriots were on bye this week (week 11) and have been dropped by a lot of teams. Take this opportunity to pick them up! The England Patriots have 11 interceptions (tied for 4th), and 6 fumbles (tied for 8th). The New York Jets (week 12) and Buffalo Bills (week 16) are juicy matchups because both have 16 interceptions this season.

The Pats have found success against less experienced quarterbacks so far this year. The Pats played the Bills week 8 and their defense went to town with 20 fantasy points. The New England Patriots are a defense that is worth taking a chance on during the fantasy football playoffs. They have the skill and potential to win you your fantasy football championship.

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#2. D/ST- Denver Broncos (47% owned)

Matchups:

Week 12 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (29th)

  • Not a great matchup; avoid if possible

Week 13 @ Cincinnati Bengals (18th)

  • Thrown: 10 interceptions (tied for 6th)

Week 14 @ San Francisco 49ers (6th)

  • Sacked: 31 times (5th)
  • Thrown: 12 interceptions (tied for 4th)
  • Fumbled: 8 times (tied for 4th)
  • Averaging: 23 pts per game (18th)

Week 15 vs. Cleveland Browns (13th)

  • Sacked: 35 times (1st)
  • Thrown: 10 interceptions (tied for 6th)
  • Averaging: 21.8 pts per game (22nd)

Week 16 @ Oakland Raiders (4th)

  • Sacked: 29 times (tied for 7th)
  • Thrown: 8 interceptions (8th)
  • Fumbled: 5 times (tied for 13th)
  • Averaging: 16.3 pts per game (30th)

The Denver Broncos have 74 total points and rank 11th this season among team defenses. They have 28 sacks this season (7th). The Denver Broncos by far have the best fantasy football playoff matchups (weeks 14-16) against the 49ers, Browns, and Raiders. These three teams average in the bottom half for points per game, are in the top 7 for getting sacked, and top 8 for interceptions thrown this season.

The Broncos should be able to keep these opponents to a low score and get extra fantasy points through sacks and interceptions. The Broncos have the potential to make big plays and get touchdowns. They already have two defensive touchdowns this season, and don’t be surprised if they get a couple more in these three matchups. The Broncos will be a top 5 defense during weeks 14-16. They are a must-start defense, so pick them up!

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#1. D/ST- Washington Redskins (37% owned)

Matchups:

Week 12 @ Dallas Cowboys (14th)

  • Sacked: 32 times (tied 3rd)
  • Fumbled: 5 times (tied for 13th)
  • Averaging: 20.1 pts per game (24th)

Week 13 @ Philadelphia Eagles (15th)

  • Sacked: 28 times (tied for 10th)
  • Fumbled: 9 times (tied for 2nd)
  • Averaging: 22 pts per game (21st)

Week 14 @ New York Giants (9th)

  • Sacked: 32 times (tied for 3rd)
  • Fumbled: 5 times (tied for 13th)
  • Averaging: 19.7 pts per game (26th)

Week 15 @ Jacksonville Jaguars (7th)

  • Thrown: 9 interceptions (tied for 9th)
  • Fumbled: 10 times (1st)
  • Averaging: 17.8 pts per game (29th)

Week 16 @ Tennessee Titans (12th)

  • Sacked: 28 times (tied for 10th)
  • Averaging: 18.7 pts per game (28th)

Get excited to pick up the Washington Redskins defense! They have 80 total points this season, tying them for 4th best team defense this season. They remainder of their scheduled season looks awesome. They average only 19.4 pts against per game, and the teams they are matched up against are weak at scoring points, giving a solid floor for fantasy points. They have forced 14 fumbles (4th) and have recovered 9 (2nd). The Redskins have a high ceiling for defensive fantasy points because of the amount of fumbles they recover.

The Redskins play the Jags and Eagles during the fantasy playoffs who have given up the most fumbles in the league. When the Redskins play a team that is ranked in the top 20 for fantasy points given up to a team defense, they average 13.4 fantasy points. The rest of the season they play teams that are ranked in the top 20. When the Redskins played the Giants and Cowboys earlier this season they got 15 fantasy points in both games. The Redskins will provide fantasy owners a safe floor with the potential to make a big play, which is all you can ask for from your team defense.


If you do not have one of the top team defenses like the Bears, Rams, or Vikings consider picking up one of these defenses. Holding two team defenses as you approach the playoffs is a viable strategy to ensure you get the best matchups possible on a week-to-week basis. These defenses have the potential to give you that extra leg-up on your opponent, which could turn into a fantasy football championship. If you like this article follow @F3Pod and me (@ff_jvp) for more weekly content.

 

Jordan Vander Ploeg
Canadian Husband Fantasy Football