Fantasy Defense Rankings Week 16: Who to start, sit at D/ST in fantasy football

No one enjoyed last week’s cavalcade of postponements and inactive players, but if there’s one fantasy football position that potentially benefited, it was D/ST. When key offensive players are out — especially offensive linemen and quarterbacks — suddenly there are more D/ST sleepers. Our Week 16 fantasy defense rankings already features a slew of potential streamers, so this is shaping up to be a week with no shortage of viable options for your start ’em, sit ’em decisions.ย 

The Eagles (vs. Giants), Chargers (@ Texans), Bengals (vs. Ravens), 49ers (@ Titans), Saints (vs. Dolphins), and Seahawks (vs. Bears) are all owned in about 50 percent of leagues and have solid matchups this week. The Saints are the riskiest, but they always have more upside at home. Even the consistently stellar Colts (@ Cardinals) aren’t widely owned, and despite a tough matchup, they’ve proven they can produce in any matchup.ย 

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | Kicker

If you really want to trust the stats, you can go with both sides of the Lions-Falcons and Jaguars-Jets games. None of these D/STs have done much of anything this year (though both the Lions and Jets are coming off big weeks), but all have top-10 matchups. If we had to pick one, the Jets have the most upside, but it’s worth noting the Jaguars played a bit better last week without Urban Meyer calling the shots, and Lions have been playing better lately, too. Still, you’d have to be pretty desperate (or in a very deep league) to consider one of these units with so many other potential streamers available.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end |ย Kicker

In addition to being a solid week for streamers, it’s a good week for some of the most reliable defenses. The Cardinals (vs. Colts) have the most worrisome matchup among the top D/STs, but they can still be started because Carson Wentz is prone to mistakes. If Arizona can force Indianapolis into more passing situations than New England did last week, they can still pay off despite how mediocre they looked in a premium matchup against Detroit. The Steelers (@ Chiefs) and Ravens (@ Bengals) are still highly owned but look like stayaways this week.

More D/ST options will likely emerge throughout the week, especially if any QBs wind up on the injured/COVID lists. This can work the other way, too, if a team’s defense is decimated by ailing players. Keep track of all the updates, and be prepared to hit the free agent wire. You might have a solid D/ST, but there also might be a better option available. At this point in the season, every point matters.ย 

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

Fantasy Defense Rankings Week 16: Who to start, sit at D/ST in fantasy football

Rank Player
1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ CAR
2 Buffalo Bills @ NE
3 Philadelphia Eagles vs. NYG
4 Miami Dolphins @ NO
5 Los Angeles Rams @ MIN
6 Green Bay Packers vs. CLE
7 New England Patriots vs. BUF
8 Dallas Cowboys @ PHI
9 Los Angeles Chargers @ HOU
10 Kansas City Chiefs vs. PIT
11 Indianapolis Colts @ ARI
12 Arizona Cardinals vs. IND
13 Cincinnati Bengals vs. BAL
14 San Francisco 49ers @ TEN
15 New Orleans Saints vs. MIA
16 Seattle Seahawks vs. CHI
17 Denver Broncos @ LV
18 Pittsburgh Steelers @ KC
19 New York Jets vs. JAX
20 Atlanta Falcons vs. DET
21 Las Vegas Raiders vs. DEN
22 Tennessee Titans vs. SF
23 Jacksonville Jaguars @ NYJ
24 Baltimore Ravens @ CIN
25 Cleveland Browns @ GB
26 Detroit Lions @ ATL
27 Chicago Bears @ SEA
28 New York Giants @ PHI
29 Carolina Panthers vs. TB
30 Minnesota Vikings vs. LAR
31 Washington Football Team @ DAL
32 Houston Texans vs. LAC

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