No stone unturned: DEF sleepers

Whether you’re in the finals or the semis this week, now is not the time to remain blindly loyal to the defensive unit that’s taken you this far. It’s certainly tempting to stick with what works, but given that DEF is by far the most opponent-dependent position in fantasy football, it’s more than worth it to check the waiver wire for defenses with juicy matchups.

Defenses to start:

  • Falcons (vs. Bills) – What if I were to tell you that there was a DEF owned in just 34% of Yahoo leagues that was about to take on a down-and-out team starting a third-stringer at quarterback who started the season on another team’s practice squad and will be protected by the league’s least experienced offensive line? Is that something you might be interested in?
  • Bengals (vs. Chiefs) – They’re probably owned in your league (as they are in 83% of Yahoo leagues), but it’s worth checking anyway – the KC matchup is absurdly drool-worthy. According to FFToday, the Chiefs have given up more than double the average number of fantasy points to opposing defenses over the past five weeks.
  • Cowboys (@ Redskins) – The ‘Skins are falling apart in hilarious fashion, and managed just a pair of field goals against Dallas in week 11.

Defenses to bench:

  • Jets (@ Colts): Peyton Manning has never been fazed by shutdown corners like Darrelle Revis because he’s never been overly dependent on one receiver.
  • Broncos (@ Eagles): Denver’s defensive unit has been mediocre at best in recent weeks, and with Westbrook returning this week to bolster an already high-flying offense, there aren’t many teams I’d consider a worse fantasy start this week.
  • Ravens (@ Steelers): Baltimore’s secondary is riddled with injury problems right now, which doesn’t bode well for their chances against an offense that accumulated 503 passing yards last week.