The fantasy football playoffs have arrived and you want to make sure that your lineup is anchored by a solid defense.
Here are five must-start defenses for Week 15 of the NFL season.
It’s been a rough couple weeks for the Seahawks’ defense. The team lost the heart of its unit two weeks ago in Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas, then got trounced for 38 points against the Green Bay Packers last weekend. Yet Week 15 provides a very favorable matchup for Seattle, which will host the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night. The Rams have the lowest-scoring offense in the NFL and have been even more abysmal since rookie quarterback Jared Goff took the starting role. Not to mention, it will be the team’s first game following the firing of Jeff Fisher, so there is a chance L.A. could suffer from a rocky transitional period. All things considered, Seattle is a must start this week.
A good way of picking a defense each week is starting whoever is playing the Cleveland Browns. This week, the Bills have the pleasure of hosting the winless Browns, who have the NFL’s second-worst scoring offense behind the aforementioned Rams. With a 6-7 record, Buffalo will need to win out if it has any hopes of making the postseason, and Rex Ryan could be coaching for his job. The Bills’ defense is averaging just over seven fantasy points per game this season, but you probably can expect more this week against Cleveland.
The AFC South-leading Houston Texans have a great matchup this Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite owning several weapons, the Jaguars’ offense has been a huge disappointment this year, averaging only 18 points per game. Houston’s offense has been lackluster, as well, so the team has relied on its defense throughout the season. The unit certainly has produced and currently is the fifth-best pass defense in the league. This translates well for the Texans, as Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has thrown the second-most interceptions in the NFL with 15.
The Ravens found themselves in a tough matchup Monday night against the New England Patriots but will be looking to bounce back this Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Baltimore has been one of the best fantasy options this year, averaging nearly nine points per game. It also owns the league’s best run defense and only has allowed five rushing touchdowns all season. With that in mind, the Eagles may need to win the game through the air, and rookie quarterback Carson Wentz has struggled since his hot start early in the season. With playoff implications on the line, expect the Ravens’ defense to stand tall.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers’ defense has struggled most of the season. Injuries to key players on the defensive side of the ball have plagued the team all year. However, they have shown big signs of improvement in recent weeks, having not allowed over 13 points since Week 11, and picked off Russell Wilson five times in last Sunday’s win over the Seahawks. Green Bay has a friendly matchup this week against the Chicago Bears, who are on their third starting quarterback of the season.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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