On a weekly basis, defense can mean the difference between winning and losing in fantasy football.
Your skill positions obviously will put you over the top in the long run, but sleeping on your defense can be a fatal mistake. Consequently, identifying the right matchups to exploit — and the ones to avoid — can be a daunting task.
With that said, let’s look at the five defenses you should start in Week 8:
Chicago Bears (vs. New York Jets)
It’s been a down couple weeks for this unit, but you can chalk that up to the Miami heat in Week 6 and a date with Tom Brady in Week 7. This week, the Bears will host the Jets and their mistake-prone rookie quarterback, Sam Darnold. Start the Bears with confidence.
New England Patriots (at Buffalo Bills on Monday)
On most weeks, the Patriots defense belongs nowhere near your fantasy lineup. But even this porous unit should be able to feast on quarterback Derek Anderson and an anemic Bills offense Monday night. If you’re ever going to roll with New England, this is the week to do it.
Indianapolis Colts (Oakland Raiders)
This unit is better than many realize, having produced multiple turnovers in all but two games this season. We expect the success to continue Sunday against the Raiders, who will be without receiver Amari Cooper (trade) and running back Marshawn Lynch (injury). Expect multiple sacks and turnovers.
Houston Texans (vs. Miami Dolphins on Thursday)
The Texans defense started slow, but has produced 12 sacks and 10 turnovers over its last four games. We don’t care if it’s Brock Osweiler or Ryan Tannehill at quarterback for the Dolphins — start Houston’s defense.
Arizona Cardinals (vs. San Francisco 49ers)
This unit produced four sacks and five turnovers against San Francisco in Week 5, and we expect more of the same Sunday afternoon. The Cardinals might not be quite that dominant, but a strong showing should be in order.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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