The fantasy football playoffs are approaching faster than anyone would like to admit.
So, now’s not the time to start sleeping on your defense.
Skill players obviously are your bread and butter. But a great — or terrible — performance from your defense can mean the difference between winning or losing on a weekly basis.
With that said, let’s look at the five defenses you should start in Week 9:
Chicago Bears (at Buffalo Bills)
Any defense is a must-start against the Bills. So, starting one of the NFL’s most dominant units against the league’s most embarrassing offense — with Nathan Peterman under center — is an absolute no-brainer.
Dallas Cowboys (vs. Tennessee Titans on Monday)
The Titans have done a good job limiting turnovers, but they still give up a ton of sacks and have given up some huge D/ST performances this season. The Cowboys have been a sneaky-good fantasy defense so far, and we like them at home in a prime-time environment.
Houston Texans (at Denver Broncos)
The Broncos have produced at least one interception in every game this season, and their offensive line is suspect. Furthermore, the Texans’ defense has turned things up a notch after an underwhelming start. This is one of the best D/ST plays this week.
Carolina Panthers (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Could Ryan Fitzpatrick come back and put up a million points? Sure, but we also think he’s a good bet to throw a bunch of interceptions. We like the red-hot Panthers at home this week.
Miami Dolphins (vs. New York Jets)
The Dolphins have been up-and-down on defense this season, but we like them at home against Sam Darnold and a turnover-prone Jets offense. We also can’t ignore the trend of opposing offenses succumbing to the southern Florida heat late in games.