With playoffs starting last week in most leagues, you most likely are facing one of four scenarios: you won your first playoff matchup, you lost it, you’re in the middle of a two-week playoff matchup or you’re attempting to win your way through the losers bracket. One of the things these four situations all have in common is that a good defense could come in handy.
Whether you’re still in contention in your league, or just don’t want to finish last, a solid D/ST could be all you need.
With that said, let’s look at the five defenses you should start in Week 15:
Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Washington Redskins)
The Jaguars may have given up 30 points to the Tennessee Titans last week, but Week 13 they shut out the Indianapolis Colts. The defense has been playing mostly solid lately, and will be facing either Mark Sanchez or Josh Johnson. Sanchez threw two picks last week before being pulled for Johnson. Although Johnson fared well against the New York Giants, there is a reason he had not thrown a pass in the NFL since 2011. Expect multiple turnovers no matter who is under center Sunday for Washington.
Seattle Seahawks (at San Francisco 49ers)
Seattle only gave up seven points to the Minnesota Vikings last week and will face off against a much less explosive offense Sunday in the 49ers. San Francisco’s offense has been anemic lately, scoring over 23 points just once in its last seven games. The Seahawks on the other hand are riding a four-game win streak and are one of the hottest teams in football entering Sunday’s matchup. The last time these two teams met, Seattle recorded three sacks, three takeaways and a defensive touchdown.
Houston Texans (at New York Jets)
The Texans should have a field day Saturday when they take on the turnover-prone Jets. New York has thrown at least one interception in all but two games this season, and Houston has recorded six picks over it’s last four games. The Jets may have a tough time holding on to the ball Saturday against the stingy Texans defense.
Cleveland Browns (at Denver Broncos)
Although this may not seem like the greatest matchup, Cleveland is second in the league in takeaways (28). If you’re looking for a hit-or-miss defense, look no further. It’s given up 23 points or more just once in its last four games, and have won three of those games. This should be a close contest, and maybe a Cleveland takeaway could be the difference.
Los Angeles Rams (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
Over the last three game, the Rams defense has scored in double-figures twice, forced 10 turnovers and scored two defensive touchdowns. The Eagles may seem like a bad matchup on paper, but the offense has underwhelmed in recent weeks and could end up coughing the ball up a few times to Los Angeles’ suffocating defense.