Most fantasy football players already have packed up their bags and headed home for the offseason. Others, however, are doing all they can to earn a championship.

If you fall into the latter category, you can’t afford to drop the ball when selecting a defense for this weekend.

That said, identifying which matchups to exploit is no easy task. Thankfully for you, we’re here to help.

Let’s look at the five defenses you should start in Week 15:

New England Patriots (at Cincinnati Bengals)
For multiple reasons, this lines up as your classical “anger” game for the Patriots and their defense, which still is the best in the NFL. All of that is bad news for the 1-12 Bengals, who could be in for a rough Sunday.

Baltimore Ravens (vs. New York Jets)
The Ravens have amassed 14 takeaways and 24 sacks over their last eight games. What once was a suspect defense has morphed into one of the NFL’s best, and one which should dominate Sam Darnold and the mistake-prone Jets offense this weekend.

San Francisco 49ers (vs. Atlanta Falcons)
Yes, the Niners just gave up a ton of points to the New Orleans Saints, and the Falcons themselves are more than capable of lighting up the scoreboard. But we’re still talking about an elite San Francisco defense facing a quarterback (Matt Ryan) and offense that loves nothing more than taking sacks. Start the 49ers with confidence.

Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Buffalo Bills)
The Steelers have benefited from having a top-five defense all season long, one which can rack up sacks and takeaways with the best of them. Josh Allen is playing better for the Bills, but he still is a mistake (or two, or ten) waiting to happen.

Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Denver Broncos)
The Chiefs suddenly have a defense that is worthy of trotting out in the fantasy playoffs. They’re peaking at the right time, too, as evidenced by their eight takeaways over the past three weeks. Kansas City is a great play against Drew Lock and a below-average Broncos offense.

Click for our Week 15 waiver wire pickups at each position >>

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