If you’re lucky enough to be playing for a fantasy football championship this weekend, you need to be on top of your game.

Yes, figuring out who to start at the skill positions is your top priority. However, the performance of your defense can be the difference between winning and losing.

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 16:

New England Patriots (vs. Buffalo Bills)
This is an easy one. The Patriots have the best defense in the NFL and are facing Josh Allen who, while improved since the last times these two teams met, still is prone to committing turnovers (14 this season) and taking stupid sacks (34 total). In the teams’ Week 4 matchup, Allen threw three picks and was sacked five times as part of a 25-point performance for New England’s D. Start the Patriots as you normally would.

Pittsburgh Steelers (at New York Jets)
The Steelers have been one of the best defenses in fantasy for the past couple months, and have a juicy matchup this weekend. Even if the Jets move the ball and put up points, we expect the Steelers to rack up multiple takeaways and plenty of sacks.

Baltimore Ravens (at Cleveland Browns)
Baker Mayfield has thrown at least one interception in four straight games and, in general, isn’t playing with much confidence. That’s not a recipe for success against a Ravens defense that is playing extremely well.

Denver Broncos (vs. Detroit Lions)
One of the best streaming options this week, the still-capable Broncos defense gets a favorable matchup against third-string quarterback David Blough and the struggling Lions offense. Blough has taken nine sacks and thrown five picks in his five starts since taking over under center — which tells you all you need to know.

Kansas City Chiefs (at Chicago Bears)
The Chiefs defense is peaking at the right time, giving up just 45 points and forcing nine turnovers over KC’s four-game winning streak. Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky probably isn’t the guy to buck that trend. Don’t expect the Chiefs D/ST to rack up a ton of points, but the unit has one of the highest floors of any defenses this weekend.

Click for our Week 16 waiver wire pickups at each position >>

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