Rent-a-Defense: Week 12

A look at waiver wire defense performances from Week 11 and candidates to roster for Week 12 and beyond

Unless most of the teams in your league carry a backup defense, more than half of the league should be available to you every week. Perhaps instead of playing one above average defense every week, regardless of matchup, we should instead target the widely available waiver wire defenses with the best matchups in any particular week? You can always make exceptions if your rent-a-defense gets hot - heck, you might find a team worth starting all year by accident. Even if you don't, good matchups will continue to get greater in number as more QBs get injured or yanked as the season goes on. You can steal some points from bad weather come December. Each week I'll list the startable fantasy defenses on most waiver wires and rank them.

**Chicago and Houston should be played over rent-a-defenses but is assumed to be rostered**

Week 11 Results

Baltimore (vs Cincinnati) - 1 sack

Andy Dalton was safe with the ball and this was a back and forth game. Swing and a miss.

A Look Ahead: OAK @ATL @KC - Oakland doesn’t look like quite as good of a matchup after their win, we’ll revisit.

Los Angeles Chargers (vs Denver) - Nothing. Zero. Bupkis. Nada.

So much for Case Keenum being generous to opposing defenses. He is taking care of the ball and didn’t take a sack. Swing and miss with eyes closed.

A Look Ahead: ARI @PIT CIN - This was looking good and the Raiders actually picked Josh Rosen twice, so we’ll probably stick with it.

Arizona (vs Oakland) - 4 sacks

The Raiders running game came alive and Derek Carr didn’t make any big mistakes against Arizona’s ballhawks. Foul ball.

A Look Ahead: @LAC @GB DET - Moving right along...

Kansas City (at Los Angeles Rams) - 5 sacks, 2 fumble recovers, 1 DEF TD

Justin Houston, Dee Ford, and Chris Jones are a formidable trio of pass rushers who will make the Chiefs a D/ST that we won’t bench for the rest of the season after their bye

A Look Ahead: BYE @OAK BAL - With this performance, the Chiefs are worth tying up an extra roster spot to hold through their bye

Los Angeles Rams (vs Kansas City) - 3 sacks, 3 INT, 2 fumble recovers, 2 DEF TD

Samson Ebukam had the game of his career and Aaron Donald played like the typical superhuman that he is. The Rams D/ST is here to stay.

A Look Ahead: BYE @DET @CHI - Pick up another defense to hold them through the bye and play them the rest fo the way.

Pittsburgh (at Jacksonville) - 6 sacks, 1 fumble recovery

TJ Watt is making the Steelers D/ST

A Look Ahead: @DEN LAC @OAK - Tread carefully here after Keenum blanked the Chargers D/ST

Carolina (at Detroit) - 1 sack

The Panthers offense stalled out for most of the game and Kenny Golladay grew up before our very eyes. Swing and a miss.

A Look Ahead: SEA @TB @CLE - We’ll come back to them in Week 13

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

New York Giants (vs Tampa Bay) - 1 sack, 4 INT, 1 DEF TD

In hindsight, Ryan Fitzpatrick’s matchup was low-hanging fruit, but the Giants defense hadn’t been able to find an apple if it hit them on the head.

Houston (at Washington) - 5 sacks, 2 INT, 1 DEF TD

Justin Reid had a 100+ yard return for a score off an Alex Smith red zone pass. Can’t say I saw that coming.

Indianapolis (vs Tennessee) - 5 sacks, 2 INT

The little defense that could knocked Marcus Mariota out of the game

New Orleans (vs Philadelphia) - 3 sacks, 3 INT

Carson Wentz will want to forget this one. Heck, the whole team will.

Washington (vs Houston) - 3 sacks, 2 INT, 1 fumble recovery

The Washington defense has still got it and might drag the offense to the playoffs.

Week 12 Candidates

**Chicago and Houston should be played over rent-a-defenses but is assumed to be rostered**

New Orleans (vs Atlanta - Thanksgiving)

The Saints offense is giving their defense great game scripts. Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense doesn’t look like one that can keep up with New Orleans based on recent performances and the home holiday crowd will be fired up. The Saints defense has multiple sacks and takeaways in five of the last seven games.

A Look Ahead: @DAL @TB @CAR PIT - The road trip might look negative for a D/ST, but the Saints have put up good numbers at Cincinnati and Minnesota in recent weeks. This show can travel.

New England (at New York Jets)

Whether it’s Sam Darnold or Josh McCown, the Jets offense is vulnerable and on the ropes. The Patriots D/ST posted great games against Chicago and Buffalo recently.

A Look Ahead: MIN @MIA @PIT BUF - The Patriots work as a playoffs D/ST except for Week 15 at PIttsburgh.

Jacksonville (vs Buffalo)

The Jaguars defense looked like the 2017 version last week, even if the offense looked like the 2016 version. Josh Allen is coming back off of a layoff and isn’t always safe with the ball. If the Jaguars still have some oomph left in them after two bitter losses, they could revive the “play the D/ST facing Buffalo” rule that the Jets broke in Week 10.

A Look Ahead: IND @TEN WAS @MIA - The Jaguars could have some promise in the fantasy playoffs if they stay hot

Buffalo (vs Jacksonville)

The last we saw the Buffalo D/ST, they were treating the Jets offense like the junior varsity. They have been an asset four times in ten games and Blake Bortles is an opposing quarterback that can pay off. The Jaguars could also be a beat slow coming off of two draining losses. The Bills could easily be the better D/ST in this matchup.

A Look Ahead: @MIA NYJ DET @NE - If the Bills come through this week, it will be tempting to keep using them until they face the Patriots in Week 16.

Indianapolis (vs Miami)

The Colts are rolling right now. They’ll likely face a rusty Ryan Tannehill and they’ve been a solid to strong D/ST play at home in all but one game so far this year.

A Look Ahead: @JAX @HOU DAL NYG - Open to playing the Colts again next week if the Jaguars struggle at Buffalo.

Los Angeles Chargers (vs Arizona)

The Chargers came up empty for us last week, but get another chance this week against a rookie quarterback. Joey Bosa is back and ready to soup up the pass rush and the Chargers still have a great group of ballhawks in the secondary.

A Look Ahead: @PIT CIN @KC BAL - Week 14 looks good, but otherwise we’ll pass on the Chargers down the stretch

Baltimore (vs Oakland)

The Ravens were a dud against Andy Dalton last week and Derek Carr has been mostly safe with the ball this year, but the home matchup still looks good, especially if Lamar Jackson can break a big play or three to bust this one open.

A Look Ahead: @ATL @KC TB @LAC - Week 15 stands out, but we won’t use the Ravens in any other remaining week.

Week 13 Preemptive Pickups

Kansas City (at Oakland)

Carolina (at Tampa Bay)

Green Bay (vs Arizona)

Tennessee (vs NY Jets)

Seattle (vs San Francisco)

Playoffs Preemptive Pickups

Week 14

Kansas City (vs Baltimore)

Pittsburgh (at Oakland)

New England (at Miami)

Los Angeles Chargers (vs Cincinnati)

Buffalo (vs NY Jets)

Tennessee (vs Jacksonville)

Week 15

Kansas City (vs Los Angeles Chargers)

Baltimore (vs Tampa Bay)

Jacksonville (vs Washington)

Week 16

New England (vs Buffalo)

Los Angeles Chargers (vs Baltimore)

Indianapolis (vs NY Giants)