Rent-a-Defense: Week 14

A look at waiver wire defense performances from Week 13 and candidates for Week 14 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.

**Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City should be played over rent-a-defenses but are assumed to be rostered. Consider a rent-a-defense over Chicago/Houston**

Week 13 Results

Kansas City (at Oakland) - 3 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries

The Raiders actually had an excellent offensive day, but ball security problems helped the Chiefs D/ST have a successful fantasy day anyway - assuming points/yards allowed don’t count as penalties.

A Look Ahead: BAL LAC @SEA - Lamar Jackson could have a breakout day as a passer or a day or reckoning. Still on board with the Chiefs as a Week 14 option at home.

Los Angeles Rams (at Detroit) - 4 sacks, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery

The Rams passing game was sputtering so they didn’t create a huge lead to force Matthew Stafford into kitchen sink mode, but it was still a solid result.

A Look Ahead: @CHI PHI @ARI - Mitchell Trubisky may or may not play, but we know it will be outdoors and we know the Rams pass rush still has Aaron Donald. Stick with them.

Green Bay (vs Arizona) - 2 sacks

This is the kind of team-wide performance that gets a coach fired.

A Look Ahead: ATL @CHI @NYJ - We get the point, Packers. We’ll look elsewhere this week

Seattle (vs San Francisco) - 3 sacks, 1 INT, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 DEF TD

Bobby Wagner was playing like a man possessed in this one and accounted for most of the defensive splash stats in this direct hit,

A Look Ahead: MIN @SF @KC - Why not Seattle this week at home against Kirk Cousins after he played like Cousin It at New England last week? Then you can get the rematch with the 49ers next week if your team advances.

Denver (at Cincinnati) - 4 sacks, 1 INT, 2 fumble recoveries

The Broncos defense is surging with multiple sacks and takeaways in each of the last three weeks.

A Look Ahead: @SF CLE @OAK - Another backup quarterback? Another start for Denver D/ST.

Tennessee (vs NY Jets) - 2 sacks, 1 INT

It was the Titans, not the Jets that fell behind big in this one, so their defense was a dud.

A Look Ahead: JAX @NYG WAS - It’s tempting against Cody Kessler, but chances this one this will resemble the 9-6 contest these two teams played earlier this year.

Carolina (at Tampa Bay) - 4 sacks, 1 fumble recovery

Not a total loss for fantasy, but our second coach-killing performance of the week nonetheless

A Look Ahead: @CLE NO ATL - No thanks.

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

New York Giants (vs Chicago) - 5 sacks, 2 INT, 1 fumble recovery, 1 DEF TD

The Giants defense came alive against a backup quarterback and this week they get a backup to the backup

Tampa Bay (vs Carolina) - 4 sacks, 4 INT

Cam Newton made too many questionable throws in this one

Jacksonville (vs Indianapolis) - 3 sacks, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery, 0 pts allowed

Welcome back to fantasy relevance Jacksonville defense!

New York Jets (at Tennessee) - 3 sacks, 1 INT, 1 DEF TD

Marcus Mariota staredown = Jets D/ST is a hit just in time to confuse us before a matchup with the Bills

Baltimore (at Atlanta) - 3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 1 DEF TD

The Ravens defense was impressive more in ways that didn’t show up for fantasy, but a defensive touchdown made up for the discrepancy in fantasy effectiveness and “real football” effectiveness.

New Orleans (at Dallas) - 7 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries

The Saints defense has become one to count on in fantasy leagues since they acquired Eli Apple

Atlanta (vs Baltimore) - 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 1 DEF TD

Lamar Jackson’s butterfingers gave the Falcons D/ST their first good fantasy line of the year

Week 14 Candidates

**Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City should be played over rent-a-defenses but are assumed to be rostered. Consider a rent-a-defense over Chicago/Houston**

Denver (at San Francisco)

Denver’s defense and Phillip Lindsay intend to carry them to the playoffs. The defense could help you win in the playoffs against a backup quarterback on a team cruising towards the #1 pick.

A Look Ahead: CLE @OAK - It’s Denver all the way to the finals

Los Angeles Chargers (vs Cincinnati)

Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram III, Derwin James, Casey Hayward, Desmond King and Jeff Driskel walk into a bar. Hopefully you’ll be laughing at the punchline.

A Look Ahead: @KC BAL - Week 16 has potential if Week 14 goes well

New Orleans (at Tampa Bay)

The Saints D/ST has been a hit in fantasy leagues five out of the last six games. They are worth the start even on the road, with the hopes that Jameis Winston reverts to turnover slot machine mode.

A Look Ahead: @CAR PIT - If the hot streak continues, we’ll continue to play them.

New York Giants (at Washington)

Mark Sanchez is starting for Washington and the Giants D/ST has been a good start two of the last three weeks. The math is easy on this one.

A Look Ahead: TEN @IND - If Marcus Mariota throws another pick six this week, we might consider the Giants next week.

Jacksonville (at Tennessee)

Expect a boring, close to the vest, opposite-of-a-shootout game here that will appeal in leagues that reward points and yards allowed. Why Jacksonville over Tennessee even though the Jags D/ST has been better at home this year? Look below.

A Look Ahead: WAS @MIA - The Jaguars might be the #1 D/ST next week, and Week 16 is viable.

Seattle (vs Minnesota)

Seattle’s home magic is in effect and Kirk Cousins is hearing his critics.

A Look Ahead: @SF KC - The best reason to play Seattle this week is to have them in your back pocket for next week

Dallas (vs Philadelphia)

The Cowboys defense is surging and facing an Eagles offense that imploded in their last road game

A Look Ahead: @IND TB - The best reason to play Dallas this week is to have them for Week 16 if you make it that far

Buffalo (vs New York Jets)

To play Buffalo, or Buffalo’s opponent? It seems like most weeks at least one of them is the right answer in fantasy leagues. The Bills dominated the first matchup and they’re playing at home. That’s good enough to take them over their opponent this week.

A Look Ahead: DET @NE - If the Bills can come through this week, playing them next week could be very tempting.

Week 15 Preemptive pickups

Jacksonville (vs Washington)

Baltimore (vs Tampa Bay)

Buffalo (vs Detroit)

Seattle (at San Francisco)

Minnesota (vs Miami)

Week 16 Preemptive pickups

Tennessee (vs Washington)

New England (vs Buffalo)

Denver (at Oakland)

Cleveland (vs Cincinnati)

Dallas (vs Tampa Bay)