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.
**Denver, Seattle, NY Jets and Houston have good matchups this week and should be played over any rent-a-defense, but they are assumed to be owned**
Week 2 Results
Carolina (vs Houston) - 1 sack, 1 INT
The Panthers frustrated the Texans offense all day, but it didn’t result in many fantasy points.
A Look Ahead: NO @TB BYE - The good news is that you might get Luke McCown this week. Hold and see.
Kansas City (vs Denver - Thursday) - 3 sacks, 1 INT, 1 DEF TD
For a bit there, it looked like the Chiefs were going to unmask Peyton Manning for once and for all, but he recovered in the two minute drill late in both halves to salvage a win somehow. It was a still a nice outing for the Chiefs, who rung up the second pick six on Manning in two weeks.
A Look Ahead: @GB @CIN CHI - No thanks.
New Orleans (vs Tampa Bay) - 3 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries
Ok, ok I’m done trusting the Saints at home. Period. Consider the middling score a win and we’ll move on from this unit.
A Look Ahead: @CAR DAL @PHI - Nope.
Green Bay (vs Seattle) - 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery
The Packers defense played better than their fantasy output indicates.
A Look Ahead: KC @SF STL - At home in prime time again is not a bad recipe for a D/ST. Consider holding them.
Tennessee (at Cleveland) - 2 sacks
Yup had the wrong side of this tilt.
A Look Ahead: IND BYE BUF - Perhaps they could blitz Andrew Luck into mistakes like the Jets and Bills, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda
Cleveland (vs Tennessee) - 7 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, 1 DEF TD
Unlike Tampa, Cleveland made Marcus Mariota look like a rookie,
Arizona (at Chicago) - 2 sacks, 2 INT, 1 ST TD, 1 DEF TD
A game-opening kick return and then a pick six that also knocks out the starting quarterback is a D/ST masterpiece.
Dallas (at Philadelphia) - 1 sack, 2 INT, 1 fumble recovery, 1 ST TD
Who would have known that the Eagles offense was this bad or shorthanded Cowboys defense this good?
New England (at Buffalo) - 8 sacks, 3 INT
This is what happens when you make a running quarterback throw more than he wants to by jumping out to a big lead.
Week 3 Candidates
New England (vs Jacksonville)
Blake Bortles improved in Week 2, but he’s not going to keep up with Brady, and we know he loves to throw the pick sixes…
A Look Ahead: BYE @DAL @IND - If the Patriots come through for the second straight week, it’s might be worth it to hold them through the bye
Arizona (vs San Francisco)
Perhaps this should be #1 with the Arizona D/ST performance last week, their track record at home, and the 49ers becoming a turtle on their collective back down more than one score. A great play.
A Look Ahead: STL @DET @PIT - Another reason to give Arizona a long look is another home matchup against a questionable quarterback
Carolina (vs New Orleans)
A weak Drew Brees outdoors on the road or Luke McCown. Either way, you like this matchup.
A Look Ahead: @TB BYE @SEA - Unless Winston regresses greatly, we’ll throw the Panthers back.
Cleveland (vs Oakland)
Derek Carr drove like brand new last week, but the Raiders are never good coming east and the Browns defense was swarming at home last week.
A Look Ahead: @SD @BAL DEN - See you later after Week 3
Green Bay (vs Kansas City)
The Packers don’t have many flashy playmakers on defense, but they tend to control home games and get opponents out of their comfort zone. If Alex Smith is playing from behind, me likey
A Look Ahead: @SF STL SD - If the Packers D/ST comes through, it’s not crazy to play them on the road against their nemesis.
Week 4 Pre-emptive Pickups
San Diego (vs Cleveland)
Dallas (at New Orleans)
Indianapolis (vs Jacksonville)