Fantasy Defense Rankings Week 18: Who to start, sit at D/ST in fantasy football

Fantasy football owners know that the last week of the season is unpredictable, but most only think of key offensive players not playing. Defensive players can easily “rest” before the postseason or because teams have nothing to play for. We will have to keep an eye on all the idlers on both sides of the ball when looking for D / ST sleepers, as many factors could affect our Week 18 fantasy defense rankings.

The biggest concerns are injuries and COVID, of course, and the biggest focus will be on the starting quarterbacks. Not all backups fight automatically, and not all defenses can take advantage, but most seconds are at least a little less likely to be successful. The Broncos (vs. Chiefs), Lions (vs. Packers) and Ravens (vs. Steelers), among others, could be starting backups again, and if they do, all three defenses would be in good shape. Pittsburgh is the most unstable, but it can still make a few plays against a limited offense. The Packers are also in a strange situation because they think they are resting their players, but you can only “rest” so many guys on defense, so we still think they can have a good week against a cowardly Jared Goff (knee) or Tim . Boyle.

Of course, all those defenses are proprietary. If you’re looking for some sleepers, Washington (@ Giants) is by far your best bet. Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of high-percentage streamers in Week 18 (early in the week at least) as most of the best matchups go to the top D / STs. Tennessee (@ Texans) looks good too, and Minnesota (vs. Bears) should be in play no matter who the Bears starter. You could also try the Giants (against Washington) if you’re really a matchup slave, but they were crushed by an offense led by Andy Dalton last week, so we’re not optimistic about Big Blue’s chances this time.

Top D / STs with tough matchups include the Cardinals (vs. Seahawks), Rams (vs. 49ers), Cowboys (vs. Eagles) and 49ers (@ Rams). The Rams are still in good shape, as they will face rookie Trey Lance or a sick Jimmy Garoppolo (thumb), but the rest are more on the rise or fall than usual. Matthew Stafford throws a lot of interceptions, so the 49ers may have a higher floor than we think, but we know the Rams can score quickly. The Cowboys force a lot of turnovers, but Philadelphia is so geared toward the ground that Dallas will have fewer opportunities than usual to force them.

The Eagles (vs. Cowboys), Broncos (vs. Chiefs), Panthers (@ Buccaneers) and Browns (vs. Bengals) have contributed throughout the season, but these are not the matches to take a chance on. Consider them out of bounds, as even a shaky unit like Baltimore (against the Steelers) could have more advantages against a slow quarterback.

Again, this week we will have to keep an eye on the offensive linemen, the skilled guys and all the defensive players. Running backs and catchers will make more headlines, but a key offensive guard or tackle could have the same impact on rankings below.

We will update these D / ST rankings throughout the week, so check back for the latest player movement.

Fantasy Defense Rankings Week 18: Who To Start With, Sit D / ST In Fantasy Football

Rank Player
one Buffalo Bills vs. NYJ
two Indianapolis Colts @ JAX
3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. CAR
4 Kansas City Chiefs in DEN
5 New Orleans Saints at ATL
6 New England Patriots at MIA
7 Washington @ NYG Soccer Team
8 Tennessee Titans at HOU
9 Miami Dolphins vs. NE
10 Green Bay Packers at DET
eleven Minnesota Vikings vs. CHI
12 Los Angeles Rams vs SF
13 Dallas Cowboys at PHI
14 San Francisco 49ers in LAR
fifteen Arizona Cardinals vs. SEA
sixteen Cincinnati Bengals at CLE
17 Pittsburgh Steelers at BAL
18 New York Giants vs. WAS
19 Chicago Bears @ MIN
twenty Philadelphia Eagles vs. DAL
twenty-one Los Angeles Chargers @ LV
22 Cleveland Browns vs. CIN
23 Denver Broncos vs. KC
24 Baltimore Ravens vs. PIT
25 Atlanta Falcons vs. NO
26 Seattle Seahawks in ARI
27 Carolina Panthers @ TB
28 Las Vegas Raiders vs. LAC
29 Detroit Lions vs. GB
30 Jacksonville Jaguars vs. IND
31 Houston Texans vs. TEN
32 New York Jets at BUF