Week 17 Fantasy Defense Rankings: Sleepers, busts, waiver-wire D/ST streamers to target

Most year-long fantasy football leagues wrapped up play with Week 16 championship games, but if you’re still playing through Week 17, you’re in luck. There are still plenty of quality D/ST units to trust and with several teams playing in big matchups this week, our Week 17 fantasy defense rankings will be strong and owners will have plenty of streamers to choose from in key start ’em, sit ’em decisions.

For leagues playing in Week 17, it’s always a good rule of thumb to trust solid defenses in good matchups that have something to play for. That’s why the Colts, who are fighting for a playoff spot, garner the top spot in our rankings this week. They’re taking on the Jaguars need to win to have a shot at the postseason. The same can be said of the Ravens (@ Bengals), Saints (@ Panthers), Steelers (@ Browns), and the Washington Football Team (@ Eagles). All have something to play for and are in strong enough matchups.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | Kicker

There are still a few out-of-contention units that are worth trusting. The Vikings (@ Lions) stand out as they’ll be taking on a hapless offense that may be forced to start Chase Daniel with Matthew Stafford banged-up. The Patriots (vs. Jets) are also worth trusting. Though the Jets have been better on offense of late, Bill Belichick should find a way to make Sam Darnold uncomfortable and see ghosts once again.

It’s riskier to trust units in tough matchups or defenses that might rest starters down the stretch of games. The Bears (vs. Packers) fall into the former category while the Chiefs (vs. Chargers) fall into the latter category. Both are recommended “sits” as they take on good offenses, and Andy Reid may elect to rest some of his better players with the No. 1 seed in the playoffs already locked up.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | Kicker

Some other teams that have already been eliminated in the playoff race could elect to sit starters, so that may create some more defensive sleepers. For now, though, it’s mostly best to trust the defenses of playoff teams with something to play for, as they are safe bets to give it their all in Week 17.

NOTE: Check back for updates throughout the week.

Week 17 Fantasy Defense Rankings

Rank Team
1 Indianapolis Colts vs. Jaguars
2 Baltimore Ravens @ Bengals
3 Seattle Seahawks @ 49ers
4 Minnesota Vikings @ Lions
5 Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington
6 New York Giants vs. Cowboys
7 Washington Football Team @ Eagles
8 New Orleans Saints @ Panthers
9 New England Patriots vs. Jets
10 Pittsburgh Steelers @ Browns
11 Green Bay Packers @ Bears
12 Cleveland Browns vs. Steelers
13 Buffalo Bills vs. Dolphins
14 Las Vegas Raiders @ Broncos
15 Dallas Cowboys @ Giants
16 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Falcons
17 Los Angeles Rams vs. Cardinals
18 Miami Dolphins @ Bills
19 Chicago Bears vs. Packers
20 Arizona Cardinals @ Rams
21 Los Angeles Chargers @ Chiefs
22 New York Jets @ Patriots
23 Kansas City Chiefs vs. Chargers
24 Houston Texans vs. Titans
25 San Francisco 49ers vs. Seahawks
26 Tennessee Titans @ Texans
27 Denver Broncos vs. Raiders
28 Carolina Panthers vs. Saints
29 Jacksonville Jaguars @ Colts
30 Cincinnati Bengals vs. Ravens
31 Detroit Lions vs. Vikings
32 Atlanta Falcons @ Buccaneers

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