The right or wrong D/ST to start can make or break a weekend in fantasy football. At the same time, it’s possibly the most disposable position on a roster, depending on how reliable your kicker is.
The harsh reality is there are fewer reliable defenses than there are teams in the vast majority of leagues, with just nine defense/special teams units earning at least 50 points through nine weeks. Based on this year’s results, the average D/ST is nearly four times more likely to produce a score of zero or worse than it is to score more than 15 points in a week.
Consistency is the best trait to target when selecting a defense, but matchups play a major role too. With those two factors in mind, here are the top six defenses to own the rest of the way, along with their ownership percentage on ESPN.
1. Seahawks (98.2%)
Among the top nine scoring D/ST’s, Seattle has the most friendly lineup of matchups, including four soft offenses during over the final four weeks of the season.
2. Cardinals (87.1%)
Like Seattle, Arizona is one of six units to produce positive points every week this season. The next two weeks line up as extremely friendly for the Cards.
3. Chiefs (94.4%)
The matchups once again are the key here as Kansas City could be a boon during the fantasy playoffs. Just be careful in weeks 13 and 14.
4. Chargers (54.3%)
Week 15 could be hairy, and Week 11 is San Diego’s bye. Otherwise, the Chargers can be strong contributors every week.
5. Bills (61.6%)
Buffalo is off this weekend, but scoop them up if you have room on the bench. Their schedule looks favorable in December and January.
6. Vikings (95.8%)
The top-scoring unit has cooled of late, but they’ll get it together. This is another group with some soft matchups on the docket for the fantasy postseason.