Week 9 Fantasy Defense Rankings: Sleepers, busts, waiver-wire D/ST streamers to target

After a few tough weeks for D/STs, our Week 9 fantasy defense rankings are looking pretty strong, at least through the top 12. Bye weeks are still thinning the rankings as a whole, as the Rams, Eagles, Browns, and Bengals are idle this week. That said, the waiver wire streamers available this week are better than usual thanks to some favorable matchups, and that helps strengthen the starting tier as we continue to target mistake-prone quarterbacks and shaky offensive lines.

The mistake-prone quarterbacks we’re talking about include Kirk Cousins (vs. Lions), Daniel Jones (@ Washington), Nick Foles (@ Titans), and whoever starts for the Jaguars between Mike Glennon and Jake Luton (vs. Texans). Cousins is prone to picks, Jones turns the ball over plenty and takes sacks, Foles has had issues generating yards, and Jacksonville’s duo lacks talent/experience. That will make Detroit, Washington, Tennessee, and Houston solid streaming options.

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

The Cardinals could also be a worthwhile play, as they are taking on Tua Tagovaviloa in his first road start. Miami has a lot of offensive weapons, but rookies are often prone to mistakes. Tagovailoa represents the unproven quarterback part of our streaming equation, as his first start resulted in fewer than 100 passing yards and a lost fumble.

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

There are certainly other fantasy defenses to watch. The Giants could take advantage of Kyle Allen and a lackluster Washington offense, while Atlanta has a highly favorable matchup against the mistake-prone Drew Lock. If the Falcons had shown us much of anything this year, they’d be ranked higher, but if you’re in a bind, you can certainly take a chance on the Falcons.

Among the top-tier options, the Steelers get to face off against the Cowboys, the Patriots take on the Jets, and the Ravens take on the Colts and the immobile Philip Rivers, who can be prone to bouts with sacks and interceptions.

If there’s any top unit to consider fading this week, it would be the Buccaneers. They are taking on the Saints, and if Michael Thomas (hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID) are back, that game could turn into a high-scoring affair. Given how the Bucs have played in recent weeks, it’s fine to trust them, but just know that their floor may be a bit lower than normal as they take on a very good offense. The same is true for the Colts, who take on Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Pittsburgh’s defense had a decent day against Baltimore last week (four sacks, four takeaways), so Indianapolis is still in play if you need it.

NOTE: Check back for updates and analysis throughout the week. 

Week 9 Fantasy Defense Rankings

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

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