Week 15 Rankings (2016): Top 15 Defenses

by Ray Kuhn

Well that certainly worked out pretty well… They say defense wins championships, or playoff match-ups, and in some cases that is the truth (at least for me in one of my leagues, that is how things went last week).  In what was generally a frustrating week around the league, the Atlanta defense came through against a middling Rams’ offense and their two touchdowns propelled me to victory. Now, it’s irresponsible to expect that kind of production on a weekly basis, but we can take the same steps to hopefully find a repeat performer. One of those teams to target is once again the Falcons, who are favored by 14 points at home against San Francisco:

  1. Seattle Seahawks – vs. Los Angeles
  2. Buffalo Bills – vs. Cleveland
  3. Baltimore Ravens – vs. Philadelphia
  4. Miami Dolphins – at New York Jets
  5. Atlanta Falcons – vs. San Francisco
  6. Green Bay Packers – at Chicago
  7. Houston Texans – vs. Jacksonville
  8. New York Giants – vs. Detroit
  9. Minnesota Vikings – vs. Indianapolis
  10. Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Tennessee
  11. New England Patriots – at Denver
  12. Denver Broncos – vs. New England
  13. Arizona Cardinals – vs New Orleans
  14. Philadelphia Eagles – at Baltimore
  15. New York Jets – vs. Miami


  • It goes without saying that we should target the Rams once again. In fact this week’s match-up might even be more enticing as they travel to Seattle. The Rams finally fired Jeff Fisher, but they did it on a short week when they are traveling to one of the most hostile environments in the league. In a game where just 38.5 points are expected to be scored the Seahawks are favored by 16, so Seattle’s defense won’t be losing too many points while we can expect multiple sacks and turnovers. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Rams have allowed the most points to opposing defenses, and the Seahawks should be motivated to rebound from the 38 points they allowed in Green Bay. Entering last week Seattle had interceptions in each of their last five games, and based on Jared Goff’s recent performance they should be able to get back on track.
  • Matt Barkley has been getting some buzz as of late, but can we truly trust him? I certainly wouldn’t want to place my fantasy hopes on him, but I would bet against him. That is especially true as Barkley and his Bears take the field in a game where the temperature is expected to hover around 0 degrees and the conditions will not be amenable to offense. Green Bay, who is owned in 54.1% of leagues, is coming off a game in which they picked off Seattle five times while allowing just 10 points.
  • If we are looking for a streaming option, the Jets are available in 65.2% of leagues. Things have not been going all that well for New York this season, and after the first few minutes of last week’s game it looked like they were back at it again. The Jets gave up two quick touchdowns, fueled by an early turnover, but their defense locked down San Francisco in the second half. On paper New York should be a lot better than the 30th ranked fantasy defense, but that has not been the case. This week they return home to face the Dolphins as they look to build on their recent success while facing a back-up quarterback in Matt Moore. Even with Ryan Tannenhill under center the Dolphins have been a favorable opponent for fantasy defenses, and the Jets could be worth a look.

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 15 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Week 15 Rankings (2016): Top 15 Kickers
Week 15 Rankings (2016): Top 50 Wide Receivers


  1. Jim says:

    Thanks for information and site! Would not be playing this week without your info all season! Happy Holidays!

    PPR,6 pt all Td’s

    Qb- Winston, Manning or Flacco-thinking riding Winston next two weeks!!

    Flex- Wakins or Tyrell Williams, playing Jordan Reed and Tyler Eifert

    Flex other league- Carlos Hyde or Watkins


    • Ray Kuhn says:

      No problem Jim. Same to you and, good luck.

      QB- I would stay away from Eli, and give the slight edge rest of the season to Winston

      Flex- Williams

      Other Leage – Hyde

  2. Krysta says:

    Seattle or Baltimore?

  3. Stephen says:

    Fins or Texans?

  4. Tandy says:

    Wilson or Mariota this week?

    Thank you,

  5. promillo says:

    Hi Ray,

    I have the Broncos, but I could get the Falcons? Thank you!

  6. Too Tall says:

    Hi Ray,

    Raiders or Giants? Raiders defense playing better of late. Rivers has been throwing interceptions. Lost RB Gordon this week so bound to be passing. Or Giants at home. Thoughts?

    Thank you.

  7. Brendan says:

    Week 15-

    QB- Winston or Rivers
    RB- Dixon or Martin
    FLEX- Watkins, Dixon, Martin, Crabtree, Rishard Matthews

    Thanks for your thoughts. I am looking for the lineup with the highest floor as I have a 15 point lead.

  8. Carl G. says:

    Ravens or Bills D?

  9. Tandy – Wilson, but it’s a coin flip

    promillo – For this week only, I’d lean Atlanta

    Too Tall – Giants are playing well, so I’d roll with them

    QB – Rivers
    RB – Martin
    FLEX – Watkins

    Carl G – Bills, but both are great options

  10. Billy says:

    Who Would you start on D this week, Denver vs Kansas City, Houston vs Cincinnati or should I pick up Tennessee vs Jacksonville

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