Week 13 Rankings (2017): Top 15 Defenses

by Will Overton

This is a huge week for fantasy football players and everything needs to be just right for success. Defenses often go overlooked, but picking the right one can be huge for you winning or losing. With that in mind let’s take a look at the Top 15 defenses for this week:

  1. Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cleveland
  2. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis
  3. Baltimore Ravens vs. Detroit
  4. Denver Broncos @ Miami
  5. Chicago Bears vs. San Francisco
  6. Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona
  7. New England Patriots @ Buffalo
  8. Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati
  9. Washington Redskins @ Dallas
  10. Oakland Raiders vs. NY Giants
  11. Detroit Lions @ Baltimore
  12. Tennessee Titans vs. Houston
  13. Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay
  14. Philadelphia Eagles @ Seattle
  15. New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina


  • There is no defense hotter than the Chargers right now and there is no matchup better than the one they have with Cleveland. In the last two weeks the Chargers have seven INT and three defensive TD. There isn’t a better pass rushing combination than Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram and pressure on a QB leads to mistakes and sacks, and DeShone Kizer is known to make plenty of mistakes. The Chargers are available in a handful of leagues still and they could make all the difference for your team this week.
  • Consistency can be key in a defense and that’s what you get from the Baltimore Ravens. They will blow up on occasion, three 20+ games in the last six weeks, but they have a nice floor too, only once in the last seven games going under 7 points. The Ravens get a ton of turnovers and they might be catching the Lions at the right time. Detroit isn’t typically a good matchup because of their ability to put up points, but a hobbled Matt Stafford makes things a lot more appealing.
  • The New England Patriots are hitting their stride defensively with their classic bend, but don’t break style where they give up a ton of yards but limit the point scoring. The Patriots have hit double digits in three of the last four weeks and they haven’t allowed a team to score 20 or more since week four. The Bills aren’t terribly turnover prone, but they also haven’t been scoring many points lately which bodes well for New England.
  • I have to be honest, when I heard the news about Eli Manning being benched for Geno Smith I was running to check all my fantasy teams to see if I could switch out anyone for the Oakland Raiders. Now I know the Raiders defense has been bad all season, but this is the New York Giants putrid offense which is now going to be led by the turnover machine himself. The Raiders hit double digits in points last week against the Broncos and their bad QB play, so anything less than a dozen points this week is disappointing.

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Week 14 Rankings (2017): Top 25 Quarterbacks
Week 13 Rankings (2017): Top 15 Kickers


  1. Haggy says:

    If you had to pick one QB… Rest of season…Taylor..Keenum…. Prescott..Really like Taylors schedule. And he runs..What you think.

  2. Patriots says:

    Hello Professor,
    Week 15, 16 roster management . Available to drop are Seahawks defense or Greg Olsen for a back up an for McCown? I have Brees , Hunter Henry, Jack Doyle and the ravens defense. The only other qb’s on the wire are blain Gabbert, Garoppolo, seimian, Flacco. Not much as you can see. Would you do it or take a chance and ride it out? Another option might be Patrick Mahomes if Smith is replaced. Thank You

    • Garoppolo and Gabbert aren’t great, but they have potential. I’d rather hold Olsen over both of the other TE, but you def. don’t need three so I’d drop one of them for a QB

  3. Andrew says:

    Would you drop Seattle D for the Bills considering their strength of schedule for the early rounds of the playoffs?

  4. Brian says:

    Dear Professor,
    In a non PPR league I have to sit 2 of Hunt, McCoy, Howard, Evans, Hopkins and Allen.
    I was thinking hunt because of recent struggles and possibly McCoy because of gamescript. Let me know how you would lean. Thank You!!!

    • Lets call th is a good problem to have. I’d roll with Hunt, because I think they may really try to get him the ball. That said hard to argue sitting any of them so I guess I’d sit Hunt/Howard

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