Week 12 Rankings (2018): Top 15 Defenses

by Ray Kuhn

I know they are on bye this week, but despite allowing over 50 points the Rams were still one of the better defensive plays last week. That isn’t what we expected or ranked, but multiple turnovers and touchdowns will do that. What’s even crazier is the fact that their opponent (losing) was the Chiefs, who put up the second most points of the week. Along the same lines let’s take a look at how our options for this week rank:

  1. Baltimore Ravens – vs. Oakland
  2. Chicago Bears – at Detroit
  3. LA Chargers – vs. Arizona
  4. Houston Texans – vs. Tennessee
  5. Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Cleveland
  6. Washington Redskins – at Dallas
  7. Detroit Lions – vs. Chicago
  8. Pittsburgh Steelers – at Denver
  9. New England Patriots – at NY Jets
  10. Indianapolis Colts – vs. Miami
  11. San Francisco 49ers – at Tampa Bay
  12. Tennessee Titans – at Houston
  13. Carolina Panthers – vs. Seattle
  14. Cleveland Browns – at Cincinnati
  15. Dallas Cowboys – vs. Washington


  • Despite being a Top 12 defense the Colts are still owned in just 23% of ESPN leagues. Last week they put up the sixth highest point total, and this week they get to face the Dolphins who have allowed the eighth most points to fantasy defenses. With two interceptions last week the Colts are up to 11 on the season, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see that trend continue against the Dolphins who welcome Ryan Tannehill back under center. The other positive is that the Colts have yet to venture into negative territory this season.
  • Even though they are ranked as the fourth ranked fantasy defense, the Giants put up the second highest point total of the week against Tampa Bay in Week 11. It shouldn’t have come as that much of a surprise considering the Buccaneers have allowed the second most points to opposing defenses. The trend that New York established last week should continue with the 49ers being the beneficiaries. Prior to allowing an empty 27 points to the Giants last week, San Francisco’s defense had given up a combined 21 points. While the picture isn’t all that attractive, the match-up certainly offers upside.
  • After struggling last week against the Colts I wouldn’t expect the Titans to change all that much as they take on the Texans. Houston currently sports the fifth ranked fantasy defense, and they are coming off a week in which they had two interceptions, a touchdown and five sacks. That brought Houston’s interception total for the season up to nine to go along with their 28 sacks. There is no reason not to expect the Texans to get to the quarterback with frequency once again while also limiting the points against them.


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Make sure to check out all of our Week 12 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Week 13 Rankings (2018): Top 25 Quarterbacks
Week 12 Rankings (2018): Top 15 Kickers


  1. Eric says:

    Hey Prof. I have Jake Elliot but have a chance to pick up Matt Bryant, should I? Happy Thanksgiving

  2. Too Tall says:

    Hi Professor,

    Thoughts on Jacksonville defense this week? Curious why they did not make the top 15 list? Thank you.

  3. Mike says:

    Happy Thanksgiving. With Kelce on a bye do you go with Engram Who I have been holding onto for this week or do I go and get.. Brate, Herndon, Vannett, kendricks for a PPR? Thanks.

    Also… when does Sutton break out?

  4. Krysta says:

    14 Team, PPR. Also surprised Jacksonville is MIA…Baltimore or Jacksonville?

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