news 4 days ago

Week 6 Fantasy Rankings: Defense

Sporting News — (Matt Lutovsky)

It doesn't take long before our Week 6 fantasy defense rankings start to get ugly. Part of the reason is two of the worst overall teams (Redskins-Dolphins) and two other really bad defenses with favorable matchups (Falcons-Cardinals) play each other. The byes certainly factor in with fantasy football owners losing both the ability to use Buffalo's and Chicago's D/STs and stream other defenses against them. But usually in thin weeks, it's because normally reliable starting units have bad matchups, thus forcing us to use waiver wire pickups as streamers, but it's tough to find those sleepers this week.

Only a handful of regularly started D/STs have bad matchups this week, with Houston (@ Chiefs), San Francisco (@ Rams), Minnesota (vs. Eagles), and Philadelphia (@ Vikings) dropping out of the starting tier. Teams like the Ravens (vs. Bengals), Seahawks (@ Browns), and Chiefs (vs. Texans) move up because of decent matchups, but none feel like great options. The same goes for Green Bay (vs. Lions), but a home prime-time game gives them a little boost.

WEEK 6 NON-PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | Kicker

The top streamer this week should be Washington, who has been crushed by a tough schedule that includes Philadelphia, Dallas, and New England. In it's two neutral/favorable matchups, the Redskins produced three sacks and five takeaways while allowing an average of 21.5 points against the Bears and Giants. While those aren't monster numbers, they still show you can start the Redskins against the lowly Dolphins this week.

WEEK 6 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiverTight end

The Panthers are also available in 55 percent of Yahoo leagues despite being one of the top D/STs the past three weeks. Jameis Winston was efficient against Carolina in Week 2 and has continued to play well ever since, but with an improved pass rush and playing in an always-unpredictable London setting, the Panthers should give him problems this week.

Other potential sub-50-percent-owned streams are the aforementioned Packers (vs. Lions), Steelers (@ Chargers), Seahawks (@ Browns), Browns (vs. Seahawks), and Chiefs (vs. Texans). Again, not all of these are exciting, but if you're going to strictly play matchups, you'd wind up with the Dolphins (vs. Redskins), Falcons (@ Cardinals), and Cardinals (vs. Falcons) -- three of the worst D/STs in virtually any format. It's possible matchups trump everything and one (or all) have decent games, but we all know how low the floors are with these teams.

WEEK 6: Waiver pickups | FAAB planner | Trade valuesSnap counts

Reminder: These rankings will be adjusted throughout week, so check back often for updates and analysis!

WEEK 6 DFS LINEUPS:
Y! cash | Y! GPP | FD cash | FD GPPDK cash | DK GPP

LISTEN TO THE SN FANTASY WEEK 6 PREVIEW PODCAST BELOW

MORE WEEK 6 DFS: Values | Stacks | Lineup Builder

Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings: Defense

1New England Patriots vs. Giants. Daniel Jones has turned it over five times and taken nine sacks in three games as New York's starter. On short rest against the Patriots, he might match those numbers. (Not really...but close.)
2Tennessee Titans @ Broncos. Tennessee hasn't allowed more than 20 points in a game while posting at least three sacks in all but one contest. Denver scores just 18 points per game and has allowed multiple sacks in all but one game. This matchup sets up well for a high Tennessee high floor, and the fact Joe Flacco has thrown an INT in each of the four games gives the Titans a higher floor than usual.
3Carolina Panthers vs. Buccaneers (in UK). The Panthers had just two sacks in Week 5 after posting 14 in Weeks 3 and 4, but they also had a season-high three takeaways and their first D/ST touchdown. This matchup is a rematch from Week 2 when Carolina couldn't manage a takeaway at home on Thursday Night Football. Jameis Winston has seemingly improved, but the London factor is at play here. It might mean nothing, but it's still a long trip and change in routine. Tampa just gave up a season-high six sacks to New Orleans, so the Panthers should be in position to pressure Winston into mistakes.
4Los Angeles Rams vs. 49ers. We continue to give the Rams the benefit of the doubt because of last season and all the talent on the roster, but this season has been a disappointment so far. They're still good for at least a couple sacks and a takeaway or two pretty much every week, and against the 49ers, who have shown the tendency to be sloppy with the Ball, L.A. could have a breakout game. 
5Washington Redskins @ Dolphins. The Redskins held their own against the Patriots for a half last week and wound up recording a season-high four sacks. This team has a better pass rush than it's showed, and as we said above, it actually did fine in neutral/favorable matchups against Chicago and the Giants (three sacks, five takeaways). Miami is allowing 4.5 sacks and 2.3 turnovers while scoring just 6.5 points per game, so it doesn't get much higher floor than this for the Redskins. 
6Los Angeles Chargers vs. Steelers. Devlin Hodges held his own when called upon last week, but the undrafted rookie out of Samford is still a concern if he's making his first career NFL start on the road in a prime-time game. It would be a surprise if Mason Rudolph is cleared from the NFL's concussion protocol after the nasty hit he took last week, and while he wasn't exactly lighting things up, he still had more experience in the Steelers system and on the field. The Chargers have started flashing some of the potential we saw in them during the preseason, producing eight sacks and three takeaways in the past two games, so even without a fierce homefield advantage, the Chargers should do well in this one.
7Green Bay Packers vs. Lions. Green Bay is third in takeaways (11) and tied for eighth in sacks (15), performing well against steady, ball-control offenses Minnesota (one sack, four takeaways) and Dallas (three sacks, three INTs). The Lions have been up and down, allowing zero sacks twice and seven total in the other two games. They've also had multiple turnovers in all but one game, but Matthew Stafford has only an INT in one game this year, so perharps the lost fumbles were a bit fluky. Overall, this isn't a particularly favorable matchup, but given what Green Bay has shown this year mixed with the Monday night home factor, we still think it's worth starting.
8Baltimore Ravens vs. Bengals. Cincinnati allows four sacks and two takeaways while scoring just 16 points per game. The Ravens have been a huge disappointment this year, but they did a fairly good job taking advantage of a favorable matchups in Week 1 vs. Miami (three sacks, three takeaways) and Week 5 against Pittsburgh (sack, two takeaways), so perhaps they can do it again here. As stated above, in a week with few sleepers, teams like the Ravens become legitimate options.
9Dallas Cowboys @ Jets. Even if Sam Darnold (mono) is back, this sets up as a favorable matchup for Dallas. Darnold is known for throwing INTs, and while he didn't throw any when he played in Week 1, he did take four sacks -- something that's been a major problem for the Jets this year. New York has allowed a league-leading 23 QB takedowns. Dallas has been underwhelming for fantasy purposes this season, recording 12 sacks and just four takeaways, but it can limit points and the matchup should allow for a higher floor. 
10Seattle Seahawks @ Browns. Baker Mayfield has been under constant pressure and made numerous mistakes this year, so that alone gives the Seahawks a higher ceiling than usual. The fact they'll be playing on extra rest and the Browns will be on short rest could help, too. Seattle has had games of four and five sacks this year in favorable matchups against Cincinnati and Arizona, respectively, and it's had at least one takeaway in every game this season.
11Pittsburgh Steelers @ Chargers. Pittsburgh's defense is the opposite of what it used to be -- mediocre in real life but solid for fantasy purposes. The Steelers have multiple takeaways in each of the past four games, and they've posted at least four sacks three times in that span. Obviously, it has a high floor, and the Chargers have struggled a few times this year, turning it over three times last week and four and five sacks, respectively, in Weeks 1 and 3. 
12New Orleans Saints @ Jaguars. Gardner Minshew hasn't thrown an INT as a starter, but he did lose three fumbles last week and has taken multiple sacks in three of four starts (11 total). The Saints have posted at least six sacks twice this season, including last week against the Bucs. The takeaways (6) have been disappointing, but any team that gets pressure, especially against a rookie QB, can have success.
13Kansas City Chiefs vs. Texans. Kansas City's pass rush was stonewalled by Indy's stout O-line last week, but that won't be the case against Houston, who's allowed 18 sacks (tied for fifth most). Houston is going to score, so the hope with KC is it racks up sacks and forces a few turnovers. 
14Cleveland Browns vs. Seahawks. Similar to the Texans-Chiefs matchup, Seattle has allowed four sacks in three separate games this year and Cleveland produced four in three games. Cleveland is actually better at producing turnovers, but we trust Seattle's offensive line just a touch more than Houston's.
15Minnesota Vikings vs. Eagles. Carson Wentz has thrown an INT in just one game this year and taken one or fewer sacks in three games. Minnesota's D/ST is allowing just 14.6 points per game while averaging three sacks per game, so this is strength against strength. Minnesota has enough talent to produce against anyone, especially at home, but its ceiling is lower than usual.
16Philadelphia Eagles @ Vikings.
17Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Panthers (in UK).
18San Francisco 49ers @ Rams.
19Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Saints.
20Miami Dolphins vs. Redskins.
21Detroit Lions @ Packers.
22Denver Broncos vs. Titans.
23Houston Texans @ Chiefs.
24Arizona Cardinals vs. Falcons.
25Atlanta Falcons @ Cardinals.
26New York Jets vs. Cowboys.
27Cincinnati Bengals @ Ravens.
28New York Giants @ Patriots.