For most of the season, fantasy football managers don’t need to concern themselves with rostering a specific DST. You can just stream defenses week-to-week. In the fantasy playoffs, though, it’s worthwhile to plan out the position ahead of time.
Here is everything you need to know to maximize the DST position over the final three weeks of the season.
DST Fantasy Football Playoff Stashes
There’s no objective top DST to stash. How you approach the position depends on what defenses are available, as well as your team’s situation entering the fantasy playoffs.
Before we get into the specifics, let’s go over a little basic strategy. Ideally, you want to stash a defense for each of the three weeks of the fantasy playoffs. This is probably not possible if you don’t have a bye. It may not be possible to stash a single defense if you aren’t yet in the playoffs.
I have teams that have clinched byes. I have teams that are locked into the playoffs but can’t get a bye. And I have teams that need to win and get some help in Week 14 to make the playoffs.
If you find yourself in either of the first two situations, you should look to stash a defense or two. In the third situation, it depends. Nothing matters if you don’t get in. But if your lineup for Week 14 is set, there’s no harm in preparing yourself for a playoff run even if you end up not making it.
With that in mind, let’s get into the top DST stashes for the postseason. All defenses are rostered in fewer than 50% of Yahoo leagues.
Defense Stashes for Fantasy Managers Without Byes
Los Angeles Rams (vs. WAS, vs. NO, at NYG)
No one will mistake the Rams for having a good defense. It’s also not a bad defense. It’s decidedly mediocre.
That’s all we need because the caliber of the defense doesn’t matter nearly as much as the futility of the opposing offense.
The Rams are one of the best DSTs to stash because they are usable all three weeks. Defenses feast on the Commanders because Washington plays to win (even if they’re not very good at it).
We don’t want defenses against teams content to just run the ball and go home. The Commanders will completely abandon the run when they fall behind, leading to more sack and turnover opportunities.
In Week 16, if you advance, the Rams may get to enjoy a game against Jameis Winston. Famous Jameis once threw 30 interceptions in a season. The Saints will probably score points, but Winston is good for a couple of turnovers and a few sacks.
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Finally, if you make it to the championship, the Rams will likely see Tommy DeVito. When he’s not enjoying delicious homemade chicken cutlets from his mother, DeVito can be found on a football field, probably taking a sack. He’s been sacked a whopping 28 times in five games as a starter.
The Rams might be the only defense out there startable in all three weeks of the fantasy playoffs.
Atlanta Falcons (at CAR, vs. IND, at CHI)
The Falcons are another team without a particularly good defense. But that didn’t stop them from being the second-highest-scoring defense in Week 13. Why? They played the Jets. Any defense can be good if the opposing offense is bad enough.
This stash is mostly for Week 15. I don’t hate having to start Atlanta at home against the Colts, but Gardner Minshew is good enough for us to search for a better matchup this week. But next week, we want the Falcons.
Starting defenses against Carolina has been a gold mine all season. Bryce Young has thrown as many interceptions (9) as touchdowns (9). He’s also taken 44 sacks in 11 starts and lost four fumbles. The Falcons will be one of the top options in Week 15.
Los Angeles Chargers (at LV, vs. BUF, at DEN)
This is strictly a Week 15 stash. The Chargers are not usable in Weeks 16 or 17. But that’s okay. Weeks 16 and 17 don’t matter if you don’t get there.
L.A.’s defense has not been particularly good this season. They have only been startable for a handful of weeks, but they feast on bad offenses.
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The Chargers scored 27 and 17 fantasy points in Weeks 9 and 13 against the Jets and Patriots, respectively. Both of those games were on the road.
Back in Week 4, the Chargers scored 14 fantasy points at home against the Raiders. Aidan O’Connell has taken 13 sacks in five starts and has a 4:6 touchdown:interception ratio.
The Chargers will be a top-eight option in Week 15.
Defense Stashes for Fantasy Managers With Byes
Denver Broncos (vs. NE, vs. LAC)
I get the sense the Broncos aren’t being respected as a legitimately good defense, largely because of how historically bad they were to start the season. While they’re still terrible against the run, credit to them, they’ve turned it around overall.
The most important week of the fantasy season is Week 16. That’s their moneymaking week. We all want to win championships, but once you get there, you’ve probably locked up some coin.
I wouldn’t want to start the Broncos in Week 17 against the Chargers, but they legitimately might be the No. 1 ranked defense for Week 16.
The Patriots offense is an abomination. I have no idea if it will still be Bailey Zappe or if they will turn back to Mac Jones, or perhaps give Malik Cunningham an audition. And I don’t care.
Much like with the Jets, it doesn’t matter who starts at quarterback. This team can’t score any points.
Over their last three games, the Patriots have scored six, seven, and zero points. Their next two games are against the Steelers (which may be over by the time many of you read this), and the Chiefs. Good luck.
By the time we get to Week 16, New England may have scored fewer than four touchdowns in five games. With Rhamondre Stevenson out, the Patriots won’t have any way to move the ball on the Broncos.
Green Bay Packers (at CAR, at MIN)
The Packers are the perfect DST to add if you’re playing for a bye this week. I don’t think they’re good enough to start at home against the Bucs next week, but they get the Giants this week, and the Panthers in Week 16.
If you can get a win to secure a bye, you can then add a Week 17 defense next week, and you’re all set.
This article is already getting lengthy, so I won’t rehash the same arguments from earlier. Check out the sections on the Rams and Falcons for why the Giants and Panthers are opposing offenses to target.
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