Fantasy Defense Rankings Week 16: D/ST must starts, sleepers, busts

It’s fantasy football finals week, and we hope you’re putting everything on the line. Pro Football Network continues the weekly Fantasy Defense/Special Teams (D/ST) rankings for the 2020 season. We now look to fantasy defense rankings for Week 16.

While singular offensive players dominate fantasy football, the other side of the ball sees players work together as a unit. These rankings can be especially useful if you are streaming your defense on a weekly basis.

*When ranking a fantasy defense and special teams, the general scoring includes points for fumbles, interceptions, sacks, safeties, and restricting offensive yards and points. Special teams’ scoring incorporates any kickoff or punt return touchdowns, blocked punts, and blocked field goal attempts.

Week 16 Fantasy D/ST Rankings, Top 10

1) Cleveland Browns

This is a more shaky defense ranking with the Browns only getting to Colt McCoy once last week. Still, they balanced that underwhelming output by only allowing six points. Things should remain rosy as the New York Jets are still one of the worst offenses in the NFL.

2) Baltimore Ravens

Moving from the team allowing the most points to opposing fantasy defenses in the Jets, we move one spot down to the New York Giants, who see a red hot Baltimore Ravens squad. After only putting up six points last week, it’s hard to imagine how things could get worse, but the blitz from the Ravens could very well show us.

3) Chicago Bears

If the Jacksonville Jaguars weren’t bad enough, they will be starting Mike Glennon against the Bears. This move is definitely to remain competitive, and not at all to ensure they walk away with the number one overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. With James Robinson now ruled out, the Bears, arguably, could be considered the number one play.

4) Washington Football Team

Russell Wilson has looked less than the MVP candidate he appeared to be during the first half of the season, but this unit holding him to under 150 yards was impressive. Their sack numbers have been up and down the last few weeks, but the best thing for this defense was Christian McCaffrey being listed as doubtful ahead of this matchup.

5) Buffalo Bills

The New England Patriots’ passing game is downright bad, and the Bills’ defense has been impressive since their Week 11 bye. Since then, they have held three of their four opponents under 20 points.

This D/ST doesn’t have a higher ranking because the Patriots have the seventh-best rushing attack in the league. It’s possible they could come away with a few scores — an interesting conundrum in fantasy and defense rankings in Week 16.

6) Los Angeles Chargers

Denver could prove problematic as Noah Fant could take advantage of this team’s mediocre defense against the tight end position. Still, even without Joey Bosa, this team faces an offense that has been disappointing all year and will now be without Phillip Lindsay, who was placed on IR.

7) Houston Texans

Houston doesn’t see the impressive defense ranking of years past, but the Cincinnati Bengals are still starting Ryan Finley. Despite what we all saw on Monday Night Football, this is not a team that can dominate opponents, so a return to ordinary can and should be expected.

8) Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City has one hangup in an otherwise good matchup now that Julio Jones has been ruled out. Their pass rush has been underwhelming all season, and despite their four-sack performance against Miami a couple of weeks ago, this unit has failed to register multiple sacks in seven out of ten games since Week 5.

9) Philadelphia Eagles

After seeing Kyler Murray, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson over the last four weeks, a meeting with Andy Dalton will be a nice change of pace. Darius Slay is expected to play and see Amari Cooper as the Eagles look to knock the Dallas Cowboys out of playoff contention.

10) Los Angeles Rams

After last week’s depressing performance against the Jets, the hope is that this unit rebounds against their divisional opponents. The Seahawks are prone to sloppy play at times, so there’s a chance the Rams come away with some takeaways.

Multiple sacks in five of their last six games do show some hope for a more productive day, making them an intriguing spot for fantasy defense rankings in week 16.

Week 16 Defense and Special Teams Fantasy Rankings, Tier 2

11) Carolina Panthers

12) Pittsburgh Steelers

13) Indianapolis Colts

14) Seattle Seahawks

15) New England Patriots

16) Denver Broncos

Week 16 Defense and Special Teams Fantasy Rankings, Tier 3

17) Dallas Cowboys

18) Jacksonville Jaguars

19) Green Bay Packers

20) Cincinnati Bengals

21) New York Giants

22) Tennessee Titans

23) Atlanta Falcons

24) New York Jets

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Be sure to follow us on Twitter: @PFN365 to stay up to date with all things around the NFL and the 2020 fantasy football season. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis while also seeing our fantasy football section for more coverage and up-to-date rankings.

Andrew Thomas Jordan is an editor and analyst for Pro Football Network covering fantasy football: dynasty, redraft, best ball, DFS, our 2020 D/ST rankings, and more. You can follow him @The_ATJ on Twitter and hear him weekly as host of The Fantasy Force Podcast.