Knowing which defenses to start in fantasy football can be critical to winning your matchups. This position, arguably more so than any other, is matchup-dependent on a weekly basis, and the best results can be obtained by being flexible with a streaming strategy. Here’s a look at our Week 12 fantasy defense rankings and the top options to stream this week.
Top Fantasy Defense Streamers in Week 12
Week 11 was a very challenging one for defensive streamers. With every team in action in Week 12, we have our largest set of options of the season. Here are my top fantasy defense streamers, all of which are rostered in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues.
Miami Dolphins (vs. HOU)
I completely respect the Texans for going with Davis Mills this season. They needed to see what they had. They now have their answer…and it’s not Davis Mills.
Mills is the gift that keeps on giving for opposing defenses. He has at least one interception in five consecutive games and 11 on the season. Mills also takes a ton of sacks. He’s been sacked at least three times in seven games this season.
The Dolphins are by no means a quality defense. However, they are home and freshly rested coming off their bye. The Texans haven’t scored more than 20 points since Week 4.
Miami should be able to score at will, creating negative game script and forcing Houston to throw. That is what we want, as pass plays are how defenses generate sacks and turnovers. The Dolphins are out there in over 75% of Yahoo leagues and are a top streamer this week.
Indianapolis Colts (vs. PIT)
The Colts may have lost to the Eagles, but they largely contained Philadelphia’s explosive offense, limiting them to just 17 points. Indianapolis sacked Jalen Hurts three times and forced two fumbles.
The Colts have now recorded multiple sacks in eight consecutive games and forced 11 turnovers on the season.
MORE: Week 12 QB Fantasy Football Rankings
Kenny Pickett, meanwhile, was better against the Bengals. He led the Steelers to 30 points and didn’t turn it over.
This isn’t necessarily the easy matchup it may have been a couple of weeks ago. Even so, Pickett is still a rookie and playing on the road. You can do worse than the Colts. They are not the top streamer, but they’re certainly a worthwhile option.
New York Jets (vs. CHI)
I have no doubt that Justin Fields is going to move the ball well against the Jets. The man simply cannot be stopped.
At the same time, even with Fields leading the Bears to over 30 points per game the past five weeks, Chicago is allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing defenses. Between turnovers and pick-sixes, Fields produces offense for both teams.
The Jets are a legitimately good defense. I would argue they’re top five in the NFL. They’ve forced 14 turnovers on the season. More recently, over their past three games, they’ve sacked the opposing quarterback 17 times. Fields entered Week 11 leading the NFL in sacks taken.
Other than a Week 14 trip to Buffalo, the Jets are startable for the rest of the season. And they’re probably not the worst start that week as well. I’m surprised they’re still available in over 50% of Yahoo leagues. That should change Wednesday morning.
Carolina Panthers (vs. DEN)
Quietly, the Panthers have been pretty solid defensively. They just held Lamar Jackson and the Ravens to 13 points. Two weeks ago, they limited the Falcons to just 15 points on Thursday night. We won’t talk about what they did the two weeks before that.
This is more about the opponent, anyway. The Broncos have the worst scoring offense in the NFL. No quarterback scored below 17 fantasy points against the Raiders this season…until Russell Wilson didn’t even come close. Wilson couldn’t throw a single touchdown pass against arguably the worst pass defense in the league.
The Panthers have recorded eight sacks over their past two games. They’ve forced 10 turnovers on the season. At home against one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL, Carolina is absolutely a viable streamer.
Minnesota Vikings (vs. NE)
My final of a whopping five Week 12 defensive-streaming options is the Vikings. Yes, the same Vikings that just had a 40 burger dropped on them by the Cowboys. Those Vikings.
Prior to getting eviscerated by the Cowboys, this defense was actually playing quite well. They’ve recorded multiple sacks in all but two games this season and forced 18 turnovers.
Minnesota is a bit hit-or-miss as a defense, but we’ve got two nice spots coming up. Yeah, spoiler alert, they’re going to be a Week 13 streamer as well.
MORE: Week 12 Non-PPR Fantasy Football Rankings
Minnesota’s next two opponents are home dates against the Patriots and Jets. This week’s game against the Patriots is the night game on Thanksgiving. While I don’t love the short week, Mac Jones is the gift that keeps on giving.
Jones has now been sacked an absurd 16 times in his last three games. While he’s gone two straight games without throwing an interception, he had thrown one in every previous start. He’s probably going to throw one on Thursday night, and I’ll likely take that on Underdog Fantasy.
I really don’t think the Vikings will be a popular streamer this week, given their performance last week. If you miss out on the other options or just don’t want to spend up for a streamer, Minnesota should be sitting there for you.
Week 12 Fantasy Defense Rankings
The rankings below are from Senior Fantasy Analyst Tommy Garrett. If you want to ask Tommy or any of our fantasy analysts about defense rankings or streamers for Week 12, then be sure to sign up for the PFN Discord server, where you will have unlimited access to the team throughout the season.
The table is best viewed in landscape on mobile devices and can be sorted using the filters above the table.
|1||Dallas Cowboys||@ WAS|
|2||San Francisco 49ers||vs ARI|
|3||Kansas City Chiefs||@ LV|
|4||Baltimore Ravens||@ CIN|
|5||Buffalo Bills||vs NE|
|6||Philadelphia Eagles||vs NYG|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||@ ATL|
|8||Jacksonville Jaguars||vs TEN|
|9||Cincinnati Bengals||vs BAL|
|10||Cleveland Browns||@ PIT|
|11||Los Angeles Chargers||@ DEN|
|12||Pittsburgh Steelers||vs CLE|
|13||Green Bay Packers||vs DET|
|14||New York Giants||@ PHI|
|15||New York Jets||@ MIA|
|16||Seattle Seahawks||vs LAR|
|17||Miami Dolphins||vs NYJ|
|18||New Orleans Saints||vs CAR|
|19||New England Patriots||@ BUF|
|20||Minnesota Vikings||@ CHI|
|21||Carolina Panthers||@ NO|
|22||Detroit Lions||@ GB|
|23||Los Angeles Rams||@ SEA|
|24||Indianapolis Colts||vs HOU|
|25||Houston Texans||@ IND|
|26||Washington Commanders||vs DAL|
|27||Atlanta Falcons||vs TB|
|28||Chicago Bears||vs MIN|
|29||Denver Broncos||vs LAC|
|30||Tennessee Titans||@ JAC|
|31||Arizona Cardinals||@ SF|
|32||Las Vegas Raiders||vs KC|