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Top 20 D/ST rankings for Week 8 fantasy football

With plenty of appealing home favorites this week, you’ll have great streaming options likely available on the wire. We rank the top 20 D/ST units for Week 8.

Chicago Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack is defended by Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Trent Brown during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Raiders defeated the Bears 24-21.  Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s spooky season y’all! And we’ve got plenty of terrifying defensive matchups on tap for Week 8 in the NFL. Luckily these teams won’t be seeing ghosts like Sam Darnold in last night’s frightfest vs. the Patriots; the Cowboys and Ravens are on bye.

It’s felt like forever, but we’ve finally got a slate of games that features multiple teams playing at double-digit favorites at home — a trend we love when selecting defenses in both DFS and season-long formats. Among those teams are the Patriots vs. the Browns, the Vikings vs. the Redskins, the Steelers vs. the Dolphins, the Saints vs. the Cardinals and the Rams vs. the Bengals. All five of those D/ST units are most likely owned in your season-long league, but if they aren’t, get on that. Actually, coming off their bye, the Steelers are only 51% owned in Yahoo! Fantasy Football leagues.

If you look closely at some other spreads on DraftKings Sportsbook for Week 8, you’ll see that the oddmakers don’t expect a ton of close football. Outside of those five games I mentioned above, we have five more teams who are favored by 5.0 or more points at home. The Texans, 49ers, Colts, Jaguars and Lions. Among these teams, three come in at sub-43% ownership on Yahoo! — Houston (43%), Indianapolis (14%) and Detroit (9%). All three of those teams make for appealing streaming options for Week 8 and aren’t bad replacements if your starting D/ST isn’t living up to expectations (cough, cough Bears, cough).

The once feared Chicago D/ST looked like a Sci-Fi Original Horror flick last week at home vs. the Saints coming off their bye week. I mean, you can’t blame them right, no Alvin Kamara for New Orleans and Teddy “Two Gloves” slinging the rock in the Windy City is enough to make anyone wither into a corner in fear.

But maybe the issue isn’t so much the Bears D/ST than it is their inability to get anything going on the ground. Usually a strong defensive unit is complimented by a solid run game. This hasn’t been the case with rookie RB David Montgomery struggling and Tarik Cohen being a glorified slot receiver, someone who OC Mark Helfrich clearly has no clue what to do with. I’m skittish on rolling the Bears D/ST out there vs. the Chargers, even at home. QB Philip Rivers has plenty of offensive weapons (Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry) and Los Angeles’ defense can hone in on pressuring Mitch Trubisky and blanketing Allen Robinson, pretty much Chicago’s whole offense. It’s tough to fade the Bears D/ST but this may be another week to consider it.

Talk about scares before Halloween, Patrick Mahomes’ dislocated knee from last Thursday night’s game probably made you jump more than — SPOILER ALERT — Jason popping out Crystal Lake at the end of Friday the 13th. We did get some good news on Mahomes, however, with the Chiefs QB really only expected to miss a month or so, tops. So for now, Kansas City will operate with Matt Moore under center, which bodes well for the Packers D/ST coming into Arrowhead on Sunday Night Football.

Green Bay has been ineffective against the run, but its offense is starting to turn things around. With the Chiefs defense playing very poor, Moore will most likely need to throw a lot to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and Co. — particularly if Davante Adams returns from his toe injury. This puts the Packers’ pass rush in a very good spot, anchored by Preston Smith and La’Darius Smith. Inexperienced fantasy owners may see Green Bay vs. the Chiefs and get scared off, so the Packers aren’t a bad streaming option at 59% ownership.

And with that, I say “I’ll be right back” ... next week. Remember the horror movie rules, kids. Enjoy spooky season, check back soon for more bad Halloween references and D/ST rankings!

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Ranking Team Opponent
Ranking Team Opponent
1 New England Patriots vs. Cleveland Browns
2 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Miami Dolphins
3 Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington
4 Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals
5 New Orleans Saints vs. Arizona Cardinals
6 Tennessee Titans vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
7 Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets
8 Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons
9 Buffalo Bills vs. Philadelphia Eagles
10 Detroit Lions vs. New York Giants
11 San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers
12 Chicago Bears vs. Los Angeles Chargers
13 Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs
14 Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos
15 Los Angeles Chargers at Chicago Bears
16 Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers
17 Houston Texans vs. Oakland Raiders
18 New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars
19 Philadelphia Eagles at Buffalo Bills
20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans

“All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS contests.”