With almost every team playing on Sunday, we have a plethora of defenses to choose from. Some teams will simply be playing for pride while others will be looking to clinch a playoff spot. This week, of all weeks, will be an interesting week for defenses, especially going against teams who’ll be resting starters. Let’s take a look at some options to consider as you build your Week 17 lineups!
One of the more obvious plays comes in the form of the Patriots. They still have something to play for in Week 17 as they look to clinch a first-round bye. Last week against the Bills, they posted one of their lowest fantasy outputs of the season with just 4 DKFP, as they allowed 17 points and only four sacks. However, they face a Dolphins team that they posted a season-high 37 points against in Week 2. Now, it’s not fair to think they’ll replicate that once again, especially since Josh Rosen was in that game for a while. Ryan Fitzpatrick, who’ll start this game, was also involved and threw three interceptions and was involved in four of the seven sacks the Patriots dished out. While Fitz is playing much better than any of us could have anticipated, he still turns over the ball at a high rate and has at least an interception thrown in all but four of the 14 games he’s been involved in. If you have the salary to spare to roster the Pats, you should be in a great position.
The Saints have the luxury of picking on the Panthers and more specifically, Will Grier. Making his second start of the season, Grier only managed 224 yards on 27 completions while also tossing three interceptions. For perspective, the Colts have been one of the worst secondaries in the league, so this type of performance wasn’t encouraging. Looking at the Saints’ game log, you wouldn’t be exactly excited to pay up for them, as they’ve averaged just 4 DKFP over their last three games. However, with the number of turnovers we just saw from Grier and a questionable Panthers O-line in front of him, it’s hard to think the Saints can’t come up with a big game here. To their credit, they have 49 sacks on the year and nabbed 11 interceptions despite not having one over the past two weeks. Again, this will be a tough one to pay up for but with the likelihood of ownership going to the Patriots at $300 more, the Saints could be a sneaky D/ST to consider.
Falcons D/ST ($3,400) vs. Buccaneers
It’s hard not to consider a defense that’ll be facing the interception machine known as Jameis Winston. For someone who has thrown for 31 touchdowns on the year, it’s hard to imagine that his interceptions are nearly the same, as he’s tossed 28. Over the past three weeks, Winston has eight under his belt against the Colts, Lions and Texans. With the matchup in mind, the Falcons are at their second-highest salary of the season at $3,400, coming in at $100 less when they faced the Bucs in Week 12. In that game, they intercepted him twice while coming away with just 5 DKFP. However, the Bucs offense looks much different in this game, as Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will be out. With that in mind, it’s not crazy to think the Falcons could potentially come away with double-digit fantasy points and easily pay off their salary.