When plugging your D/ST into your lineup for the fantasy playoffs this week, don’t blindly throw a team out there just because they’ve been good this season. Matchups are crucial when starting a defense. The Bills rank seventh in D/ST fantasy points this season, but you aren’t playing them against the Ravens unless you are certifiable.
There aren’t a ton of great options on the majority of waiver wires, but there are enough to keep you from making a big mistake. Here, we’ll take a look at D/STs who are available in the majority of ESPN fantasy football leagues.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2.8 percent) vs. Colts
The Buccaneers have played excellent run defense all year, and Shaq Barrett has gotten to the quarterback 14.5 times on the season. You’d think their D/ST would be in better shape, but for most of the season, they’ve been bad and, at best, unreliable. Now, over the last two games, they’ve put up big numbers on the road. In their previous two games against the Falcons and the Jaguars, they have 11 sacks, three fumble recoveries, three interceptions, and two defensive touchdowns. Now they face a Colts team that has hit the skids of late, as Jacoby Brissett has taken a step back.
Green Bay Packers (24 percent) vs. Washington
The Packers picked off Daniel Jones three times last week, but their defense hasn’t been as good as expected this season. The good news is that they get a rookie quarterback coming into Lambeau as a 14-point underdog. Aaron Rodgers and company should be able to get a lead in this one and force Dwayne Haskins to throw the ball, which Washington has avoided so far.
Houston Texans (14.1 percent) vs. Broncos
The Texans are still in the midst of a close battle for the division and playoff seeding while the Broncos are not. Rookie quarterback Drew Lock wasn’t awful in his first game, but he wasn’t great, and he was at home against the Chargers, who did intercept him once. The Texans did pick off Tom Brady once and sack him three times on Sunday night. That’s not great, but Lock will have more trouble.