Week 6 of the NFL brings us the first bye weeks of the season. We take a look at which defenses are the best choices to start and which ones you might want to sit on your fantasy lineups as we head into the weekend.
Buccaneers vs. Steelers
This Steelers team is clearly struggling, and the Buccaneers are in the perfect position to take advantage of that defensively. Rookie Kenny Pickett recently replaced Mitch Trubisky as the starter and promptly lost to the Bills 38-3, throwing zero touchdowns despite attempting to pass 52 times.
The Bucs already have one of the better defenses in the league, and if they can up the quarterback pressure and not let up like they did against the Falcons last week, this should be a good opportunity for defensive fantasy points.
Rams vs. Panthers
The Panthers have just fired their head coach. Starting quarterback Baker Mayfield is out with an ankle sprain. The Rams have Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and Bobby Wagner. This game should be a walk in the park for this Rams defense with all of the Panthers’ instability at the moment.
Dolphins vs. Vikings
I don’t like this matchup for the Dolphins. The Vikings have been able to rely on Kirk Cousins’ arm when they’re getting shut down on the ground, and the Dolphins’ defense excels at stopping the run while having the second-worse passing defense in the league. Even if they hold Minnesota to minimal rushing yards, they don’t have the tools to stop the Vikings’ receivers.
Patriots vs. Browns
The Pats’ defense is coming off a huge shutout of the Detroit Lions, but this Browns game may not look the same. The Patriots have struggled to defend the run this year, and could easily allow 200-plus yards to slip by on the ground. The Browns reached 213 rushing yards against the Chargers last week, and if New England can’t stop Nick Chubb, their defensive points this weekend are not going to help your lineup much.