‘Tis the season for over-thinking.
I’m as guilt of it as you, and I think it’s natural this time of year to over analyze our weekly fantasy decisions because, unlike Week 2 or 5 or even 8, Week 13 and beyond seem to carry a new weight — a sort of gravity that comes with elimination games and desperate lunges toward that final playoff spot.
Perhaps there’s no position that inspires more over thinking than team defense. We consider every option half a dozen times before Sunday’s kickoff because there’s usually a half-baked argument for three or four or five waiver wire options. You can read advice columns until your eyeballs glaze over, but make sure you have a valid reason to deploying your defensive unit of choice.
And this cannot be said enough in the latter stages of fantasy football season: Process trumps results, every time, no matter what. Be as roboticly objective as humanly possible, choose a defense with confidence, and have no regrets on Sunday night.
Let’s look at the best fantasy playoff defensive options before we delve into Vegas’ Week 13 advice. As per usual, I used the rotoViz Streaming D app to identify the most favorable waiver wire plays.
|Week 14||Week 15||Week 16|
|Houston Texans (at JAC)||Buffalo Bills (at JAC)||Cleveland Browns (at NYJ)|
|New York Jets (at OAK)||New England Patriots (at MIA)||Buffalo Bills (vs. MIA)|
|Tampa Bay Bucs (vs. BUF)||Philadelphia Eagles (at MIN)||Tennessee Titans (at JAC)|
|New England Patriots (vs. CLE)||Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. BUF)||San Diego Chargers (vs. OAK)|
Now here’s a rundown of this week’s over-unders, which give us at least some insight into which games will be defensive slug-fests and which will be better for skill position players.
|Titans at Colts||45|
|Broncos at Chiefs||49|
|Jaguars at Browns||40.5|
|Buccaneers at Panthers||41.5|
|Bears at Vikings||50|
|Dolphins at Jets||40|
|Cardinals at Eagles||48.5|
|Rams at 49ers||42|
|Patriots at Texans||47.5|
|Bengals at Chargers||48.5|
|Giants at Washington||45.5|
|Saints at Seahawks||47|