Most year-long fantasy football leagues wrapped up play with Week 16 championship games, but if you’re still playing through Week 17, you’re in luck. There are still plenty of quality D/ST units to trust and with several teams playing in big matchups this week, our Week 17 fantasy defense rankings will be strong and owners will have plenty of streamers to choose from in key start ’em, sit ’em decisions.
For leagues playing in Week 17, it’s always a good rule of thumb to trust solid defenses in good matchups that have something to play for. That’s why the Colts, who are fighting for a playoff spot, garner the top spot in our rankings this week. They’re taking on the Jaguars need to win to have a shot at the postseason. The same can be said of the Ravens (@ Bengals), Saints (@ Panthers), Steelers (@ Browns), and the Washington Football Team (@ Eagles). All have something to play for and are in strong enough matchups.
There are still a few out-of-contention units that are worth trusting. The Vikings (@ Lions) stand out as they’ll be taking on a hapless offense that may be forced to start Chase Daniel with Matthew Stafford banged-up. The Patriots (vs. Jets) are also worth trusting. Though the Jets have been better on offense of late, Bill Belichick should find a way to make Sam Darnold uncomfortable and see ghosts once again.
It’s riskier to trust units in tough matchups or defenses that might rest starters down the stretch of games. The Bears (vs. Packers) fall into the former category while the Chiefs (vs. Chargers) fall into the latter category. Both are recommended “sits” as they take on good offenses, and Andy Reid may elect to rest some of his better players with the No. 1 seed in the playoffs already locked up.
Some other teams that have already been eliminated in the playoff race could elect to sit starters, so that may create some more defensive sleepers. For now, though, it’s mostly best to trust the defenses of playoff teams with something to play for, as they are safe bets to give it their all in Week 17.
NOTE: Check back for updates throughout the week.
Week 17 Fantasy Defense Rankings
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