Week 12 DST & K Rankings
Week 12 DST Sleepers
Week 12 Start N' Sit
Week 13 Waiver Wire Tips

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49ers DST
By Greg Buchphoto of journalist Greg Buch
Greg develops and updates FFSwami's website. He's played in various fantasy football leagues the last 15 years and is a life-long Cincinnati Bengals fan.
This is how we rank the top defenses in action this weekend. Our rankings are based on a standard league where fumble recoveries and interceptions count for 2 points each and sacks count for 1 point with a typical sliding scale for points and yardage allowed, while the K rankings are based on field goals counting for 3 points (with 5 points awarded for 50+ yard FGs) and extra points counting for 1 point.

  1. San Francisco 49ers
  2. Buffalo Bills
  3. Indianapolis Colts
  4. Green Bay Packers
  5. Houston Texans
  6. Dallas Cowboys
  7. Detroit Lions
  8. San Diego Chargers
  9. Chicago Bears
  10. Philadelphia Eagles
  11. New England Patriots
  12. Seattle Seahawks
  13. Denver Broncos
  14. Cleveland Browns
  15. New York Giants
  16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  1. Adam Vinatieri
  2. Phil Dawson
  3. Justin Tucker
  4. Dan Carpenter
  5. Nick Novak
  6. Dan Bailey
  7. Cody Parkey
  8. Randy Bullock
  9. Mason Crosby
  10. Steven Gostkowski
  11. Stephen Hauschka
  12. Matt Bryant
  13. Shayne Graham
  14. Patrick Murray
  15. Brandon McManus
  16. Robbie Gould
Houston Texans DST
By Greg Buchphoto of journalist Greg Buch
Greg develops and updates FFSwami's website. He's played in various fantasy football leagues the last 15 years and is a life-long Cincinnati Bengals fan.

Houston Texans
Houston Texans DST
The Texans defense has been one of the more pleasant surprises this year. With J.J. Watt terrorizing opposing quarterbacks and the addition of Jadeveon Clowney and MLB Brian Cushing, who was out last year, Houston ranks 4th in fantasy scoring. Nonetheless, those of you who are used to streaming defenses based on the opponent are probably scratching your heads over our advice to start them this week. The Bengals, who allow only 5.9 fantasy points a game, are after all one of the more difficult offenses for a fantasy defense to face and are coming off a surprising thrashing of the New Orleans Saints. However, this offense runs hot and cold and I'm betting this week we see the inept, turnover-prone version of Andy Dalton and not the uber-efficient passing machine who guided Cincinnati to a surprising upset last week. The Bengals don't have a good history when facing top AFC teams on the road and they have an especially bad history in recent years against the Texans. The last 3 times the teams played in Houston, the Bengals have averaged under 10 points a game. Dalton started two of those contests and was abominable, averaging just 192 yards with 0 TDs and 4 picks. Don't look at the numbers and make the mistake of benching this defense!

San Francisco 49ers
49ers DST
Entering the season, everyone was predicting doom and gloom for this defense, yet somehow they've managed to stay fantasy relevant, scoring the 11th-most points of any DST. Now that they've got sack specialist Aldon Smith back and a juicy home match-up against a Redskins offense that's been allowing the 3rd-most fantasy points a game, how can you not start them? This match-up would look even better if the mistake-prone RGIII hadn't lost his starting gig. With Colt McCoy as quarterback this game has more of an X-factor but you've still got to like playing a team that features an inexperienced back-up QB and will be travelling to the opposite coast. Don't be afraid to start them this week.

Miami Dolphins
Dolphins DST
Our two defenses to start in Week 11 are our sits for Week 12 and it's all about the match-ups. The Dolphins travel to Mile High Stadium, a notoriously difficult environment to play in, to take on the NFL's 3rd ranked offense. The Broncos high-powered offense has held opposing defenses to just 2.5 fantasy points a game and they should be extra motivated coming off a surprising ass-kicking in St. Louis, so you do the math. Yes, I know they're the 2nd-highest scoring fantasy defense this year but there will be other weeks to start them.

Detroit Lions
Lions DST
Continuing on the same theme, the Lions may boast the best defense in the NFL but this week they're a solid sit based on who they play. The Patriots offense is back in form and they've held opposing defenses to the lowest fantasy points of any team in the league. This game is also in Foxborough, which doesn't help your cause if you plan on bucking the odds and starting your Lions DST anyway. Since Week 8, fantasy defenses have scored -3, -1, and 0 points against the Patriots, so if you believe the old saying that "the trend is your friend", you can probably expect about a point if you start them.

San Diego Chargers
San Diego Chargers defense
Photo of San Diego Chargers defense © Greg Buch
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San Diego's been a much better real-world defense than fantasy defense this year. Despite ranking 6th in points allowed and 9th in yardage allowed, they've been poor fantasy-wise as they rank near the bottom of the league in both sacks and turnovers. I think that changes this weekend as they go up against a Rams team allowing 12.9 fantasy points a game to defenses, the 2nd-highest in the league. The Rams made a quarterback change to veteran Shaun Hill and it paid off last week as they upset the Broncos. However, this one's on the road and I'm still not sold on Hill being anything more than a caretaker quarterback. Look for the Chargers D-line to get some pressure on him and collect a few turnovers in a walk-over victory.

Indianapolis Colts
The Colts, who give up points in droves, have been a middle-of-the road fantasy defense and rank just 15th in the league. But who cares, as this week they're taking on the most inept offense in the league at home? The Jaguars are allowing an NFL-high 13.2 fantasy points a game to opposing defenses. While their running game has improved dramatically with the addition of Denard Robinson, QB Blake Bortles continues to make crucial mistakes, tossing around 2 INTs a game. So far this year the rookie has been picked off an amazing 14 times and has only 8 TDs to his name. This one should be a cakewalk for Indy and there should be plenty of opportunities for the Colts secondary to pick off a few errant passes as desperation sets in for the Jags.

Cincinnati Bengals defense
By Greg Buchphoto of journalist Greg Buch
Greg develops and updates FFSwami's website. He's played in various fantasy football leagues the last 15 years and is a life-long Cincinnati Bengals fan.
As the fantasy season draws to a close, your waiver wire strategy depends on where your team is in the standings. If you've already clinched, you should be making moves with the post-season in mind and not worrying about regular season match-ups. However, if a spot in the playoffs isn't guaranteed, then looking at next week's match-ups is unavoidable. We've got a few hot tips that should help your chances of making the post-season:

Defenses to Add

Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals defense has looked much better in recent weeks, even if it hasn't really translated into fantasy points. The front four, especially Carlos Dunlap and Wallace Gilberry, were able to apply pressure to Drew Brees and Ryan Mallett, and their secondary has looked very solid. This week they take on a Bucs offense with a penchant for turning the ball over. Tampa Bay has been allowing opposing defenses to score 10.6 fantasy points a game, which is third-highest in the league. Last week the Bears sacked Josh McCown 5 times and created 4 turnovers en route to the highest point total by any defense. The Bengals have typically done very well against NFC teams so look for them to have similar success this week. Thanks to their mid-season swoon, they're available in 69% of ESPN leagues.

Indianapolis Colts
The Colts own the 10th-highest scoring fantasy defense and have a favorable match-up on tap against a Redskins offense that's struggled this year. RGIII has been ineffective all season so there may be a change at quarterback in Washington this week. Unless the prospect of facing Colt McCoy scares you, I wouldn't hesitate to pick this defense up and start them in this match-up. The 'Skins have allowed 10.4 fantasy points a game to opposing defenses, 4th-highest in the league.

Defenses to Drop

Buffalo Bills
The Bills defense ranks 7th in fantasy scoring this year. However, they failed to take advantage of a very good match-up against the Jets last week, scoring 0 fantasy points, and their upcoming schedule does not look good. They play the Browns, Broncos, and Packers over the next 3 weeks, which means they'll be sitting on your bench until a Week 16 match-up against the lowly Raiders (if you're even alive at that point). Don't be afraid to drop them now if a defense with better match-ups is available in your league.

Arizona Cardinals
If your team's fighting for their playoff lives, you may want to drop this defense. The Cardinals have difficult match-ups over the next two weeks. They play on the road in Atlanta this Sunday, then host a stingy Chiefs offense in Week 14. They do however have a favorable match-up in St. Louis in Week 15, so if your spot in the playoffs is already assured, they're worth rostering for that match-up. Keep your expectations in check, however, as if their offense keeps on performing like it did this past Sunday in Seattle, their defense will be on the field a lot, which isn't usually a good recipe for fantasy success.

Kickers to Add

Shaun Suisham/ Graham Gano
If you're badly in need of a kicker, check your waiver wire to see if an owner dropped either one of these kickers, who were on bye in Week 12.

Kickers to Drop

Chandler Catanzaro
After an impressive start to the year, Catanzaro's hit the "rookie wall", missing 2 of his last 4 field goal attempts. With Carson Palmer out for the year, the scoring opportunities may not be as plentiful for the Cardinals kicker, so there are probably better options available on your waiver wire.