If you were lucky enough to make the playoffs in your fantasy football leagues, you shouldn’t overlook your starting defense.
Your main focus probably is at the skill positions, but having a big week on defense could be the difference between an early exit and winning your league’s title.
So, with that said, here are the defenses we think you must start in your Week 14 fantasy lineups.
Minnesota Vikings (at Jacksonville Jaguars)
The Vikings have fallen on hard times lately, but their defense isn’t the problem. In fact, they have allowed the fourth-fewest points and third-fewest yards per game this season, which both are signs of an elite defense. Minnesota has lost its last two games while allowing a combined 33 points to the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys. So starting that defense against the Jaguars should be a no-brainer.
Denver Broncos (at Tennessee Titans)
Much like the Vikings, the Broncos’ offense is their problem, not their defense. Denver’s defense ranks in the top six in both points and yards allowed per game, and it has forced 12 interceptions and nine fumbles. The Titans have been a pleasant surprise, and they rank in the top 10 in points per game, but you probably should start Denver’s defense this and pretty much every week.
Detroit Lions (vs. Chicago Bears)
The Lions by no means have a great defense, as Detroit is 15th in yards and 11th in points allowed per game. But this is one of those matchups where you have to look beyond the defensive statistics. Yes, the Bears’ offense has had back-to-back good weeks against the Titans and San Francisco 49ers with Matt Barkley under center, but starting against the NFC North-leading Lions is a whole new challenge for the inexperienced QB.
Arizona Cardinals (at Miami Dolphins)
The Cardinals have been one of the most disappointing teams this season, but statistically they still have had a strong defense. The Cardinals have allowed the 11th-fewest points and second-fewest yards per game, although that hasn’t done much for them in the win column. The Dolphins, meanwhile, are coming off a disastrous 38-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Cincinnati Bengals (at Cleveland Browns)
There should be a default setting on this list making whichever defense is lucky enough to face the Browns a must-start. The Bengals haven’t exactly been impressive themselves this season, but they aren’t the winless team averaging 16.4 points per game in this contest.
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