In Week 14 the NY Giants led all D/ST’s in scoring for the first time all season. Whether this a product of improved play or a product of their opponent remains to be seen. They were followed closely by the Bears and Seahawks which does not come as a surprise. The biggest surprise at the top for me was the Detroit Lions, though playing the Arizona Cardinals definitely helped their performance.
In Week 15 (Thursday Night) Eric Berry returned to the Kansas City Chiefs to play the first half at safety and was rested in the second half as planned. He definitely made a difference in the first half while he was in, and led the Chiefs in tackles, at halftime. Still this is probably not beneficial news for Fantasy teams with one week left and a matchup on the road with Seattle in Week 16.
This will be the final D/ST article of the season, so I went ahead and took a look at Week 16 as well. Good luck in your semi-finals and next week in your Championship games, and I’ll see you next season.
Week 15 – D/ST
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Washington Redskins
It’s a shame to see Mark Sanchez no longer in the starting lineup for Washington, but it was nice while it lasted. Now with Josh Johnson at the helm I expect what we’ve always seen from him, turnovers mixed in with a few spectacular plays. It looks as though Jordan Reed will be out for Washington, and though my ‘Hail Mary’ start of the week would probably be Jamison Crowder, I’m about as confident in the Jaguars defense this week as I’ve been in them since Week 1.
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers
Just a couple of weeks ago Seattle’s defense scored double digits against these same 49’ers at home despite over 400 yards passing from Nick Mullens. Now they face them again on the road and I would expect a similar result. Seattle has worked themselves back into the playoff picture largely due to improved play on defense, especially in the secondary. The 49ers are dealing with many injuries at their skill positions with Breida, Pettis and Goodwin all questionable to play, and with a lack of playmakers on the field Mullens may have to hold the ball longer to find targets which should also increase Seattle’s chances for quarterback sacks and an above average day for your D/ST’s position.
Los Angeles Rams vs Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have failed to recapture the same magic they had a year ago, but now with Carson Wentz likely shelved for the season perhaps Nick Foles can once again provide a spark. Their biggest loss of the offseason now appears to have been Coach Frank Reich at the Offensive Coordinator position as the Eagles have struggled on offense for most of the season. Though Foles may provide a spark to start the game the Rams are not the opponent that will allow the turnaround. I expect the Rams to dominate this game and reach double digit D/ST points.
Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers
The Bears were easily handling the Packers in their first matchup this season until the miraculous turnaround in the fourth quarter capped off by the Randall Cobb touchdown. The Packers have not faired so well since, and though they showed some improvement on offense a week ago, they were playing one of the weakest defenses in the league in the Atlanta Falcons and still gave up four sacks. I’m not sure how much the Bears will help you in points against this week, but they should make up for it with sacks and turnovers.
Houston Texans @ New York Jets
Houston’s defense was very underwhelming a week ago against the Colts. The Jets are obviously not the Colts, but will still be capable of moving the ball and putting up some points. It will all depend on the play of quarterback Sam Darnold this week for Houston’s D/ST output. If he shows poise then the Tier 2 ranking is probably correct, but if he struggles then obviously the Texans should have been ranked higher.
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are in must win mode at this point after five straight losses. The Saints struggled for nearly three quarters a week ago against Tampa. I think a turnaround is more likely from the Saints who have the better defense in this matchup and should easily pressure Cam Newton especially when the Panthers will be in catchup mode for most of this game.
Week 16 – D/ST
For Week 16, these are my current tiers. Obviously, Josh Johnson’s play this week for Washington could affect the matchup against the Titans here, and Odell Beckham Jr’s status next week could affect the matchup against the Colts. However if Johnson struggles and Beckham is out I’d be happy starting any of the six teams below in my fantasy championship.
Tennessee Titans vs Washington Redskins
Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers
Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona Cardinals
Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Indianapolis Colts vs New York Giants
Green Bay Packers @ New York Jets
This caps the 2018 Fantasy season for me, as far as D/ST articles. I hope to see you back next season. As a fantasy manager this is shaping up to be my best season ever. Seven of eight teams made the playoffs and all seven are still alive. I doubt I can say the same heading into next weekend, but nevertheless I’ll dream as all fantasy managers do, while hoping for the best. Best wishes to you and your dreams for your Fantasy teams as well!