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Week 15 Fantasy Rankings: Defense | Fantasy

1 Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Redskins. Did the Jags quit on the season last week after a barrage of Derrick Henry stiff arms? Did the Redskins quit after a barrage of Mark Sanchez pass attempts, only to be revived by Josh Johnson’s fancy feet? So many questions, so few answers. What we do know is Johnson is well below-average NFL quarterback, and the last time the talented Jaguars defense played at home, it shut out a solid Colts offense. As disappointing as the Jags have been this season, this is a good opportunity for them to take advantage of an offense that’s allowed at least three sacks in six straight games, including five last week to the Giants.  2 Houston Texans @ Jets. You know you’re getting at least one INT from the Jets (all but two games this year), and you know you’re getting at least two sacks from Houston (all but two games). Given the matchup on a slightly shortened week, and you can probably expect at least one more takeaway, one more sack, and a relatively low score, too.  3 Baltimore Ravens vs. Buccaneers. The Bucs have really cleaned up their act over the past three games, turning it over only once. However, they’ve allowed four sacks in each of the past two games, and Baltimore has shown it will take advantage of vulnerable offenses, especially at home. The Ravens have had at least three sacks in three straight games and averaged 2.5 sacks and 17 points allowed in six home games despite tough matchups against the Saints and Steelers being thrown in. A cold-weather December game in a tough road environment doesn’t figure to help Jameis Winston.  4 Seattle Seahawks @ 49ers. When these teams faced off in Seattle in Week 13, the Seahawks played bully ball to the tune of three sacks, three takeaways, and a defensive TD. The 49ers are frisky at home, but they’ve stilled allowed at least three sacks in three straight games and multiple takeaways in three of the past four games. Expect the Seahawks to try to be the big bullies of the NFC West again. 5 Denver Broncos vs. Browns. Denver disappointed slightly with only three sacks and one takeaway in San Francisco last week, but its averaged 3.2 sacks and 1.3 takeaways per game in six home contests despite some brutal matchups against the Chiefs, Rams, and Steelers. Cleveland has only allowed one sack in its past four games, but with six turnovers in its past two, including four in its last road game in Houston, Cleveland is certainly vulnerable in a tough matchup away from home.   WEEK 15 DFS GPP LINEUPS: Yahoo | FanDuel | DraftKings 6 Washington Redskins @ Jaguars. The Redskins defense disappeared last week against the OBJ-less Giants, but it certainly wasn’t helped by Washington’s offense putting it in tough spot after tough spot. Washington still has a fairly solid pass rush (at least two sacks in seven of its past eight games). Jacksonville has allowed at least three sacks (16 total) in its past four games, and Cody Kessler hasn’t shown an ability to score points, leading the Jags offense to only 13 points in his two starts. 7 Minnesota Vikings vs. Dolphins. Credit a banged-up Ryan Tannehill for limiting mistakes, but he’s taking sacks (eight the past two weeks). Over the past five games, the Dolphins have allowed at least three sacks four times. Minnesota racked up at least three sacks in eight of the first 12 games, so this is the type of road matchup that could see Tannehill pressured into a few turnovers.  8 Los Angeles Rams vs. Eagles.  Carson Wentz doesn’t look as sharp as last year, but the Eagles generally wind up with a good amount of points and don’t allow a ton of sacks or takeaways, so this isn’t an optimal matchup. But the Rams have returned to the big-play, high-upside unit we all expected them to be, racking up eight sacks and 10 sacks in their past three games. They’ve also limited two decent offenses (Detroit, Chicago) to only 29 points the past two games, both of which were on the road. We’re willing to bet on the Rams making at least a few big plays back at home. 9 Buffalo Bills vs. Lions. The Bills have had multiple takeaways and at least three sacks in three of the four games. Detroit’s offense has struggled to move the ball, scoring only 43 points in its past three games. Playing outdoors in Buffalo in December is usually not a recipe for offense, especially for a dome team like the Lions.  10 Detroit Lions @ Bills. Detroit’s defense showed up in Arizona last week, totaling three sacks and a pick-six while limiting the Cardinals to three points. Josh Allen’s scrambling ability gives Buffalo’s offense more upside, but the rookie is prone to mistakes (five turnovers the past two games). The likely loss of Ziggy Ansah (shoulder) hurts Detroit’s upside, otherwise the Lions would be ranked higher.   WEEK 15 DFS CASH LINEUPS: Yahoo | FanDuel | DraftKings 11 Chicago Bears vs. Packers. Cold Chicago weather certainly seemed to aid the Bears against California boy Jared Goff and the Rams last Sunday night, but that shouldn’t affect fellow Cal alum Aaron Rodgers, who’s used to frigid temps. However, the Bears defense is simply too good to fade, and it proved it can dominate in even the toughest matchups. Green Bay has allowed at least four sacks in three of the past four games, so that alone shows the Bears have plenty of upside. 12 New Orleans Saints @ Panthers. Cam Newton has thrown at least one INT in each of the past five games, and New Orleans has posted 24 sacks and 12 takeaways over its past five contests. Even on the road, you have to like the Saints’ upside in this divisional matchup. 13 Tennessee Titans @ Giants. Eli Manning and the Giants aren’t as bad as you might think against fantasy D/STs, but they have thrown at least one INT in three straight games and allowed 11 sacks over the past four games. Tennessee doesn’t get many takeaways, but it applies a decent amount of QB pressure, totaling 18 sacks over the past six games. With a solid run defense, Tennessee could limit Saquon Barkley and force Manning to pass more, which will create opportunities for big plays. 14 Atlanta Falcons vs. Cardinals. The Falcons have been mostly terrible on defense, but a favorable home matchup is about as good as it gets for them. They get multiple sacks most weeks, which is a plus, and Arizona regularly allows at least two QB takedowns. The Cardinals have only turned it over twice in the past three games, but they’ve been held below 20 points in all but three games this year and always have the potential for a mistake-filled game. 15 Miami Dolphins @ Vikings. Prior to being held in check by the Pats last week, the Dolphins had racked up 11 takeaways in its previous four games. The Vikings entered Week 14 having allowed multiple takeaways in four of the previous five games. We’d like this matchup better if Miami was playing at home, but they still have plenty of upside facing Minnesota on a short week for the home team. 16 Cleveland Browns @ Broncos. Cleveland trails only Chicago in takeaways (28), and even though Denver has only turned it over twice in the past five weeks, Cleveland always has upside against mediocre QBs/offenses.   MORE WEEK 15 DFS: Stacks | Values | Lineup Builder 17 Dallas Cowboys @ Colts 18 New York Giants vs. Titans 19 Indianapolis Colts vs. Cowboys 20 Green Bay Packers @ Bears 21 New York Jets vs. Texans 22 New England Patriots @ Steelers 23 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Patriots 24 Kansas City Chiefs vs. Chargers 25 Los Angeles Chargers @ Chiefs 26 Philadelphia Eagles @ Rams 27 Oakland Raiders @ Bengals 28 Cincinnati Bengals vs. Raiders 29 San Francisco 49ers vs. Seahawks 30 Arizona Cardinals @ Falcons 31 Carolina Panthers vs. Saints 32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Ravens

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