More than any other position, matchup dictates the value of team defenses from week to week. If you’re streaming or just looking for a week 9 fill-in, here are the five options I like the most who are available in at least half of all ESPN leagues.
1. Oakland Raiders (7.6%)
The Raiders had a nice week last week against the Steelers and now they welcome in the Eagles who have been a turnover machine all year. They may even catch Phily without Mike Vick or Nick Foles leaving the turnover-happy Matt Barkley under center and making the Raiders a good play at home for the second week in a row.
2. Indianapolis Colts (22.2%)
The Colts were one of the best defenses in the league going into their bye and the week before limited even the great Peyton Manning in their home win over the Broncos. This week they head to Houston to take on the Texans who allow the third-most points per game to opposing D’s. Look for Indy to have another solid week, and be ready to stash them since they have a nice schedule upcoming.
3. New Orleans Saints (49.4%)
The Saints continue to make plays and had a nice week against the Bills last week. This week they take on the Jets who were demolished and demoralized last week and allow the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing D/ST’s.
4. Tennessee Titans (24.7%)
Like the Colts a defense some people may have forgotten about on their bye-week, Tennessee returns to the field this week as they take on the Rams struggling QB-less offense. The Titans have had some huge games and really only were stung badly by San Francisco. In the dome with the Rams on a short week, I think Tennessee makes a sneaky play on defense.
5. Dallas Cowboys (39.4%)
The Cowboys are also in a solid matchup as they come home to take on the Vikings. DeMarcus Ware could return which would again make the Cowboys fantasy relevant in nice matchups like this one.
This list of D/ST’s is part of my weekly waiver wire focus. If you need further help constructing your team, check out my top ten waiver wire picks of the week as well as my top waiver targets at each of the following positions: QB, RB, WR, TE.