Week 3 DST & K Rankings
Week 3 DST Sleepers
Week 3 Start N' Sit
Week 4 Waiver Wire Tips

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Patriots DST
By Frank Mineophoto of journalist Frank Mineo
Frank is a communication and public relations graduate of Edinboro University and a life-long Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Frank has been playing fantasy sports for over 15 years.
If you keep more than one DST on your roster, it's important not just to look at how each unit performed last year but also how stingy their opponent was toward opposing defenses. If you've got one of the elite units, you probably won't want to risk exposing them to waivers. However, if one of your DSTs are just so-so, you may want to consider picking up one of the units that are high on our list. Since most fantasy players keep just one kicker on the roster, it's usually a good strategy to just roll with who you have regardless of the match-up. But if you don't have one of the elite kickers, playing the waiver wire each week based on the match-up can be a rewarding strategy. The DST 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. New England Patriots
  2. Houston Texans
  3. Cincinnati Bengals
  4. San Francisco 49ers
  5. Dallas Cowboys
  6. Arizona Cardinals
  7. Cleveland Browns
  8. Indianapolis Colts
  9. Carolina Panthers
  10. Buffalo Bills
  11. New York Jets
  12. Philadelphia Eagles
  13. Baltimore Ravens
  14. Chicago Bears
  15. Detroit Lions
  16. San Diego Chargers
  17. Tennessee Titans
  18. Seattle Seahawks
  19. Denver Broncos
  20. Miami Dolphins
  21. Minnesota Vikings
  22. Oakland Raiders
  23. Kansas City Chiefs
  24. Green Bay Packers
  25. Atlanta Falcons
  26. New Orleans Saints
  27. Washington Redskins
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers
  29. St. Louis Rams
  30. New York Giants
  31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  32. Jacksonville Jaguars
  1. Stephen Gostkowski
  2. Greg Zuerlein
  3. Dan Bailey
  4. Mike Nugent
  5. Matt Bryant
  6. Justin Tucker
  7. Cody Parkey
  8. Nick Novak
  9. Ryan Succop
  10. Dan Carpenter
  11. Randy Bullock
  12. Brandon McManus
  13. Mason Crosby
  14. Steven Hauschka
  15. Chandler Catanzaro
  16. Sebastian Janikowski
  17. Shaun Suisham
  18. Adam Vinatieri
  19. Graham Gano
  20. Caleb Sturgis
  21. Josh Scobee
  22. Kai Forbath
  23. Cairo Santos
  24. Patrick Murray
  25. Shayne Graham
  26. Billy Cundiff
  27. Nick Folk
  28. Blair Walsh
  29. Robbie Gould
  30. Phil Dawson
  31. Nate Freese
Cowboys DST
By Frank Mineophoto of journalist Frank Mineo
Frank is a communication and public relations graduate of Edinboro University and a life-long Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Frank has been playing fantasy sports for over 15 years.
If you own one of the top-ranked DSTs, you're not going to expose them to waivers just because of a bad match-up, but if you keep two DSTs on your roster or own just one borderline one, it can sometimes be worthwhile to scour the waiver wire and pick up a less-highly regarded team defense with a better match-up. This week a lot of the premier DSTs face high-powered offenses, so there are some options on waivers that may be worth considering.

New England Patriots
Patriots DST
I am never a big fan of fantasy defenses that had a huge explosion of points the week before but their match-up is too good to ignore. A rookie quarterback and an offense with less than stellar weapons going against a defense with one of the best corners in the league and a nice pass rush should equal more turnovers and more fantasy points.

Carolina Panthers
Panthers DST
The Steelers offense has been boom or bust this year and I look for more bust than boom in week 3 against Carolina. The Panther’s pass rush has been dominant through two weeks and Marcus Gilbert has been a train wreck at right tackle for the Steelers. I think the Steelers do put up some points but the physical style of defense the Panthers play results in at least two turnovers and 5 sacks.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers DST
Last week the Houston Texans forced two fumbles on one play. That is two more turnovers than the Steelers have forced all season. The turnover issue is not a new one for Pittsburgh as they have less turnovers than any team in the league over the past two seasons and first two games this year. Carolina plays a conservative style of offense and it will be hard for Pittsburgh to create turnovers again this week.

Seattle Seahawks/ Denver Broncos
Broncos DST
The Broncos are angry about how the Super Bowl played out last year. Look for them to play with some extra motivation and desire to put up a lot of points. The problem is Seattle is too dynamic on both sides of the field and should make this game competitive. I look for both defenses to have poor outings and a ton of points to be on the board from both teams.

Matt Bryant
Falcons kicker Matt Bryant
I like Thursday night kickers and Bryant had a huge week one game. Thursday night teams traditionally struggle to get into the end zone, so a few field goals and a couple extra points should set up Bryant for a solid week 3.

Cody Parkey
Eagles kicker Cody Parkey
Parkey has a big leg and hit the game winner last week. Chip Kelly and the Eagles seem to have confidence in him to hit the big kicks, so you should have confidence to start him as a solid fantasy option.

Nate Freese
Lions K Nate Freese
Nate Freese will be lucky to have a real job let alone a fantasy job this coming Sunday. Freese never missed a field goal in college but has already missed 3 in his first 2 games this season. Find a more reliable kicker to put on your roster.

Sebastian Janikowski
Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski
Sebastian Janikowski has won me numerous fantasy football games over the past decade with multiple 50-yard field goals that single-handily push your team over the top. The problem is: he has made his career playing for a mostly horrible football team and has struggled to be a consistent performer. He's getting old and through two weeks is near the bottom rung of fantasy kickers. Find someone else to count on this week!

Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys DST
The Cowboys defense was historically bad last season and even though they lost to San Francisco in week one their offense, not their defense, lost that game for them. Last week they showed signs of life against a Tennessee team with offensive weapons a plenty. I love the match-up this week against the St. Louis Rams and a third string QB. If you are looking for a plug and play defense to get of the waiver wire, target Dallas.

San Diego Chargers defense
Photo of San Diego Chargers defense © Greg Buch
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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.
Don't get too discouraged if your draft didn't work out as you planned. Fantasy success isn't the exclusive result of a solid draft - often it's the in-season waiver wire moves that determines who makes it to the post-season. We've got some hot tips for you that should help you improve your roster and catch up to those lucky sons-of-guns who always seem to draft the right players:

Defenses to Add

San Diego Chargers
The Chargers have been a middle-of-the-pack fantasy defense so far this season, averaging just under 7 points a game, but they play the hapless Jaguars at home this week. Jacksonville has allowed a whopping 15 fantasy points a game to opposing DSTs this year, the highest in the league, and will be starting a rookie quarterback to boot. As an added bonus, you can hold onto the Chargers for a couple more weeks, and start them against a Jets team that gift-wrapped plenty of INTs last year and a Raiders team that allowed almost 10 fantasy points a game last season.

Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers DST was dreadful the first two weeks of the season but turned in a virtuoso performance against the Panthers this week. They're worth picking up, as they host a Buccaneers team that's allowing over 14 fantasy points a game to opposing defenses, and travel to Jacksonville the following week. The reason they're not higher on this list is they lost 3 key starters against the Panthers. CB Ike Taylor is out for the year with an arm injury and LB Jarvis Jones was put on IR-Designated to Return. Rookie LB Ryan Shazier also left the game with a knee injury and is also unlikely to be available.

Cincinnati Bengals/ Seattle Seahawks
Chances are, neither defense is available right now on waivers, but if an owner is short-sighted enough to drop them due to the bye week, they're worth picking up and stashing on your bench for a week. The Bengals are the 2nd-leading fantasy DST after two weeks and have played well in spite of losing D-coordinator Mike Zimmer and stud pass-rusher Michael Johnson. New coordinator Paul Guenther is picking up right where Zim left off and their defensive schemes are as innovative as they've ever been. Cincinnati has a road game against the dreaded Patriots in Week 5 but the way Tom Brady & Company have been playing lately, I wouldn't hesitate to start their DST in this match-up. The Seahawks have been a fantasy disappointment so far, scoring the 25th-most fantasy points of all DSTs, but don't discount their schedule, as they've played the Packers, Chargers and Patriots in those games. Unfortunately, things don't get a lot easier for them until Week 7, as they've got the Redskins and Cowboys coming up next. Nonetheless, if you can afford to keep two defenses, they're worth stashing for a few weeks.

Defenses to Drop

St. Louis Rams
If you only watched the first half of the Rams-Cowboys game, you might have thought the Rams defense was back, but as good as they played in the first half, they were absolutely godawful in the second. They managed to post a respectable fantasy score thanks to a nice interception return for a TD by Janoris Jenkins but that's not going to happen every week, and in the meantime they'll be hampered by a turnover-prone offense guided by an inexperienced rookie free agent QB. Even if you invested a mid-round pick, it's time to drop this DST for one that's likely to have fresher legs.

New Orleans Saints
The Saints DST had high expectations this off-season due to the addition of Jairus Byrd but 3 games into the season and they're tied for last place among fantasy DSTs. The last 2 games they had favorable match-ups against the Browns and Vikings but failed to deliver more than 8 points and 3 sacks in those games. They aren't getting the productivity they got last year from stud pass rusher Cameron Jordan and their secondary's been burned for 278 passing yards a game and 4 TDs without picking off a single pass. If you can afford to sit them this week when they play Dallas on the road, they might be worth starting against a dreadful Buccaneers offense in Week 5 before they go on bye but that's about the extent of it.

Kickers to Add

Cody Parkey
We recommended picking up Parkey last week and if you took our advice, you were rewarded with a league-leading 15 fantasy points. He's 8-of-9 on field goal attempts so far this year and plays for one of the NFL's highest-scoring offenses, so really what's not to like? He's still available in 87% of NFL.com leagues and 85% of NFL.com leagues.

Alex Henery
Henery's the new starting kicker for a dynamic Lions offense and should receive plenty of scoring opportunities. He was one of the more accurate kickers in the league, with an 86% conversion rate in 3 seasons with Philadelphia.

Chandler Catanzaro
Don't look now but the rookie Catanzaro's a perfect 9-for-9 on field goal attempts and is the third-leading fantasy kicker in the league. The Cardinals, who play in the defense-heavy NFC West, should provide plenty of field goal opportunities for the rookie when drives stall. He's worth picking up if you're in need of a kicker.

Kickers to Drop

Nate Freese
Not to pat ourselves on the back but we predicted Freese's demise last week and sure enough, the Lions ran out of patience with the inaccurate rookie, replacing him with former Eagle Alex Henery.