Week 6 DST & K Rankings
Week 6 DST Sleepers
Week 6 Start N' Sit
Week 7 Waiver Wire Tips

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Arizona Cardinals defense
Photo of Arizona Cardinals 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.
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. Arizona Cardinals
  2. San Diego Chargers
  3. New England Patriots
  4. Cincinnati Bengals
  5. Tennessee Titans
  6. Denver Broncos
  7. Green Bay Packers
  8. Baltimore Ravens
  9. San Francisco 49ers
  10. Seattle Seahawks
  11. Carolina Panthers
  12. Detroit Lions
  13. Atlanta Falcons
  14. Minnesota Vikings
  15. St. Louis Rams
  16. Philadelphia Eagles
  1. Justin Tucker
  2. Matt Bryant
  3. Nick Novak
  4. Phil Dawson
  5. Robbie Gould
  6. Brandon McManus
  7. Cody Parkey
  8. Stephen Gostkowski
  9. Josh Brown
  10. Adam Vinatieri
  11. Shaun Suisham
  12. Mason Crosby
  13. Steven Hauschka
  14. Greg Zuerlein
  15. Caleb Sturgis
  16. Ryan Succop
Cincinnati Bengals defense

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.
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.

Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals defense
Photo of Arizona Cardinals defense © Greg Buch
Legal Disclaimer
I expect the Cardinals defense to bounce back after being torched for 571 yards and 41 points by the Broncos. If you've ever been there, you know the crowd noise University of Phoenix dome can be a difficult place for opponents to play. While the game's unlikely to sell out, it should be packed enough to create some problems for their opponent. The Redskins should be ripe for the picking, making a 3000 mile road trip with an inconsistent back-up QB, who's accurate has been very shaky at times this season. Washington is allowing a generous 8.6 points a game to opposing defenses and should be fairly jet-lagged when they arrive in the Arizona desert. The Cards will be missing their premier pass rusher, Calais Campbell, who's out 1-3 weeks with an MCL strain and may also be missing shutdown CB Patrick Peterson. I still like the match-up with Campbell out but would exercise caution starting this defense if Peterson doesn't suit up.

Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals defense
The Bengals defense was thoroughly embarassed and absolutely picked apart by a resurgent Patriots offense. This is nothing new for Cincinnati, which has consistently melted down in prime-time games ever since Coach Lewis took over 11 years ago. Fortunately for you, if you own this defense, they play a 1 o' clock game this week. They've won their last 11 games at Paul Brown stadium and have been especially tough against NFC teams over the last few years. The Bengals' weakness this year has been stopping the run, as they've been giving up 140 rushing yards a game. Luckily, the Panthers don't have a run game to speak of, aside from Cam Newton, as both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are banged up and may not be available.

Houston Texans
Texans DST
The Texans have been the year's big comeback story, posting the 3rd-most fantasy points so far this season after being dead last in scoring last year. However, this week they host a potent Colts offense that's allowed a stingy 3.4 fantasy points a game to opposing DSTs. Even though they're playing at home, I'd stay far away from this match-up, especially if they're missing CB Jonathan Joseph and MLB Brian Cushing.

Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills defense
The Bills have been a shutdown defense this year, scoring the 2nd-most points in fantasy, sporting the 8th-ranked defense in the league, and giving up a miserly 17.8 points a game to opponents. However, they face a resurgent New England offense that put up nearly 600 yards of offense and scored 41 points against a stout Bengals defense last week. The Patriots have been allowing just 5.0 fantasy points a game to opposing defenses. The Patriots have owned this series, winning 9 of their last 10 meetings against Buffalo, including 4-of-5 on the road, and Brady's had several 300+ yard, multiple-TD games against them. I wouldn't drop this defense but would definitely sit them this week.

Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans defense
The Titans are one of the shakier DSTs in fantasy but are worth starting if your risk tolerance is high and you're lacking better options this week. They play a Jaguars team that's allowing a whopping 14.0 fantasy points a game, features an inexperienced Blake Bortles at QB, and has no running game to speak of, which allows defenses to blitz or line up in nickel and dime packages all day. Keep an eye on the quarterback situation though, as if career back-up Charlie Whitehurst is playing, this DST may spend a large portion of the game on the field, which is never a good thing.

Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens DST
The Ravens have been a much better real-world defense so far this year than fantasy DST. Despite ranking 3rd in the league in yardage and points given up, they're a modest 16th in fantasy scoring. Stud pass rushers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil have just 4 sacks between them, with the rest of the team accounting for just 1. Things should get better this week as the Ravens visit a mistake-prone Tampa Bay team that's allowed the 3rd-most fantasy points to opposing defenses. While the Bucs have played better with Mike Glennon at the helm, they may be missing WR Mike Evans and have yet to get their running game going. Their offense is ranked just 24th in rushing, with Doug Martin averaging just 2.5 yards per carry, so the Ravens should be able to keep just 5 or 6 in the box get some pressure on the inexperienced QB to cause some errant throws. They're a great pick-up if you're in need of defensive help in Week 6.

Lions DST

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

Detroit Lions
The Lions defense has always had the parts but this is the year they seem to finally have put them all together. They're the NFL's top-rated defense, allowing just over 270 yards and a stingy 13.7 points a game and, more importantly, for fantasy purposes, have playmakers like Ziggy Ansah and Ndamukang Suh, who can be counted on to deliver sacks and big hits that lead to turnovers. While their next two opponents, the Saints and Falcons, both have potent offenses, this DST is rapidly turning into a match-up proof unit.

Cleveland Browns
The Browns defense has been underwhelming so far this year. They've given up 23 points a game and allowed the 4th most yards of any defense in the NFL. But if you've got a very large risk tolerance, they may be worth a shot this week when they travel to Jacksonville. The Jaguars have allowed a whopping 13.5 fantasy points a game to opposing defenses and feature a mistake-prone rookie quarterback. This is a match made in heaven so if you're lacking options at DST, it's worth considering picking up this DST for a one-week stint.

Chicago Bears
The Bears are only owned in 29% of NFL.com leagues, despite having the 9th-highest scoring fantasy defense so far this year. I'm not sure I buy into the hype, as they've given up 24 points per game but they've shored up their run defense this year (they now rank 10th in the league against the run as opposed to dead-last by a mile last year) and have been middle-of-the-pack when it comes to total yardage allowed. They're worth a pick-up this week off the waiver wire if you're hurting for a DST, since they play a mistake-prone Dolphins team that's given up 8.8 fantasy points a game and don't travel well.

Defenses to Drop

Cincinnati Bengals
I advised you to drop this defense last week due to their collapse against the Patriots and upcoming games against the Panthers, Colts, and Ravens. Well, this may surprise you, but after allowing Carolina to march up and down the field at will and score 37 points on them, this DST has done nothing to change my mind. In fact, if they happen to surprise to the upside and deliver a nice game over the next two weeks, I'd be prepared to trade them for a bag of chips and a cola (i.e. a little more than my asking price for the Panthers DST). I'm not sure I'm a believer in Pauly G. any more, as this defense just can't seem to stop the run and have given up too many big pass plays. That tends to happen when your starting CBs are an AARP member and a double amputee.

Carolina Panthers
Fresh off a disappointing performance where they gave up 37 points to Cincinnati, the Panthers face the Packers at Lambeau Field, followed by the Seahawks, Saints and Falcons. This defense is just not that good to justify holding onto them while they sit on your bench the next four weeks. The Panthers defense currently ranks just 26th in the league in total yards and 23rd in points per game allowed, yet somehow they're still owned in 84% of NFL.com leagues. Trade them for a bag of chips if you can.

Kickers to Add

Chandler Catanzaro
This kid is just plain good and he's getting plenty of opportunities. He's a perfect 14 of 14 in field goals so far and 9th in the league among kickers in fantasy scoring. Pick him up now and as an added bonus you can start him against a Raiders team that allows 8.8 points a game to kickers! He's only owned in 3.6% of NFL.com leagues, presumably because his last name's so hard to pronounce.

Cody Parkey
We keep pounding the table for Parkey and people are finally taking notice. Still, he's only owned in just under half of NFL.com leagues, despite being the starting kicker for a very high-powered Eagles offense. Parkey currently ranks 3rd in fantasy scoring among kickers so, if you haven't picked him up yet, it's time to wake up and smell the roses.

Kickers to Drop

Matt Prater
There must be a pretty bad curse affecting kickers in Detroit. Lions kickers are now 5 of 15 this year on field goal attempts and the team is now on its third kicker in just 6 weeks. Since Prater hit just 1 of his 3 attempts, matching but not besting the lofty standard set by Lions kickers this season, I'm betting he also matches the season average for length of employment, which is currently hovering around 2 weeks. The field goal has grown legs in Detroit, so start him at your own risk!