In the final week of the fantasy regular season for most leagues, countless managers have a lot on the line. For some, success or failure will determine whether they reach the playoffs. With that in mind, we have some suggestions for D/STs to prioritize and some to avoid where possible.
Kansas City Chiefs D/ST at Denver Broncos
By most metrics, the Broncos have one of the most inept offenses in the NFL this season. Since their Week 9 bye, the offense has topped out at 16 points (and that game went into overtime). Between the depleted backfield and the woeful offense, any operational D/ST should have a fine showing.
Unless Kyle Shanahan pulls a fast one with Josh Johnson, Brock Purdy will make his first NFL start this weekend against a still feisty Buccaneers defense. That would look terrifying even if the 49ers hadn’t just drafted Purdy at the literal end of the seventh round a matter of months ago. The rookie handled himself well against a middling Dolphins defense last Sunday, but that doesn’t give him the benefit of the doubt against a Todd Bowles defense that will blitz the lights out.
New York Jets D/ST at Buffalo Bills
While the Jets handled the Bills well enough when the two teams faced off in Week 9, that contest came in the middle of Josh Allen’s Autumn slump. He appears to have righted the ship since and, accordingly, looks like a much greater threat to the New York defense. The Jets probably have too much talent to get demolished, but many fantasy managers will have better options.
Minnesota Vikings D/ST vs. Detroit Lions
The Lions have quietly grown into a highly effective offense as the 2022 season has unfolded. Getting D’Andre Swift back to nearly full health should only create further issues for the Vikings who rank middle of the pack in terms of defending running backs. The matchup offers enough red flags for fantasy managers to look elsewhere this critical week.