As the NFL schedule flips the page toward Week 9, a handful of defenses including the San Francisco 49ers and the Detroit Lions will be off due to the bye week. For fantasy managers in need of pivoting for a replacement, there are more than a few favorable matchups to take advantage of this week.
Here are the best D/ST options off the waiver wire for Week 9.
Fantasy football waiver wire: D/ST pickups for Week 9
Rostership: 31.6% ESPN
Washington ranks firmly in the top 10 this season with 25 sacks and has an enticing matchup in Week 9 against a lackluster New England Patriots offense. Mac Jones and the Patriots may be at home, but they were allowing an average of 12.1 fantasy points per game to team defenses heading into last week’s action. This feels like a tightly contested matchup with defense at the forefront on both sides.
Rostership: 28.6% ESPN
Yes, Atlanta is fresh off making rookie Will Levis look like a future Hall of Famer in his debut, but the Falcons have an excellent rebound opportunity in Week 9. Atlanta will face a Minnesota Vikings team that just lost Kirk Cousins for the season with an Achilles tear. With no Cousins and no Justin Jefferson, rookie fifth-rounder Jaren Hall will likely start under center, which is an ideal matchup for any opposing fantasy defense.
Rostership: 11.8% ESPN
Las Vegas is averaging just 4.4 fantasy points per game this season, but they’ll be back home at Allegiant Stadium in Week 9 with a very appealing matchup. The New York Giants will be in town, and for better or for worse, Daniel Jones will likely be back under center for the visiting team. Jones has taken 28 sacks and thrown six interceptions through five games, setting up a rare occurrence where the Silver and Black defense looks enticing.
Rostership: 6.5% ESPN
Los Angeles is far from a must-start in fantasy when it comes to defense, but a matchup with the Zach Wilson-led New York Jets is cause for making an exception. Wilson has taken 13 sacks in his last three games, while New York is averaging just 18.0 PPG this season, which ranks 26th in the league. The Jets managed just 13 points last week against a meager New York Giants defense, so the Chargers could possibly put together a solid performance in Week 9.