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Best D/STs to add on fantasy football waiver wire in Week 12 of 2023 NFL season

Spencer Limbach goes over the best defense/special teams units to consider picking up off your waiver wire for Week 12 of the 2023 NFL season.

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

Heading into Week 12 of the NFL season, finding the right fantasy defense to add from the waiver wire is crucial, and often, it’s a game of matching the right team with the right matchup.

Fortunately, this week offers several solid defensive options that are currently under 30% rostered, each boasting favorable matchups that could yield high fantasy returns. In the sections below, we will break down these options, providing insights into why these defenses could be key additions to your lineup.

Fantasy football waiver wire: D/ST pickups for Week 12

Kansas City Chiefs Defense

Rostership: 58.7%

Yes, I understand that the Chiefs' defense is probably not available in leagues of 12 or more teams. They’re probably rostered in leagues with only 10 teams as well. Still, this 58.7% rostership rate is much lower than I expected, and it’s worth checking if the Chiefs defense is available while heading into a nice Week 12 matchup at the Las Vegas Raiders, who are starting rookie QB Aidan O’Connell. The Chiefs' defense ranks fourth in fantasy points per game this season (9.6), so this is a capable squad in the right matchup.

New England Patriots Defense

Rostership: 28%

You could look toward either defense in this Patriots at Giants matchup in Week 12. New England has disappointed on defense this year, but they are facing a New York team that has yielded the most fantasy points to the D/ST spot up to this point. Giants QB Tommy DeVito looked good at the Washington Commanders last week, but it remains to be seen if that was an outlier, as his previous outings were very kind to opposing defenses. On top of that, the Patriots are coming off a bye week against a rookie quarterback, so there’s reason to believe that they will have plenty of schemes in the works for this matchup.

Tennessee Titans Defense

Rostership: 4.8%

The Titans' defense hasn’t done much from a fantasy perspective this year, averaging 4.1 FPPG, which is the third-fewest in the league. Still, the matchup looks good in Week 12, as the Titans will host a Carolina Panthers team that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing defenses this year. Rookie QB Bryce Young has thrown four interceptions while getting sacked 14 times in his last three games for Carolina. This is a breakout opportunity for Tennessee.

Los Angels Rams Defense

Rostership: 4.1%

Only the Commanders' defense is averaging fewer fantasy points per game than the Rams this season. However, Los Angeles has looked better in back-to-back games against the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, and now they have a good matchup at the Arizona Cardinals in Week 12. The return of QB Kyler Murray gives Arizona’s offense some life, but the shifty quarterback has also tossed a pair of interceptions with five sacks in two games so far.