There’s a new Legion of Boom in town. Well, not so much in town, but in the exact opposite corner of the country. The Jacksonville Jaguars secondary has been downright dominant this season. It’s a defense that has carried an offense with a bad quarterback to a 7-3 record. That’s impressive; the last defense we saw do this carried an old Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler, yes, Brock Osweiler, to a Super Bowl 50 victory. I’m not saying this team will win the Super Bowl, but man, that defense is fun to watch. They fly all over the field, and have a ton of fun doing it. Jacksonville also has a great matchup this week against a Cardinals team that is merely a broken shell of what we thought they’d be before the season. David Johnson broke his wrist in the first game, and Carson Palmer is out yet again. This is an offense that has yielded the 6th most fantasy points for opposing defenses. I can see Jacksonville’s defense having a huge day, possibly flirting with a shutout.
The Saints are a team that has improved their defense to a point that nobody saw coming. They are ranked 8th in NFL in PPG at 8.6, and even better at home, scoring 9.2 PPG. The problem is this week they’re on the road, facing an explosive Los Angeles Rams offense. Sean McVay appears to be the quarterback whisperer the Rams needed to right the ship with former first round pick Jared Goff. The combination of McVay, Goff, and a resurgent Todd Gurley, has this offense rolling. They are 2nd in NFL in scoring, averaging 30.3 PPG, and also 2nd in the NFL in D/ST fantasy points against. New Orleans is having a great season but I don’t like them much as a fantasy defense headed into Week 12.
I got two sleepers for you this week. Maybe you need a team to fill-in for New Orleans after I scared you away with the previous paragraph? Cleveland, hear me out, actually has a decent matchup on paper this week. They are available in 98% of ESPN leagues (rightfully so), but could be a solid pickup this week in 14-16 teams leagues that are a bit deeper. They have not been terrible on defense, the rank in the middle of the bunch at 18th averaging 6.1 PPG. Cincinnati’s offense has been putrid up until last week, it’s hard to see them duplicating it. They’ve scored the 8th fewest points against opposing fantasy defenses this year. You may look funny sliding Cleveland’s D/ST into your lineup, but it could pay dividends this week and you’ll look like the fantasy genius.
The Los Angeles Chargers are another sleeper this week, available in 57.3% of ESPN leagues. Dallas has not been the same without star RB Ezekiel Elliott. In two games without him, Dak Prescott has mustered 16 points on offense. Opposing defenses are dropping 7 and even 8 guys in coverage and Dak hasn’t shown he can beat them. Defenses the last 2 weeks against the Elliott-less Cowboys have scored 17 and 23 points respectively. Look for that to continue this week; the Chargers have been on a heater since starting the season 0-4, and Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa could cause havoc against a Tyron Smith-less OL in Dallas on Thanksgiving.
Here’s the full list of D/ST heading into Week 12:
- Jacksonville Jaguars at cardinals
- Philadelphia Eagles vs bears
- Seattle Seahawks at 49ers
- Baltimore Ravens vs texans
- Pittsburgh Steelers vs packers
- Cincinnati Bengals vs browns
- Los Angeles Chargers at cowboys
- Minnesota Vikings at lions
- Tennessee Titans at colts
- Cleveland Browns at bengals
- Houston Texans at ravens
- Washington Redskins vs giants
- New England Patriots vs dolphins
- New Orleans Saints at rams
- Carolina Panthers at jets
- Detroit Lions vs vikings
- Los Angeles Rams vs saints
- Atlanta Falcons vs buccaneers
- Oakland Raiders vs broncos
- Kansas City Chiefs vs bills
- Denver Broncos at raiders
- Chicago Bears at eagles
- New York Jets vs panthers
- Dallas Cowboys vs chargers
- Arizona Cardinals vs jaguars
- New York Giants at redskins
- Indianapolis Colts vs titans
- Buffalo Bills at chiefs
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers at falcons
- Green Bay Packers at steelers
- San Francisco 49ers vs seahawks
- Miami Dolphins at patriots
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