Week 3 of the NFL season is here, and we've got your fantasy football defense rankings on tap. Which matchups are the most exploitable this week, and which ones should we duck? The Dallas Cowboys look primed for a monster game against the Arizona Cardinals, maintaining their top spot in the fantasy defense rankings. Can the Philadelphia Eagles rebound after a shootout against the Vikings? Can the Patriots bully Zach Wilson and the Jets on the road? We'll answer those questions and more, but first, let's get to the deep sleepers and viable fantasy defense streaming options before we head to the Week 3 Defense rankings.
Streaming Week 3 DEF options
Jacksonville Jaguars DEF (vs HOU): After holding the Chiefs offense to just 17 points, an angry Jags defense should get to tee off against a Houston Texans team that is struggling in the trenches and just allowed six sacks to an inferior Colts defense. Throw in a rookie QB in CJ Stroud on the road, and there's a lot of turnover potential here.
Seattle Seahawks DEF (vs CAR): We're attacking rookie quarterbacks on the road once again, this time with the Seahawks defense getting Bryce Young on a short week in a hostile environment. The Seahawks defense has struggled thus far against the Rams and the Lions, but the Panthers lack the talent at wide receiver to scare you away from streaming against them.
Favorite Week 3 FanDuel DFS plays
Dallas Cowboys DEF (@ ARI) – FD $5200: There are very few weeks you'll want to pay up for a defense on the main slate at FanDuel, but this is one of them. The Cowboys have destroyed the Giants and Jets in two straight weeks, and the Cardinals are the number one team to stream against with Joshua Dobbs at QB. Be willing to scrimp elsewhere to get this incredible matchup.
New York Jets DEF (vs NE) – FD $3900: If you don't want to pay for the top defense on the slate, go the other direction and look for more of a punt option. The Jets have an incredible amount of talent defensively, and Mac Jones has taken six sacks and thrown two picks this year. Zach Wilson could put his defense in some tough situations, but this should be a low-scoring slogfest with turnovers aplenty.
Week 3 Fantasy Football Defense Rankings
1. Dallas Cowboys (@ ARI)
2. San Francisco 49ers (vs NYG)
3. Philadelphia Eagles (@ TB)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (vs CHI)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (vs HOU)
For our discussion on the best fantasy football breakout and sleeper candidates, listen below:
6. Baltimore Ravens (vs IND)
7. New England Patriots (@ NYJ)
8. New York Jets (vs NE)
9. Buffalo Bills (@ WSH)
10. Seattle Seahawks (vs CAR)
11. New Orleans Saints (@ GB)
12. Cleveland Browns (vs TEN)
Week 3 Fantasy Defense Notes
The Cardinals may have emptied the emotional tank and embraced the actual tank after the loss in week 2, and here comes the Cowboys D and Micah Parsons next…The 49ers D will get a Giants team that has put up six terrible quarters of football and will be without Saquon Barkley…Eagles D is quietly 5th in points through two weeks, and here's guessing Baker Mayfield and the Bucs turn back into pumpkins against the defending NFC champs…The Chiefs D just held an explosive Jags offense under ten points and gets a Bears team that has zero clue how to use Justin Fields…
The Jags D should beat up on a woeful offensive line and rookie QB…It might be Gardner Minshew time for the Colts with Anthony Richardson recovering from a concussion, but it should be tough sledding on the road for either quarterback…Jets D and Patriots D feel mostly interchangeable here, but we'll give a slight advantage to Mac Jones's dump-offs rather than Zach Wilson's wild play…
It's hard to tell which version of the Bills D is real, but holding Josh Jacobs to -2 rushing yards is awfully hard to ignore…A rookie QB on the road traveling across the country on a short week with a banged-up receiver corps is a spot where Seahawks D can live up to their potential…Saints D has multiple incredible matchups over the next few weeks (TB, NE, HOU, CHI, IND), so snatch them up if they hit your waiver wire even if you respect Jordan Love's crew. They'll be a mainstay in these top fantasy football defense rankings.