Week 3 of the 2023 NFL season featured a ton of offensive fireworks and some surprising letdowns by some of the league's top fantasy defensive units. Which fantasy football defense will reign supreme in the rankings for Week 4?
Will the San Francisco 49ers defense burst the bubble of the Arizona Cardinals fresh off their upset of the Dallas Cowboys? Can the Chiefs put up big fantasy defense points against Zach Wilson and the New York Jets? Or will it be the Cleveland Browns coming through again despite the tough matchup against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens?
We'll answer all those questions and more in the fantasy football defense rankings, but first, let's get to the deep sleepers and viable fantasy defense streaming options for Week 4.
Streaming Week 4 DEF options
Cincinnati Bengals DEF (@ TEN): The Titans aren't a team we've gone out of the way to stream against in the past, but Ryan Tannehill has been completely ineffective (1 TD, 3 INT) behind an offensive line that isn't protecting him (13 sacks). The Bengals haven't been great at stopping the run, but they held the Rams' ground game in check on Monday night and might be able to do the same against Derrick Henry, who doesn't look near 100 percent so far this season. This feels like a low-scoring slugfest, putting the Bengals' D firmly in play.
Los Angeles Rams DEF (@ IND): The Rams have held two talented offenses in Seattle and Cincinnati to under 16 points and could either be facing Anthony Richardson or Gardner Minshew next. There aren't too many viable streaming options in Week 4, but you could certainly do worse than a Rams unit that has allowed only one passing touchdown so far this season.
Favorite Week 4 FanDuel DFS plays
Las Vegas Raiders DEF (@LAC) – FD $3,000: Punting on defense is a strong strategy on FanDuel's main slate in Week 4, especially when Tampa Bay's defense is the second-highest-priced unit to choose from. Bad things tend to happen to the Chargers, particularly on special teams, and one slipup is all that's needed to pay off such a low price. The last time these two teams met, the Raiders sacked Justin Herbert five times and held the Chargers to 20 points in a win, so there's some logic behind targeting this division rivalry game at the lowest possible cost.
Dallas Cowboys DEF (vs NE) – FD $4,800: If you're not thrilled about punting, pay up for one of the league's very best defenses against an uninspiring offense led by Mac Jones that barely squeaked out 15 points against the Jets last week. The Cowboys are at home and have to be fired up after laying an egg against the lowly Cardinals, so I'm smelling a major bounce-back performance here and have them right at the top of the fantasy football defense rankings this week.
Week 4 Fantasy Football Defense Rankings
1. San Francisco 49ers (vs ARI)
2. Dallas Cowboys (vs NE)
3. Kansas City Chiefs (@ NYJ)
4. Philadelphia Eagles (vs WAS)
5. New Orleans Saints (vs TB)
6. Cleveland Browns (vs BAL)
For our discussion on the best fantasy football breakout and sleeper candidates, listen below:
7. Baltimore Ravens (@ CLE)
8. Cincinnati Bengals (@ TEN)
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (@ HOU)
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ NO)
11. Seattle Seahawks (@ NYG)
12. Los Angeles Rams (@ IND)
Week 4 Fantasy Defense Notes
Going to go out on a limb and predict Josh Dobbs' luck runs out against the 49ers D on the road…The Cowboys D could be what sends Mac Jones to the bench…Did you see Zach Wilson throw a 1-yard pass to the flat on 4th-and-10 with the game on the line? His confidence is toast, and the Chiefs D should benefit against a reeling QB for the second straight week…Sam Howell will be up and down, but his performance against the Broncos in Week 2 lost a little luster after the Dolphins put up a 70-burger on Denver. The Eagles D should rack up the sacks in this one and could easily finish atop the defense rankings in Week 4…
The Saints D has been incredible through three quarters each week but has suffered letdowns late. Here's thinking they stay aggressive and put the heat on Baker Mayfield all game…The Ravens should get better offensively each week, but their receivers and running backs are banged up, and the Browns D has been completely dominant all season and should regularly be atop the fantasy defense rankings…The Titans are a pass funnel, so color me skeptical about the revival of Deshaun Watson just yet. Week 4 will present a much tougher task in the Ravens D in what should be a low-scoring affair…
The Bengals D looked great on Monday night, and the Titans simply can't throw the ball against eight-man fronts with any sort of consistency…T.J. Watt is going to eat against a Texans offensive line that can't stop him, making the Steelers D a great play despite CJ Stroud looking like the real deal…Jameis Winston is a reformed turnover machine, but his previous reputation is going to make the Bucs D a popular play this week…The Seahawks D keeps burning me, but Daniel Jones isn't showing any signs of life early on this season…The Rams D has more potential if it's Minshew instead of Richardson, but I'm not ducking either matchup in fantasy football given their performances so far this season.