Fantasy Football: Week 18 Defense rankings

For those of you still competing in fantasy leagues through Week 18, below you'll find our analysts' positional rankings. Obviously fantasy football seems particularly inconsequential right now, however. Our thoughts are still very much with Buffalo's Damar Hamlin as well as his family, friends and teammates. Everything else related to football (and certainly to fantasy) is far less important today.

For fantasy football managers starting the San Francisco 49ers defense in Week 17 against Jarrett Stidham and the Raiders, well ... I feel your pain.

It's not hyperbole to say that, heading into Week 17, the 49ers defense was known as probably the best in the league. As such, it was also one of the better, highly-coveted D/STs in fantasy. No one was really thinking about benching the San Fran D/ST, not when the Raiders were heading into the matchup with Stidham at signal-caller.

[Week 17 and 18 fantasy football status updates]

Of course, we now know how things turned out. Stidham brought the heat in Week 17, the 49ers gave up 34 points and scored just three measly fantasy points.

They hadn't scored under 7 points since Week 10.

Quarterback Jarrett Stidham #3 of the Las Vegas Raiders was a fantasy surprise
Jarrett Stidham's performance was directly detrimental to the 49ers' defense's fantasy output. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) (Chris Unger via Getty Images)

That was an abysmal showing, but fantasy managers rostering the 9ers defense who are still playing in Week 18 can take heart; the 49ers have what's expected to be a much easier matchup in the final week of the regular season.

[Week 18 Fantasy Rankings: QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | FLEX | DST | Kickers]

San Francisco will face the division-rival Arizona Cardinals, a team with both eyes likely on next season. Dealing with a host of injuries — including at the quarterback position — has the Cardinals offense in shambles.

You can imagine the 49er stop unit will want to take last week's bad taste out of their mouths by dominating an inferior opponent in Week 18.

Check out the 49ers and the rest of the defenses in our D/ST rankings for Week 18 below:

2022 Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyProsECR ™ - Expert Consensus Rankings