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Fantasy Football: Week 12 Kicker and Defense Rankings

By Alex Butler
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Fantasy Football: Week 12 Kicker and Defense Rankings
New York Giants London Collins celebrates with Trevin Wade after Collins intercepts a pass to seal the victory agains the Chicago Bears in week 11 of the NFL at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on November 20, 2016. The Giants defeated the Bears 22-16. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- With the full slate of NFL teams on the field for the holiday weekend, you have plenty of options for starting fantasy football defenses and kickers.

With more options, comes more opportunities to make mistakes. Starting a defense/special teams unit that gives you negative points can end up handing you a loss. Picking the right kicker can give you the vital points you need from an unexpected source.

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To help you figure out who to sit or start at those positions, take a look at my top 20 defense/special teams units and top 15 kickers for Week 12. You can also view my add/drops for the week and more positional rankings in the links below.

TOP SHELF

The New York Giants are my No. 2 defense/special teams unit for Week 12. Look for the Giants to continue its stellar stretch of holding offenses to 23 points or fewer in six consecutive games. The Giants have eight interceptions in its last four games. The Browns have scored 10 points or fewer in three consecutive games.

Stephen Hauschka is my top ranked kicker for Week 12. The Seattle Seahawks veteran has made multiple field goals in eight of 10 games this season. I don't expect the surging Seahawks to struggle offensively against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, meaning plenty of opportunities for extra points and field goals from the special teams unit.

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SNEAKY PLAYS

The New England Patriots should roll over the New York Jets Sunday. The Jets are coming off of a loss to the Los Angeles Rams when it scored just six points. I see Tom Brady leading his stellar offense to a big lead and forcing turnover-prone Ryan Fitzpatrick into more passing attempts.

Dan Bailey is really showing off his leg for the dominant Dallas Cowboys offense. I have Bailey as a top-five option for a Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Washington Redskins. Bailey has hit an average of three extra points per game this season. He has made multiple field goals in four of his last five appearances. That trend will continue against a Redskins defense that can be had.

RANK NAME TEAM OPPONENT
1 Stephen Hauschka Seattle Seahawks at Tampa Bay
2 Mason Crosby Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia
3 Stephen Gostkowski New England Patriots at New York Jets
4 Dan Bailey Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington
5 Brandon McManus Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City
6 Justin Tucker Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati
7 Matt Bryant Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona
8 Adam Vinatieri Indianapolis Colts vs. Pittsburgh
9 Sebastian Janikowski Oakland Raiders vs. Carolina
10 Andrew Franks Miami Dolphins vs. San Francisco
11 Caleb Sturgis Philadelphia Eagles vs. Green Bay
12 Will Lutz New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles
13 Dan Carpenter Buffalo Bills vs. Jacksonville
14 Graham Gano Carolina Panthers at Oakland
15 Robbie Gould New York Giants at Cleveland

LONGSHOTS

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are a good streaming option again this week against the Andrew Luck-less Indianapolis Colts. I don't see the Colts defense slowing down Le'Veon Bell, Ben Roethlisberger, and Antonio Brown. I expect the Colts to attempt to keep this contest low scoring, using Frank Gore and its running game to control the clock. I love the Steelers defense against a rusty Scott Tolzien.

New Orleans Saints kicker Will Lutz began as a streaming option, but he is rounding into a weekly play at the position. Lutz has made at least two field goals in three of his last four games. He has multiple extra points in three consecutive contests. I expect the Saints to dominate the reeling Los Angeles Rams.

RANK TEAM OPPONENT
1 Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City
2 New York Giants at Cleveland
3 Miami Dolphins vs. San Francisco
4 Seattle Seahawks at Tampa Bay
5 Tennessee Titans at Chicago
6 New England Patriots at New York Jets
7 Buffalo Bills vs. Jacksonville
8 Minnesota Vikings at Detroit
9 Kansas City Chiefs at Denver
10 Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis
11 Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati
12 Houston Texans vs. San Diego
13 San Diego Chargers at Houston
14 Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota
15 Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington
16 Oakland Raiders vs. Carolina
17 Philadelphia Eagles vs. Green Bay
18 Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore
19 New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles
20 Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta
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