Fantasy defenses to target, avoid

Bilal Powell is focused on delivering production against the Dolphins in Week 13. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The passing of the trade deadline makes this time of year the toughest in terms of upgrading a fantasy football team.

The task may be tough but it is not impossible, especially if close attention is paid to matchups. This week's Fantasy Foresight aims to assist in this endeavor by highlighting eight defenses that are struggling in a particular area, and noting potential valuable waiver pickups or bench players who could be moved up to a starter's role because of a favorable matchup.

Because it is also helpful to know defenses that should be avoided, there is a section dedicated to identifying three defenses that are playing quite well in an area, making them a candidate to avoid for certain players.

Defenses to target

Miami Dolphins: Run defense

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Dolphins rank 25th in the league in rushing yards allowed per game in the past four weeks (148.25). This isn't an anomaly, as Miami also ranks 26th in fantasy points allowed to running backs this season.

Waiver target: Bilal Powell, New York Jets (owned in 35.9 percent of ESPN leagues)

Powell had three double-digit games in the first four weeks of the season, but since has taken a back seat to Chris Ivory. Ivory's recent ankle sprain may very well keep him out of the Jets' Week 13 matchup against Miami, and thus could make Powell a viable flex or RB2 candidate.