The straw man fallacy is where an attacker sets up a "straw man" that looks superficially similar to their opponent's position, but is more easily attacked. They then attack the straw man and claim to have successfully defeated the opponent's position.
In the reverse of this, a defender sets up an "iron man" (perhaps?) that looks superficially similar to their own position, but is more easily defended. They successfully defend the iron man and claim to have successfully defended their own position.
Is there an existing word for this latter fallacy?
I get the impression people often do it subconsciously, and sometimes before an attack is even made (examples). You could call it a straw man attack on behalf of the defendant I suppose (i.e. your straw man is your misrepresentation of the attacker's stance as an attack on the iron man) but that adds a level of indirection over the original situation that the fallacy describes. Also, if the defense is conceived of before an attack is made, the "straw man" wouldn't even exist yet - only a plan to construct him should the need arise - but the "iron man" is definitely there all along.