Some big games are coming up in week 10 but there are some favorable match ups, defensively, available this week as well. Team defense is always tricky to predict what is going to happen (well basically everything is hard to predict) but now after 9 weeks it is a little easier to rank based off of what teams have showed us so far.
San Diego’s defense shocked the fantasy world last week by destroying the weak KC offense but i’m still not 100% sold that they are as good as they looked in week 9. Basically is SD’s defense that good or is KC’s offense that bad, I personally think it’s KC that is to blame.
Well enough jibber jabber here are my team defense week 10 rankings
1. San Francisco 49ers – A new team at the top spot (solely based on match ups) but the 49ers definitely deserve it. I really like the match up at home vs. a St. Louis team that is, in fact, improving this year but still are exactly a NFL Juggernaut. San Fran currently has the 5th ranked run D and the 2nd ranked passing D in the NFL not to shabby to say the least and STL is still trying to figure out who their running back is going to be with Stephan Jackson not knowing 1. where he’ll be next year and more importantly 2. how healthy he is.
2. Chicago Bears – Bears defense has been a fantasy football powerhouse so far this year. By far the best fantasy scoring defense in the NFL. Charles Tillman has been the definition of a Ball Hawk this year and that has a lot of fantasy owners smiling. The only reason they are knocked out of the #1 spot this week is the Bears have a tough Sunday night match up vs. the Houston Texans. The Texans are the best in the NFL at NOT turning the ball over this year (only 6 all season). Should be a great game.
3. Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks really are a tale of two teams. On the road the Seahawks look like a mediocre team but at home the Seahawks have been outstanding. This week the Seahawks have a very good match up vs. a Jets team that has been known to implode from time to time. The Seahawks should have no problem shutting down the Jets passing game this week at home.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers – I know I have been not really showing the Steelers love on this list in past weeks. The defense has been good just not scoring for fantasy owners. This week I think it will be different with a very good looking match up vs. just a bad KC team in Pittsburgh. Everyone saw what the Chargers were able to do to KC last week and I could easily see the Steelers doing some damage this week.
5. Houston Texans – I hope J.J. Watt is hungry because he should be eating good vs. a bad Chicago offensive line this week. Green Bay was able to get to Jay Cutler using their 3-4 package and Houston runs a very similar defensive scheme. The Bears offense hasn’t exactly lived up to the hype this year and it should be a all out defensive brawl in Chicago on Sunday night.
6. Miami Dolphins – Another great week 10 match up. Miami hosts a Tennessee team that got destroyed last week by Chicago. I know that Miami doesn’t cause the turnovers that Chicago does but there is no reason why they should be able to get to Matt Hassleback and cause some chaos in that Tennessee backfield.
7. New York Giants – The G-Men have the 2nd most team defense fantasy points to date this season and just like every year the Giants seem to be turning it on now that we are in the second half of the season. Cincy’s passing attack has been good this year but the Giants front 4 still have the capability to get to any QB causing game plans to be changed and more importantly turnovers to be caused.
8. Denver Broncos – Would have been ranked higher if they were playing Carolina at home but this is still a pretty good match up for the Broncos. Cam Newton still just looks lost on the field and Denver has been good at bringing pressure from the LB position to get and contain opposing QB’s.
9. New England Patriots – The Patriots are tied with the Bears with 11 fumble recoveries so far this year and have been very good at stopping the run (tied for 7th overall). The only flaw so far for NE has been their secondary but Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t been able to really put it together ever since he got paid. NE is not a bad start this week at all.
10. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens get a banged up Oakland team at home this week. With Terrell Suggs back on the field it seems like Baltimore defense is getting some of it’s confidence back (not all but some). Baltimore still isn’t a must start like they used to be but this week, vs. Oakland, you can go ahead and plug this defense in if you have too.
11. Dallas Cowboys – Dallas is a lot like Pittsburgh this year, great defense but not really in a fantasy sense. This week Dallas is up against turn over happy Michael Vick and the Eagles. Vick has been driving the Philly faithful crazy this year with all of his turnovers (ask Greg) but people that have been starting defenses against him have been reaping the benefits. This could go bad if Philadelphia finally decides to give Shady McCoy the workload he deserves vs. the Cowboys’ 15th ranked run D.
12. San Diego Chargers – SD put up great numbers last week but as I said earlier it was more because KC is that bad. Tampa Bay has been lighting up scoreboards so far this year but SD has the 4th ranked rushing D and should be able to contain Doug Martin. I think you can play SD this week if need be but if one of the eleven teams above are available obviously go with them.
13. Minnesota Vikings – Vikings get the nod at the 13th spot this week mainly because they are at home vs. Detroit. Minnesota is going to need their 9th ranked passing D to be running on all cylinders in order to shut down Matthew Stafford and company who finally look like they have decided to start playing high flying football. Detroit showed last week that they are going to try to start their running game more and Minnesota has had a tough time containing RB’s this year.
14. Tampa Bay Bucs – The Bucs 13 picks land them in 2nd in the NFL right now and they aren’t going against the Phillip Rivers we all remember. Rivers hasn’t been that accurate this year and the Bucs secondary should be all over him if he decides to get lazy again this week.
15. Detroit Lions – The Lions need to find away to do something no one has been able to do this year….shut down AP. That’s a pretty tall order but if Detroit’s front 4 can keep AP in check I don’t think Christian Ponder will be able to hurt the Detroit secondary like other, better, QB’s have this year.
I’m going to keep it at only 15 this week. Other teams that you can plug and play if you need to this week are the New York Jets (at Seattle) or the Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Dallas). If you really are desperate and need to play a defense in the Thursday night game I would definitely got with Indianapolis over Jacksonville but really those are two really bad defenses.
Be sure to come back to www.fantasyknuckleheads.com this Sunday morning to get your “who should I start” questions answered.