Week 13 Recap: Not bad this week; Chiefs, Ravens and Packers made it into the top half of team defense fantasy points scored, while my lone bad start was the Bears who just let up too many points to Drew Stanton and the Lions. When I look at my sits last week, it was really not pretty at all, going against some of the top defenses of the week, I really got creamed with those picks. Looking ahead to week 14, we have to take the clocks back to earlier in the season to some of these defenses that were good then, but have struggled lately. Here are the start sit for team defenses in week 14.
Start ‘em: Week 14 Team Defenses
Green Bay Packers @ DET: With the Lions playing such a close game with the Bears last week and barely losing, I expect the Packers to take care of business in this match up and get to the quarterback multiple times in this game. The past two weeks the Packers fantasy team defense has not really lived up to standards with only 21 total points, but I think this week they bring up the pressure again and cause a few turnovers in this game. The Packers beat the Lions in week 4, where the game ended really close 28-26, the Packers scored 20 fantasy points and I see absolutely no different when the Packers defense gets their shot at Drew Stanton this time instead of Shaun Hill. Surprisingly enough, the Packers defense has done better on the road than at home this year, so I expect a turnover fest when the Packers play the Lions on Sunday.
New York Jets vs MIA: Coming off of one of the most embarrassing losses in not only Jets history, but the history of Monday Night Football to the New England Patriots 45-3, I expect this defense to be ready for a really struggling Dolphins offense. The Jets defense has only scored less than 10 fantasy points three times this year and two of them were on the road [Patriots and Broncos]. The Jets and Dolphins are both allowing less than 20 points a game; I fully expect this to be a defensive battle with Chad Henne making the turnover mistake that makes the Jets defense a good start in week 14. The Jets loss to the Patriots on MNF honestly makes me like the Jets defense more this week versus the Dolphins.
Atlanta Falcons @ CAR: The Falcons are currently on a 6 game winning streak, but during that time period their team defense has not really had a signature game in terms of fantasy points. Over that span, the Falcons have scored 62.5 fantasy points as a defense, which is 10.5 per game; but the aspect of the Falcons defense that has flexed its muscles so far this season has been the rushing defense [which is ranked 8th in the league]. The issue so far this year with the Falcons has been the pass defense, which is currently ranked 26th in the league, but over the past few weeks they have looked much improved with crucial late interceptions of Josh Freeman and Joe Flacco. With Atlanta heading to Carolina this week, they will concentrate on stopping Jonathan Stewart and Mike Goodson in the run game and let their pass defense just come as the game goes.
Minnesota Vikings vs NYG: Under Leslie Frazier, the Vikings are 2-0 and have put up a total of 35 team defense fantasy points and now they face a Giants team that will still be without Hakeem Nicks and maybe without Steve Smith. The Vikings are 12th against the pass and 4th against the run this year, and if I asked most NFL fans if they thought the Vikings had played up to their rankings most people would say no; but those are the rankings and they are playing a banged up Giants team who just took care of the Redskins last week. The Vikings defense has only allowed 6 more points this year than the Giants defense has, and the public usually calls the Giants one of the top two defenses in football.
Sit ‘em: Week 14 Team Defenses
Kansas City Chiefs @ SD: The Chiefs have put up a total of 40 team defense fantasy points in their last 4 games and with the Chargers on the schedule for week 14, things do not seem to be looking up for this really young defense. After losing to Oakland last week, this is the Chargers last stand to make a push for the playoffs and I expect them to pile on the points in this one, which does not bode well for the Chiefs defense. Kansas City is currently ranked 21st against the pass, and that will really not help them with their young secondary as they face the Chargers coming off of an embarrassing loss at home last week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ WASH: With the loss of Aqib Talib, their top cornerback, for the season, the Buccaneers will have a lot of trouble stopping the Redskins deep passing game with Anthony Armstrong and Santana Moss, especially with the type of quarterback Donovon McNabb is and the fact that the Redskins have a really struggling run game so far this season. The Bucs defense has been very good this year; they are very young, very talented, but I think the loss of a shutdown cornerback is going to effect them in this match up in Washington. Tampa Bay is 26th versus the run and 7th against the pass, so I think with the loss of Talib, their 7th ranked pass defense takes a large hit.
Buffalo Bills vs CLE: The Bills have put up at least 10 team fantasy points in their last 4 games, but facing the most powerful running back in football this week in the cold weather of Buffalo does not look good for the 32nd ranked rush defense in the league. If Eric Mangini is smart, he will stay away from the passing game at all costs here, the Bills are the 10th ranked pass defense in football and are ranked 29th in points allowed. Peyton Hillis should have another dominant day for Cleveland, so in my opinion Buffalo should not even be considered as a team defense this week.
Dallas Cowboys vs PHI: With 10 days to prepare for the Cowboys, this pick has more to do with Andy Reid and the Eagles offense than it is a knock on the Cowboys defense. Since Jason Garrett stepped up as head coach of Dallas, they have honestly looked like a totally different team and they are one play away against New Orleans from being undefeated since Garrett’s tenure started. In the 4 games the Cowboys have played under Garrett, they have put up a total of 70 team defense fantasy points against some pretty stellar teams in the Saints, Giants and Colts. This game will be played on Sunday Night Football this week, and I expect a high scoring game in this one, which definitely does not bode well for the Cowboys defense.