We are almost at the halfway point of the 2012 season and like they do every year around this time injuries are playing a huge part in the team defense week 7 rankings. The cream is starting to rise and the just junk defenses are starting to become more and more exposed as the weeks go on.
This week I looked heavily at what defenses were going up against bad O-Lines and what offenses are missing key players. I also took into play teams records at home vs. on the road as well as the key injuries that are effecting a lot of the team defenses people own (Ray Lewis, Brian Cushing, etc etc)
So with all the injuries here are my team defense week 7 rankings...
1. Chicago Bears - I don't want to come off as a homer but the Chicago Bears' D has been second to none in fantasy so far this year. In standard scoring leagues the Bears have almost 100 points with the closest D to them being around 70. This week the Bears have a Detroit team that is still trying to find it's identity. Peanut Tillman has proven he can contain Mega Tron (Let's be honest no one can really shut him down) and the Bears run D has been great this year. Bears D is a must play.
2. Minnesota Vikings - This could be the last week I rank Minnesota high in the rankings. RG 3 put it on the Viking's D last week. That being said Minnesota has a great match up vs. the worst O-line in the league (Arizona) and Kevin Kolb isn't playing. I like Minnesota at home here.
3. Green Bay Packers - I know, I know "what's up with all these NFC North teams?" well the fact is they all have good match ups this week for fantasy defenses. The pack are facing a St. Louis team that doesn't really have a running game freeing AJ Hawk and Clay Matthews up to just go after Sam Bradford.
4. Cincinnati Bengals - This was hard for me to put here but the fact that the Steelers haven't won on the road yet and i'm still not sold on Mendenhall being 100%. I think Cincy can hit up Big Ben for some turnovers.
5. New England Patriots - Yes the Jets had a huge offensive week last week but I really don't think they repeat that performance in Foxboro. This is a divisional game and the Pat's are playing pissed off after last weeks loss. I can see the Pat's picking apart the Jets this week.
6. Cleveland Browns - The Browns have 10 picks and 15 sacks so far this year and the D seems to really be coming together. This week they face Andrew Luck in Indy. Putting them this high could come back to haunt me but Cleveland's secondary has looked pretty good lately and Luck is still working out some of the "Rookie Rust"
7. San Francisco 49ers - I talked earlier how the Pat's would be playing with a chip on their shoulder well San Fran should have a whole can of Pringles there this week. After Eli torched them last week I definitely could see Patrick Willis and company stepping up big this week vs. a rookie QB in Russell Wilson.
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - They were my sleeper last week and this week they face a big test in New Orleans. TB's D is full of ball hawks in the secondary and they seem to be getting better each week. Brees is going to throw a lot creating more chances for turn overs and more importantly fantasy points.
9. Seattle Seahawks - Seattle's secondary is playing great football right now. The only reason I have them this low is San Fran (as stated earlier) Is going to be looking to make a statement this week. Also Seattle's D seems to be a lot better when they are at home so them being on the road knocked them down a couple of spots.
10. Houston Texans - Houston was exposed by Aaron Rodgers last week and missing Brian Cushing in the middle hurts a lot. I'm not too worried that the D won't perform I just think they won't perform as well as they did earlier this year. If you own them you can still play them and not feel too worried about it.
11. Arizona Cardinals - Arizona's D seems to be slipping each week. They got out of the gate hot but have cooled off since. AP at home is always a tough match up for any team. Still a very good secondary that could give Ponder some issues.
12. Baltimore Ravens - Didn't really know where to put them. No Uncle Ray and No Webb in the secondary. It's going to be interesting to see how the Ravens D steps up with out 2 of their elite players.
13. New York Giants - Only reason they are this low is because of 1 man RG 3. NY still has an elite front 7 but as we saw last week RG 3 can torch any D. Risky play but still not a terrible one.
14. Dallas Cowboys - Still the #1 pass D in the NFL going up against a struggling Cam Newton. Game is in Carolina and I gotta believe old Cam is going to show up sooner or later.....right? Either way Dallas isn't a horrible play this week either.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers - Still looking for their first win on the road, Pitt's secondary will be tested often by A.J. Green and company.
16. Buffalo Bills - Pretty good match up vs. Tenn this week only thing that hurts fantasy wise is Matt Hasselback doesn't turn the ball over too much.
17. St. Louis Rams - Need to put pressure on Rodgers to even have a chance. Ram's front 7 is capable but will they get the job done. Finnegan can't cover all of the Packers weapons at the same time so if the other St. Louis DB's don't step up it could be a long day for them.
18. New York Jets - Tom Brady is pissed and that's not good for them. Another risky play especially on the road.
19. Washington Redskins - D has been decent so far but Eli has a way to get the job done. Not a horrible start this week but the Eli factor scares me with this match-up.
20. New Orleans Saints - Interested to see what Vilma brings to the table this week. TB has looked good with their Martin/Blount backfield combo. This really all depends on if they can get to Josh Freeman.
Desperation pick of the week that won't hurt you.....OAKLAND RAIDERS - bad team vs. bad team in Oakland but they could easily have a big day vs. Jacksonville
Good luck this week everybody.