I'd like to start my team defense week 9 rankings off by saying I know Minnesota let a lot of people down last week but I practice what I preach and I also had a big ole -3.00 points for my D last week. I'll reflect it in this week's rankings. Minnesota is officially in my team defense doghouse.
There are some favorable match ups this week for some of the usual suspects but there are a couple of D's worth picking up if you are a San Francisco or New England owner. Just got to get through this week.
Be sure to check out the Sunday morning broadcast on fantasyknuckleheads.com and get your last minute questions answered and as I have been I will be answering all Defensive related questions in the forum here as well.
With all that being said here are my Team Defense Week 9 Rankings
1. Chicago Bears - Yes they took a minor step back last week vs. Carolina, but they still got their fantasy owners a pick 6 late in the game to help boost some points. The Bears still have the best run D in the league and should be able to contain Chris Johnson this week. I also like the how the Bears corners match up vs. Kenny Britt and Kendall Wright. The Bears (in standard scoring leagues) still are the top fantasy point D, the closest team is 40 points behind.
2. Houston Texans - Brian Cushing out will continue to hurt this D, but fortunately for them they have arguably the defensive POY in J.J. Watt still in command. Buffalo's offense has been good in spurts this year but I like Houston at home in this match up. Ideally Houston will go up early forcing Buffalo to throw with would be a good situation for Houston owners. Picks = Points.
3. Miami Dolphins - The phins' D continues to surprise me this year. There D has been putting up pretty good fantasy points for owners. I like the match up vs. the Colts. Andrew Luck has been noticeably better at home this year but I think this is a must win for Miami and the D will come out firing on all cylinders.
4. Atlanta Falcons - Dallas' offensive line is banged up and Tony Romo loves to throw picks. I am well aware Romo almost brought the boys back against NY last week but the Giants' D put up some nice fantasy numbers vs. the Cowboys. Atlanta is at home here and in the same type situation as Houston, the Falcons should go up early turning this into a shoot out. Once again picks = points.
5. New York Giants - It's that time of year again. The leaves change color, it gets a little colder, and the Giants decide to start their season. The Giants' front 4 is arguably the best the NFL has to offer. Big Ben is used to getting hit and that's a good thing because he should get knocked around pretty good this Sunday. I'm thinking here is Ben is going to constantly be pressed into some bad throws.
6. Denver Broncos - Denver is the 8th ranked passing D in the NFL right now and they will need it vs. a Cincy offense that loves to throw the ball. Peyton Manning should have no problem vs. the Cincy D forcing Cincy's offense to go to the passing game.
7. Seattle Seahawks - Got to love Seattle at home this year. The home field advantage is very evident in Seattle. Tough match up vs. a rejuvenated AP but Seattle should have no problem shutting down Christian Ponder who finally seemed to realize he is, in fact, Christian Ponder.
8. Green Bay Packers - Packers are a very blitz happy team in their 3-4 scheme and vs. a terrible offensive line like the one in Arizona it should be a feeding frenzy for Clay Matthews and the boys. Put on top of that Arizona doesn't really have a run game and that should lead to fantasy team D success for GB owners.
9. San Diego Chargers - The league's number 2 ranked run D should be able to shut down a miserable running game in KC. Hopefully because I don't see Jamaal Charles only getting 5 touches again. KC's pass game is a work in progress right now making them 1 dimensional with is very good for SD owners.
10. Detroit Lions - They snuck into my top 10 mainly because they are playing Jacksonville. Detroit's secondary is still suspect but they should have no problem only rushing 4 vs. JAC witch means more guys back to shut down the passing game. Detroit is a pretty good play this week.
11. Tampa Bay Bucs - TB is another team that has come along as the season as progressed. Great match up this week vs. an Oakland team that still hasn't really put it all together yet. The TB secondary has been ball hawks all season. TB is a good wire pick up this week if you have SF or NE D on a bye this week.
12. Minnesota Vikings - In my doghouse and out of my top 10. Tough road game this week in Seattle. If Minnesota had a tough time shutting down Doug Martin last week they are going to have a hell of a time vs. Beast Mode this week. I wouldn't go crazy and drop Minnesota quite yet but they do have a very tough schedule the rest of the way.
13. Arizona Cardinals - Very tough to go into Lambeau in November and shut down a Packer offense that seems to be finally running on all cylinders. Should have no problem shutting down the Packers run game but the passing game is a completely different story
14. Baltimore Ravens - I hesitate to rank them higher because of the major injuries they have suffered. Trent Richardson should be able to but up some decent numbers vs. Baltimore. Baltimore isn't a bad play at all this week but I just couldn't pull the trigger to rank them higher.
15. Dallas Cowboys - Cowboys' 3rd ranked pass D will be put to the test vs. Matt Ryan and the Atlanta passing attack. Dallas is at home but they will have their hands full this week.
16. Cleveland Browns - Cleveland's D has been close to the top fantasy wise so far this year. If they can shut down Ray Rice like they did earlier this year this could be the surprise D of the week. That is a huge IF though and I realize that so they will sit at #16 this week.
17. Carolina Panthers - Panther's D showed up last week vs. the Bears by getting to Jay Cutler early and often. Robert Griffin III is a whole different beast. I could easily see RG 3 going off for a big game this week.
18. Kansas City Chiefs - San Diego looks lost on offense so far this year. Hopefully Phillip Rivers bad decision making this year turns out to be KC turn overs.
19. Cincinnati Bengals - Peyton Manning is fresh out of the delorian and looking like vintage Peyton. Cincy's D has been solid this year but I just would be nervous to start a D going against red hot Denver right now.
20. Philadelphia Eagles - Drew Brees could very easily light up this D this week. Every game NO plays in turns into an all out shoot out due to NO's D being just terrible this year. Philly's D could be a solid sleeper this week but it's definitely my **High Risk/High Reward** pick of the week.
I won't be on the Sunday morning show this weekend due to the fact i'll be in Nashville for the Titans/Bears game. If you have a D question leave it in the forum and i'll do my best to get to it.