by Will Overton
Most of the teams in this week’s wild card round of the playoffs are known more for their offensive firepower than their defensive ability. Still, you have to have a defense to fill your roster this weekend and so knowing which ones offer the most upside will benefit you. Here is how I see the defenses ranking this week for fantasy purposes:
- Carolina Panthers vs. Arizona
- Arizona Cardinals @ Carolina
- Detroit Lions @ Dallas
- Dallas Cowboys vs. Detroit
- Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh
- Indianapolis Colts vs. Cincinnati
- Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore
- Cincinnati Bengals @ Indianapolis
- You’re best matchup this weekend for defenses is definitely the Arizona and Carolina game. For Carolina you have the pleasure of facing a ridiculously depleted Cardinals offense led by Ryan Lindley, that in itself gives them an edge to be the number one unit this week. Meanwhile Arizona has given up a lot of yards, especially through the air, but they don’t give up many points and the Panthers offense isn’t overly explosive. This should be a low scoring game and a decent source of defensive fantasy points.
- The expectation for the Dallas and Detroit game seems to be that it will be a high scoring affair with all the offensive firepower taking the field between the two teams combined. I wouldn’t write them off for defensive point scoring though. Dallas is second in takeaways and Detroit is eighth. Detroit is also top ten in sacks and third in points allowed. There is a lot of stars on offense, but the defenses could steal the show in this one.
- You shouldn’t just be assuming that the Steelers are the Steelers of old with a vaunted defense wreaking havoc on people. The Steelers are in the bottom third of the league in both sacks and takeaways and they have too many games where the other teams score hits the high 20’s or more. The Steelers are not the fantasy defense powerhouse of old and shouldn’t be treated as such.
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