by Ray Kuhn
Defense wins championships. That is one of the oldest cliches in sports, but there is also some truth to it. However, when you set your fantasy football lineup it is often one position that gets overlooked. Sure there are some top defenses that you can ride from Week 1 through Week 16, but there is often at least some streaming involved. By no means am I saying that what running back you start isn’t more important than your team defense, but it is also a decision that should not be taken lightly. Let’s jump into how the defenses rank for this week:
- Arizona Cardinals – at St. Louis
- New England Patriots – vs. Philadelphia
- Cincinnati Bengals – at Cleveland
- Chicago Bears – vs. San Francisco
- Houston Texans – at Buffalo
- Carolina Panthers – at New Orleans Saints
- New York Jets – at New York Giants
- Denver Broncos – at San Diego
- Seattle Seahawks – at Minnesota
- Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
- Buffalo Bills – vs. Houston
- Green Bay Packers – at Detroit
- Miami Dolphins – vs. Baltimore
- Tennessee Titans – vs. Jacksonville
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Atlanta
- To say that the Texans had a rough start to the season would be an understatement. Expected to be one of the top defenses, Houston just couldn’t get out of their own way. Aside from allowing nine points to Tampa Bay in Week 4, they gave up 152 points combined in six of their first seven games. Since then, Houston has allowed 35 points in their next four games and that includes 17 against the Jets. In that span they have 16 sacks, five interceptions and three fumble recoveries. This is the perfect example of why it is misleading to simply look at season long stats.
- If you are looking to stream a defense this week, Tampa Bay and their 13% ownership on Yahoo (as of Wednesday night) might be an option. The Buccaneers have picked up three sacks in each of their last three games while also coming up with four interceptions and allowing an average of 16 points per game. Earlier in the season when Tampa Bay faced Atlanta, they allowed a respectable 20 points while registering one sack, an interception and three fumble recoveries. Since then it would be an understatement to say that Matt Ryan has struggled. In three games he has thrown for just five touchdown passes while being picked off five times. Atlanta has struggled to move the ball and they are currently on a four game losing streak that began against the Buccaneers.
- Yes, Sam Bradford is back for the Eagles so we can likely downgrade the Patriots defense by two interceptions, but there is still a lot to like about New England’s defense. Bradford himself hasn’t had too much success this season with 11 touchdowns against 10 interceptions in nine games, and the Eagles appear to be a team in disarray. DeMarco Murray has struggled to do much of anything on the ground, and that doesn’t appear to change anytime soon. Through 11 games the Patriots have allowed just 210 points while causing 15 turnovers and they are known for capitalizing on opponents weaknesses.
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings: