Week 1 Rankings (2017): Top 15 Defenses

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Week 1 is always tough to maneuver through, regardless of the position, but figuring out which defense to have faith in is one of the more difficult decisions.  As much as we look at the defense itself, you also have to take into account the offense they are facing (meaning there are two different evaluations you need to make).  It’s never easy, but let’s see how things shake out for this week:

  1. Houston Texans – vs. Jacksonville
  2. Carolina Panthers – at San Francisco
  3. Denver Broncos – vs. Chargers
  4. New England Patriots – vs. Kansas City
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers – at Cleveland
  6. Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Baltimore
  7. Los Angeles Rams – vs. Indianapolis
  8. Jacksonville Jaguars – at Houston
  9. Arizona Cardinals – at Detroit
  10. Seattle Seahawks – at Green Bay
  11. Atlanta Falcons – at Chicago
  12. Minnesota Vikings – vs. New Orleans
  13. New York Giants – at Dallas
  14. Buffalo Bills – vs. New York Jets
  15. Los Angeles Chargers – at Denver


  • Jacksonville was pretty strong against the run last season and considering the quarterback situation if they can stop Lamar Miller they will be in store for a big week.  Considering he averaged 3.9 yards per carry in the two matchups in 2016 (146 yards on 37 carries), it’s not a bad bet to take if you don’t have one of the truly elite units.
  • Cincinnati’s defense is one of the better groups in the league, so considering the questions surrounding Joe Flacco and his health they could get off to a quick start.  You can put the Los Angeles Rams in the same category, with Andrew Luck expected to be out.  Indianapolis faces a significant downgrade under center, so look for the Rams to get after them early and off.
  • Whatever you think of the Bills’ defense, the New York Jets’ offense will be epically bad this season.  That makes them an ideal streaming option in Week 1.


Make sure to check out all of our Week 1 Rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Week 2 Rankings (2017): Top 25 Quarterbacks
Week 1 Rankings (2017): Top 15 Kickers


  1. Whipple says:

    Hey Prof,
    I have Moncrief and J Matthews as my bench WRs and someone dropped Snead. It’s a 12 team standard league with 2 starting WR and two Flex. Pick him up or roll with what I have?

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