Week 2 Rankings (2017): Top 15 Defenses

by Ray Kuhn

Don’t underestimate the importance of Defense (and no, I’m not saying that just so you read this article). I want you to be victorious each week, and every point is just as critical regardless of the source. I’m not asking you to trade a running back for a defense, or even carry multiple defenses on your roster (I generally don’t), but just spend a minute or two evaluating the match-ups and your options and when you are setting your DFS lineup don’t take the selection lightly. Let’s take a look at how your options rank for this week:

  1. Oakland Raiders – vs. New York Jets
  2. Seattle Seahawks – vs. San Francisco
  3. Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Houston
  4. Arizona Cardinals – at Indianapollis
  5. Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cleveland
  6. Carolina Panthers – vs. Buffalo
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Chicago
  8. Houston Texans – at Cincinnati
  9. Los Angeles Rams – vs. Washington
  10. New York Giants – vs. Detroit
  11. Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Tennessee
  12. Dallas Cowboys – vs. Denver
  13. Tennessee Titans – at Jacksonville
  14. Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Philadelphia
  15. Washington Redskins – at Los Angeles Rams


  • Nothing against the Oakland Raiders, but their ranking is as much due to their proficiency as the Jets’ struggles. Entering action last week the Raiders’ match-up in Tennessee was projected to have the highest point total in the league. Instead Oakland held the Titans to 16 points. However, that was the majority of their value as they registered just one sack while not forcing a turnover. Last week the Jets only allowed one sack, but Buffalo’s defensive front is not as talented as that of Oakland. The Jets managed 12 points, including one touchdown, but their offense was extremely conservative and I wouldn’t expect that to change. When New York did try to force the ball downfield later in the game, Josh McNown was intercepted twice. There is perhaps the least amount of risk with Oakland as compared to any other option this week, they also have the talent to capitalize on any mistakes and/or skill deficiencies.
  • Yes the Jaguars did march into Houston and emerge victorious on Sunday. After it wasn’t even a sure thing Blake Bortles would be the starting quarterback to begin the season, Jacksonville scored 29 points. However one of the touchdowns came via a fumble return, another was a rushing touchdown and a third was a one yard touchdown pass. Bortles though, completed just 11 of his 21 pass attempts for 125 yards, so he isn’t exactly a quarterback I would be concerned about. The Titans did allow 26 points to the Raiders, but they faced a lot more resistance than they will this week. Tennessee generally performs well against the run game, and that will take away Jacksonville’s biggest threat in Leonard Fournette while forcing Bortles to make plays via the passing game. That will lead to turnovers.
  • After what we saw last week, how can we not address the Rams? Los Angeles, along with Jacksonville, scored more points in standard ESPN leagues than any of the players drafted in the first round (courtesy of Matthew Berry). The Rams couldn’t have had a better opponent in their first game in Los Angeles, as the Colts have one of the worst quarterback situations in the league. Los Angeles took advantage as they held the Colts to a field goal and a garbage time rushing touchdown while picking up four sacks and two interceptions. This week the Redskins come west after a less than inspiring season debut where Kirk Cousins did not look like the quarterback we saw last season. Washington has a lot more talent than the Colts, and while I still have them as a starting defense I would temper the optimism. Washington doesn’t have much of a running game, and their passing game is still finding it’s footing. The Rams will allow more points than they did last week, but there will be some turnovers and sacks once again.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 2 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Week 2 Rankings (2017): Top 15 Kickers
Week 2 Rankings (2017): Top 50 Wide Receivers


  1. Greg says:

    Vikings or Steelers this week?

  2. Terri says:

    Panthers or Oakland DST this week? I don’t know why I’m so torn I just feel like Oakland sucked last week and not sure I can trust them even against the lowly Jets…

  3. Michael says:

    I have Denver D; should I drop them for Baltimore? Raiders are also available. I have Kenny Britt, so I could also just drop Britt and pick up the Ravens and Bench Denver…

  4. Mike says:

    Any suggestions on D? Baltimore, TB, Chargers, Oakland?


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