Week 5 Rankings (2018): Top 15 Defenses

by Ray Kuhn

Unfortunately for this week the Bears aren’t available to fantasy owners, but that doesn’t mean we are without options. After all Buffalo will be taking the field, so there is the potential for at least one explosive performance (Tennessee is the lucky opponent). As we begin to take a look at Week 5, it appears that we have a few potential high scoring games on the slate, but there are also some situations that could be primed to exploit. Let’s take a look at how our options rank for this week:

  1. Tennessee Titans – at Buffalo
  2. Carolina Panthers – vs. NY Giants
  3. New England Patriots – vs. Indianapolis
  4. Baltimore Ravens – at Cleveland
  5. San Francisco 49ers – vs. Arizona
  6. Denver Broncos – at NY Jets
  7. LA Rams – at Seattle
  8. LA Chargers – vs. Oakland
  9. Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Minnesota
  10. NY Jets – vs. Denver
  11. Houston Texans – vs. Dallas
  12. Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Miami
  13. Dallas Cowboys – at Houston
  14. Arizona Cardinals – at San Francisco
  15. Jacksonville Jaguars – at Kansas City


  • We are now four games into Sam Darnold’s rookie season, and his Week 1 victory is ancient history. The Jets look lost on offense, and perhaps even more favorable for opposing defenses. New York isn’t doing Darnold any favors with some of the play calling, but again he is still a rookie quarterback with not much talent surrounding him. After picking up two interceptions to start the season Denver hasn’t picked off a pass since, but I would expect that to change against Darnold. While he didn’t throw an interception last week in Jacksonville, the Jaguars came close on multiple¬† occasions. This is one situation where a short week doesn’t appear that it will have much of an impact.
  • Despite the fact that there was considerable buzz surrounding their offense this preseason, and they piled on the points against the Rams last week, Minnesota has given up the sixth most points to opposing defenses so far this season. Part of that can be attributed to the fact that they have yet to establish a run game.¬† Through four games, Kirk Cousins has been sacked 13 times, and that sets up perfectly for Philadelphia this week. The Eagles have 11 sacks, although they have yet score a touchdown while generating just four turnovers. Eventually that should change.
  • After facing the Falcons, and participating in an up and down affair devoid of defense, it’s hard to accurately judge the Bengals’ stats. With ownership at just 4.2% as of Tuesday night on ESPN, there shouldn’t be a cost associated with streaming Cincinnati this week. As far as opponents go Miami is in the middle of the pack, but their backfield is in flux, and against the Patriots last week they didn’t exactly do themselves any favors. Two weeks ago, while the Dolphins did put up points, they did so via the big play so I wouldn’t necessarily be wary of that happening again. The Bengals have had trouble getting to the quarterback and generating much of a pass rush, just 10 sacks, but that shouldn’t slow them down this week.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 5 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Week 5 Rankings (2018): Top 15 Kickers
Week 5 Rankings (2018): Top 50 Wide Receivers


  1. K says:

    Is Minnesota droppable yet? Someone had to get rid of the Bears defense ahead of their bye so I scooped them up, and am looking to drop MIN for TEN to get through week 5.

    What’s your outlook on them ROS?

  2. Jj says:

    Dallas or 49ers. Gotta stream one with bears on bye. Thanks

  3. Sheldon says:

    Hi, Prof. With all the Green Bay receivers banged up, any chance Detroit is a sneaky good play at home against Green Bay? Your thoughts. I have San Francisco as my D now. Thanks.

  4. Krysta says:

    14 team, PPR…I currently have Cleveland. However, Cincy, San Fran, NOLA, Arizona, NY Jets & Giants available…thoughts?

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