by Ray Kuhn
Look for turnovers, watch the weather, play the match-ups and hope for the best. At this point that is all we can really say about fantasy defenses. Oh, and stream every week, where applicable, while not keeping a second defense on your bench. With that being said, let’s take a look at how our options rank for this week:
- Chicago Bears – vs. NY Jets
- Arizona Cardinals – vs. San Francisco
- Carolina Panthers – vs. Baltimore
- Los Angeles Rams – vs. Green Bay
- Philadelphia Eagles – at Jacksonville
- Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Cleveland
- Indianapolis Colts – at Oakland
- Miami Dolphins – at Houston
- Washington Redskins – at NY Giants
- Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Denver
- Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Philadelphia
- Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Tampa Bay
- Baltimore Ravens – at Carolina
- Cleveland Browns – at Pittsburgh
- Detroit Lions – vs. Seattle
- It hasn’t been the best of seasons in Arizona, actually quite the opposite, but their defense has returned some fantasy value. Ranked 10th in scoring, the Cardinals take on San Francisco, who has allowed the second most points to opposing defenses so far this season. Despite a 16% surge in ownership, Arizona is still available in more than 50% of ESPN leagues, and part of their problem has been their own offense. Facing the 49ers they should have a little more success, especially on the ground with David Johnson, so that will help their defensive counterparts. Over their past three games the Cardinals have four interceptions, four fumble recoveries and 10 sacks. I would expect that to continue.
- Another streaming option this week with Top 12 potential is Kansas City. Coming off a week in which they performed, despite being overlooked, against the Bengals, the Chiefs are owned in just 9.5% of ESPN leagues. It wasn’t a flashy performance last week, but the Chiefs held Andy Dalton and company to 10 points while picking up two sacks and that all important pick-six. When Kansas City faced the Broncos in Week 4, they allowed 23 points, and in two of the following three weeks (let’s just remove the New England game from the equation), the Chiefs allowed a combined 24 points. Turnovers have been hard to come for Kansas City, but the sacks are there (19) and Denver’s offense doesn’t generate all that much in the way of fear.
- Heading into this week Blake Bortles appears to be back under center for the Jaguars after being pulled at halftime last week. We shall see how long it lasts, but between Bortles and Cody Kessler Jacksonville’s offense isn’t one to fear. Philadelphia has struggled, and the Jaguars inept quarterback play could be the perfect recipe for success. One of their main problems, just four interceptions, could be easily remedied by facing Bortles, and with six sacks in their last two games Philadelphia is getting to the quarterback.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings: