by Ray Kuhn
If you are searching for a defense for Week 9 there really isn’t much separation between options. The clear choice at the top of the list is whoever is playing the Buffalo Bills, with Nathan Peterman likely back under center, but the problem is that’s the Bears (95.4% owned in ESPN). With six teams on bye you might have to roll the dice on a mediocre option, but we just have to come to grips with the fact that it is an offensive game. This is also your friendly reminder not to hold two defenses on your roster. With all that in mind let’s take a look at how our options rank for this week:
- Chicago Bears – at Buffalo
- Kansas City Chiefs – at Cleveland
- Houston Texans – at Denver
- Carolina Panthers – vs. Tampa Bay
- Denver Broncos – vs. Houston
- Washington Redskins – vs. Atlanta
- Minnesota Vikings – vs. Detroit
- Baltimore Ravens – vs. Pittsburgh
- Miami Dolphins – vs. NY Jets
- New England Patriots – vs. Green Bay
- Tennessee Titans – at Dallas
- Buffalo Bills – vs. Chicago
- New York Jets – at Miami
- Dallas Cowboys – vs. Tennessee
- Oakland Raiders – at San Francisco
- For all of the points that Tampa Bay has scored this season they still allow the third most points to opposing fantasy defenses. Ryan Fitzpatrick is back under center to face Carolina, with their 18th ranked defense, and the Panthers are worth taking a closer look at. Carolina is going to allow a solid amount of points, as has been their custom this season, but they should also be able to somewhat contain Fitzpatrick and company. With nine interceptions and 18 sacks through seven games, Carolina has shown the ability to make some plays and that should continue.
- Before you laugh me off this website, might Oakland have some fantasy value this week? The Raiders are the second worst fantasy defense, but their opponent (San Francisco) has also allowed the second most points to opposing defenses. With just four interceptions and seven sacks Oakland has clearly failed to make plays, and as they come off a 42 point outing they also haven’t shown the ability to stop the opposition from putting points up. However with a lack of offensive weapons, a short week and a banged up C.J. Beathard, it’s hard to expect much of anything from the San Francisco offense.
- While they aren’t as strong as in year’s past, Kansas City still has the sixth ranked defense as far as fantasy football is concerned. This week they travel to Cleveland and get to take advantage of a rookie quarterback (Baker Mayfield) who, for better or worse, will be playing for a new head coach and offensive coordinator. The real thing to like here, and it could truly have negative impacts against the rookie, is Kansas City’s ability to get to the quarterback. Through eight weeks the Chiefs have 24 sacks, and that includes the first two weeks of the season in which they managed just a sack in each game.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 9 rankings: