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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Team Defense Rankings: Week 3
John Tuvey
September 19, 2012
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Rank Team Opponent Comments
TIER 1
1 Bears vs. Rams Julius Peppers against what's left of the St. Louis offensive line is illegal in 23 states and several territories. Fortunately, Illinois is not one of them.
2 Cardinals vs. Eagles Yes, the Cardinals. They made Tom Brady look like Blaine Gabbert, and now they get an Eagles team that's turned the ball over nine times already.
3 Packers at Seahawks Seattle's turned the ball over just twice, but it's still a rookie quarterback and it's still a Packers defense that leads the NFL in sacks.
4 Texans at Broncos You just know Wade Phillips was watching Monday night and has more than a few ways for his defense to take advantage of Peyton Manning's shortcomings.
5 Eagles at Cardinals Philly had a couple years to figure out Kevin Kolb's shortcomings; now they get to take advantage of them.
TIER 2
6 Jets at Dolphins Rex Ryan's Jets can still play some defense, and you can bet they'll cook up something special for a rookie quarterback.
7 Ravens vs. Patriots If Arizona's defense can make Tom Brady look mortal in his own place, you have to like Ray Lewis & Co.'s chances of doing the same in Baltimore.
8 Browns vs. Bills Cleveland, second in the league in defensive fantasy points, against last season's interception leader. Who needs Joe Haden?
9 Rams at Bears Chicago has served up a combo platter of nine sacks and five picks; Jeff Fisher can find a way to take advantage of those opportunities.
10 49ers at Vikings The Vikings have been relatively mistake free--against Jacksonville and Indy. This week the Niners brings a whole new level of defensive pressure to town.
11 Bills at Browns Buffalo has always fielded a decent fantasy defense; they'll get a chance to prove they still can against a rookie QB and his equally young troops.
12 Saints vs. Chiefs No team has served up a more potent cocktail of sacks, turnovers, and defensive TDs than KC; the Saints don't even need a bounty to collect!
13 Falcons at Chargers The Falcons picked Peyton three times in a quarter; odds are they can find a way to cause problems for Philip Rivers as well.
14 Patriots at Ravens This one pits a vastly improved New England defense against a Ravens offense that's far less conservative than in past years.
TIER 3
15 Seahawks vs. Packers That 12th Man can be a bugger, even for a tested veteran like Aaron Rodgers.
16 Giants at Panthers You'd think with the pressure the Giants put on opposing QBs they'd be a more productive fantasy defense. That hasn't proven to be true.
17 Broncos vs. Texans Houston has yet to turn the ball over this season, but between Champ Bailey, Von Miller and Elvis Dumerville the Broncos apply enough heat to change that.
18 Lions at Titans Not only are the Titans failing to score points, they've got a shaky offensive line and a QB who loves to take chances.
19 Redskins vs. Bengals The Bengals have allowed a league-high 10 sacks; if only Brian Orakpo was around for this one. Can the Geico caveman get suited up by Sunday?
20 Steelers at Raiders This is not your father's Steelers defense, or even your older brother's. Carson Palmer isn't turning the ball over like last year, either. Hence the ranking.
21 Chargers vs. Falcons No team has surrendered fewer fantasy points to defenses, but the way the Chargers have played thus far earns them at least the benefit of the doubt.
TIER 4
22 Colts vs. Jaguars Indy is still in the transitional phase of its defense, but a date with Blaine Gabbert and the Jaguars could allow for some rapid growth.
24 Vikings vs. 49ers Eventually Jared Allen is going to get to the quarterback. Maybe even this week.
25 Buccaneers at Cowboys Eric Wright's return of the Eli pick might be the best broken-field running you'll see this year. Why can't he do the same to Tony Romo?
23 Cowboys vs. Buccaneers You'd like to see a little more from a Dallas defense than the one turnover they've forced. Actually, you'd like to see a lot more.
26 Dolphins vs. Jets Miami's defense gets the short straw, but they're a solid unit and Mark Sanchez had been known to make a mistake or two.
27 Panthers vs. Giants The Bucs picked Eli three times in the first half; Carolina's secondary has an opportunity to take advantage.
28 Bengals at Redskins RG3 has turned the ball over just once and avoided all but two sacks. This is a tough row to hoe for the Bengals D.
29 Chiefs at Saints One sack? When does Tamba Hali come back? Probably won't matter in New Orleans, the way Drew Brees gets rid of the ball.
30 Titans vs. Lions Tennessee has enough problems scoring points on the offensive side of the ball, let alone worrying about generating defensive points.
31 Jaguars at Colts Andrew Luck isn't playing like a rookie, and the Jaguars defense isn't playing well enough for you to pay attention to them.
32 Raiders vs. Steelers The Raiders are one of just two teams who have yet to force a turnover this year. The Steelers have served up only one, so this doesn't look promising.


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