FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Team Defense Rankings: Week 14
John Tuvey
December 5, 2012
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Rank Team Opponent Comments
TIER 1
1 Broncos at Raiders Oakland isn't quite as turnover friendly as you might expect, but between Denver's sacks and a league-high seven return TDs the Broncos shouldn't have much difficulty getting theirs this week.
2 Buccaneers vs. Eagles The Bucs rank fourth in the league in picks, but Philly's turnover of choice is the fumble. Either works.
3 Bears at Vikings No Brian Urlacher and a run-heavy Vikings game plan will limit scoring opportunities for the Bears defense... but you know they'll still find a way.
4 Browns vs. Chiefs No team gives the ball away more frequently than the Chiefs; even a mid-tier defense like the Browns can take advantage.
5 Bengals vs. Cowboys One of the top pass rushes in the league against a banged-up offensive line and a pick-prone quarterback. Hey, sounds like a plan!
6 Chargers at Steelers This would be a whole lot more exciting from the Chargers' side of the equation if it were Charlie Batch and not Ben Roethlisberger.
TIER 2
7 Packers vs. Lions No Mathews, no Woodson... no matter; no team has served up more DST scores than the Lions.
8 Jets at Jaguars The Jets may not have the best quarterback on the field, but they're still ballin' defensively.
9 Rams at Bills Jeff Fisher's defense has been pretty doggone good, and while the Bills haven't been overly turnover friendly there's more than enough here to work with.
10 49ers vs. Dolphins San Fran's D hasn't been the stone cold lock many expected--or drafted--back in August, but they're coming on of late.
11 Giants vs. Saints We've seen Drew Brees make mistakes, especially with his protection banged up; who better to encourage those mistakes than the Giants' pass rush?
12 Patriots vs. Texans Bill Belichick's defense has been extremely opportunistic this year, but the Texans aren't inclined to give up too many opportunities.
13 Ravens at Redskins It's Ed Reed vs. RG3, but the Redskins are one of only two teams not to have surrendered a defensive or return TD
14 Seahawks vs. Cardinals Seattle ranks just outside the top five in sacks, but Arizona's offensive line can single-handedly vault them to the top of the charts.
TIER 3
15 Falcons at Panthers Thought we'd see more from the Atlanta defense this season, but aside from a bunch of interceptions they haven't really delivered.
16 Steelers vs. Chargers This certainly isn't your father's Steel Curtain, or even your older brother's, but a banged up offensive line and rattled Philip Rivers could rekindle some memories.
17 Texans at Patriots Houston has been a solid fantasy defense all year, but a date with the largely mistake-free Patriots should send you looking for an alternative.
18 Cardinals at Seahawks A defense that ranks in the top five in sacks and picks is managing to keep Arizona in games they have no business being in.
19 Redskins vs. Ravens It's not that far from home, but Joe Flacco on the road is an opportunity for any defense.
20 Bills vs. Rams Buffalo's best hope for DST points is in the return game, but St. Louis has been solid on special teams.
21 Titans at Colts Andrew Luck still ranks among the league leaders in interceptions, but a home date and three months of maturity certainly mitigate the odds in his favor.
22 Cowboys at Bengals Andy Dalton's mistake-free spree ended with a thud last week; are the Cowboys capable of keeping the pressure on?
23 Vikings vs. Bears Jared Allen & Co. whiffed miserably the last time they faced Jay Cutler and the Bears, so it's tough to trust them in the rematch.
24 Panthers vs. Falcons Matty Ice has morphed into  Matty INT at times this season, but with only eight picks on the year Carolina seems ill-equipped to take advantage.
TIER 4
25 Colts vs. Titans No team has generated fewer takeaways than the Colts, but Tennessee's patchwork offensive line could spark a change led by the dynamic duo of Freeney and Mathis.
26 Dolphins at 49ers You'd like to think Jim Harbaugh learned something about running the option at his own goal line.
27 Jaguars vs. Jets Expect a conservative game plan from Gang Green--not that they'd need to worry against a Jacksonville defense that doesn't pressure the quarterback or generate turnovers.
28 Saints at Giants Aside from the occasional Eli brain fart the Giants haven't given up much to opposing defenses. And the Saints haven't been particularly adept at producing those opportunities.
29 Chiefs at Browns Eleven turnovers, 21 sacks... the Chiefs defense has been anything but offensive.
30 Lions at Packers Despite giving up 39 sacks, the Packers are near the bottom of the league in fumbles and picks and have yet to serve up a defensive or return TD.
31 Raiders vs. Broncos No club has generated fewer defensive fantasy points than the Raiders; Peyton Manning is unlikely to help Oakland turn that around.
32 Eagles at Buccaneers Few teams protect the quarterback or the ball better than Tampa Bay, and the Eagles are in no shape to threaten them.


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