FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Team Defense Rankings: Week 17
John Tuvey
December 26, 2012
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Rank Team Opponent Comments
TIER 1
1 49ers vs. Cardinals Brian Hoyer gets the start on the road against an angry Niners defense. Good luck with that.
2 Bears at Lions The Bears need to win to get in; Matt Stafford needs to throw to reach milestones. Can you say "pick-six"?
3 Broncos vs. Chiefs Denver is going after a higher seed, at the expense of the hapless Chiefs.
4 Seahawks vs. Rams The roll Seattle is on, you don't want to get in their way.
5 Chargers vs. Raiders Expectations are low for Terrell Pryor in his first NFL start--unless you're starting the Chargers defense, that is.
TIER 2
6 Giants vs. Eagles Michael Vick returns, just in time to face the Giants in a game Big Blue must win. Nice timing.
7 Bengals vs. Ravens The Bengals are motivated, their defense is underrated, and Joe Flacco is on the road. That's an intriguing combination.
8 Patriots vs. Dolphins Speaking of underrated defenses, the Patriots have one of their own--and they still need to win.
9 Browns at Steelers Pittsburgh is playing out the string, which could mean resting the banged-up Ben Roethlisberger.
10 Bills vs. Jets Hey, everybody, Mark Sanchez is back!
11 Texans at Colts As good as Andrew Luck has been, he's been prone to the pick. And Houston's still playing for a seed, too.
12 Vikings vs. Packers A good pass rush, a bad Green Bay offensive line, a loud Metrodome, a playoff spot on the line, and Adrian Peterson playing keepaway from the Packers' offense.
13 Jets at Bills The Vegas line on interceptions in Sanchez v. Fitzpatrick is 6.5. We'll take the over.
14 Cardinals at 49ers Arizona's defense is actually pretty good. And they'll likely have plenty of kickoff return opportunities.
15 Titans vs. Jaguars Less an endorsement of the Titans than an indictment of the Jaguars.
TIER 3
16 Saints vs. Panthers Down the stretch they've been playing like the opportunistic, fantasy-friendly defense from their Super Bowl season.
17 Rams at Seahawks Don't underestimate Jeff Fisher's defense.
18 Ravens at Bengals This is not the Ravens defense of old, but they still know their way around a turnover.
19 Panthers at Saints It's a pretty good pass defense, and Drew Brees hasn't been nearly as precise as in past seasons.
20 Steelers vs. Browns Cleveland may be down to their third-string quarterback. Oh, if this were a different iteration of the Steel Curtain.
21 Colts vs. Texans Indy's defense has played well of late, and now there's something at stake.
22 Redskins vs. Cowboys Isn't it about time for Tony Romo to turn into... well, the Tony Romo fantasy defenses know and love?
23 Falcons vs. Buccaneers The Bucs have been playing giveaway recently, but it may be the backup Falcons' defense for much of this contest.
24 Packers at Vikings Still no Charles Woodson, but there's enough defensive talent here to make things tough for Christian Ponder.
25 Cowboys at Redskins RG3 has taken excellent care of the ball all season long, but maybe Dallas turns up the heat in prime time.
TIER 4
26 Jaguars at Titans Jake Locker is definitely pick-prone.
27 Dolphins at Patriots Tough to see Tom Brady making mistakes at home in a game with some meaning.
28 Raiders at Chargers San Diego is all kinds of banged up, leaving Philip Rivers to force the issue. Maybe Oakland can take advantage.
29 Eagles at Giants Philly would love nothing better than to end Eli's season with a spate of turnovers.
30 Lions vs. Bears You'd think Detroit's d-line against the Bears' o-line would be a better matchup, but it's unlikely to turn out that way.
31 Buccaneers at Falcons About the only thing working in Tampa Bay's favor is that Atlanta will likely rest its regulars at some point.
32 Chiefs at Broncos There's a reason one team has two wins and the other has Peyton Manning playing for a playoff seed.


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