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Team Defenses Report - Week 4
Darin Tietgen
September 29, 2005

First Tier – Must Starts

  1. Baltimore Yes, I know, they are the biggest bust in terms of fantasy defenses thus far, but check out the cherry matchup. The Jets were having problems BEFORE they had no quarterbacks. This is the week the Ravens step it up and make them worthy of that 8 th round selection.
  2. Cincinnati Barely made this list last week, but after spankin’ the Bears last week, they have to be considered a solid fantasy defense. Especially this week, seeing that they’re playing the hapless Texans.
  3. Tampa Bay The Bucs are playing solid defense. Reminds me a lot of the defenses back a few years ago when they were so dominant. Playing the mistake-prone Detroit Lions at home this week will certainly give them opportunities.

Second Tier – Solid Starts

  1. Carolina They’ve been a general disappointment this season and their defense will have to be fired up in order to avoid further disappointments. They play the Packers, who have had offensive issues. They play on Monday Night Football. Sounds like a recipe for fantasy success. Go ahead and start ‘em if you got ‘em.
  2. Buffalo The Bills travel to San Antonio, Texas to face the homeless Saints. Saint QB Aaron Brooks has been known to throw INTs, and the Bill secondary is solid. The loss of LB Takeo Spikes takes away some of their big-play ability, but they should still post respectable, if not solid fantasy numbers.
  3. Washington The Redskins are well-rested after their bye week, and feature an offense that’s not going to come out and blow opponents away. That said, their very solid defense will need to have a big effort to hold off the Seahawks’ attack.
  4. Philadelphia Typically, they’re much higher on this list. But playing in KC is tough, and the KC offense will be hungry to make fans forget about their meltdown in Denver. Philly’s D will still make plays, and that makes them a solid fantasy start in Week 4.

Third Tier - Best of the Rest

  1. Jacksonville Denver QB Jake Plummer has been known to throw some picks in his day. Something tells me there’s going to be a major letdown with the Broncos after their Monday Night dismantling of their division rivals.
  2. San Francisco Yup, that’s right. You’re reading that correctly. The Niners and Cardinals head south – REAL south – for a Sunday night matchup in Mexico City. The Cardinals will start Josh McCown at QB. While this actually might invigorate the Cardinal offense, the Niners have the speed on the outside to contain the scrambling QB, and a decent secondary that can pick his errant passes.
  3. Atlanta – Alright so Viking QB Daunte Culpepper probably has his confidence back after shredding apart the Saint secondary to the tune of 21 for 29 passes, 300 yards and a trio of scores. If he thinks he’s gonna have the same success against Falcon DBs DeAngelo Hall and Bryan Scott, he’s got another thing coming.
  4. New England – Another one that should be far higher on this list, but I think the Chargers figured themselves out this past Sunday night and will really control the ball against the Patriots. Losing SS Rodney Harrison for the season (perhaps forever?) is a big blow, fantasy-wise, too.
  5. Oakland / Indianapolis / Tennessee (tie) – Couldn’t decide between these three for the final slot here in these rankings. The OAK/DAL and IND/TEN matchups are going to be shootouts. There may be a few interceptions in both matchups. Start at your own risk.