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Team Defenses Report - Week 8
Darin Tietgen
October 27, 2005

First Tier – Must Starts

  1. Tampa Bay – Well rested after their bye week, they face the atrocious offense of the San Francisco 49ers
  2. Cincinnati OK, the Bengals are lapping the field in terms of turnover margin. Plus-16 so far on the season. Next best is plus-8. Yeah, 8. The Packers are down to a bunch of scrubs at WR and their third string RB, too.
  3. Pittsburgh The men from Steel City are going to be pumped for this one. Monday Night Football, against a division rival. A division rival with a pretty bad offense to boot.

Second Tier – Solid Starts

  1. Chicago – Sure, Garcia looks better than Harrington, but that's not saying much. Banged up WR corps, banged up RB, and the Bears play stout, opportunistic defense. Expect yet another solid outing this week from Da Bears.
  2. Cleveland In many leagues’ scoring formats, they’re ranked in the low 20’s (not very good) in terms of fantasy defenses, but hey, they’re playing the Texans! ‘Nuff said!
  3. Detroit The Kitties are 2 nd in the NFL in interceptions, and they’re facing a rookie QB here in Week 8.
  4. Carolina The Panthers are starting to play better defense, both fantasy and NFL wise. Prior to last week’s bye, they’ve averaged 17.5 fantasy points per outing over their past 2 games. We’ll see if the Vikings are “back” after this week.
  5. Dallas They really haven’t had any huge fantasy games, but they’re averaging 18 fantasy points over their past two, and this week, they face a Cardinal team that they’ve owned over the past few years.
  6. Jacksonville Tons of injuries for their Ram opponents may mean good things for the Jaguar defenders. Coming off their bye week and a week where they pumped out 21 fantasy points. Averaging more than 2 takeaways per game.

Third Tier - Best of the Rest

  1. Philadelphia The Broncos have only given the ball away a total of 6 times, but the Philly defense is one of the elite units out there, and they’ll have to play a near-perfect game to escape with a victory at Mile High.
  2. San Diego Those AFC West games are always shootouts, and this one will be no different. I have a hunch that the Bolts’ defense will be outstanding in this one.
  3. Baltimore Yeah, they will probably be without their studs, Ed Reed and Ray Lewis. But if the Ravens have a ghost of a chance on Monday Night Football, their defense will have to contain the Steeler offense. Not a great option, but in a pinch, they may work for you.

Note: League scoring used for this column is 2 points for safety, fumble recovery, blocked punt or FG, 1 point for blocked PAT or sack, 6 points for defensive or special team TDs, and anywhere from 10 to 2 points based on points allowed.