FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES
| Team Defenses Report - Week 9
First Tier – Must Starts
- Chicago – Playing solid defense all-around, and is facing a completely lost New Orleans Saints team. Expect plenty of sacks and turnovers.
- New York Giants – Flying a bit below the radar, they currently rank third in the Huddle Staff league. Oh yeah, and they face the bull-riding Cody Pickett and the San Francisco 49ers here this week. Yee-haw!
- Cincinnati – Still leading the NFL in turnover margin (by a lot) and face a Baltimore team that has typically had trouble moving the ball.
- Detroit – Had a pretty bland fantasy outing last week, but get the hapless Minnesota Vikings here this week. With their offense in flux, their defense will again have to win it for them.
Second Tier – Solid Starts
- Jacksonville – Pretty average, fantasy defense wise, but hey, they face the Houston Texans. That’s a pretty good reason to give ‘em a shot.
- Pittsburgh – They looked a bit on the lackluster side against the terrible Baltimore Ravens offense last Monday night, but hey, that was a critical division game that the Ravens had to throw the kitchen sink at. Expect the Steelers to manhandle the Packers with their INT-happy QB.
- Indianapolis – Yes, they’re the top fantasy defense in most leagues (including the one referenced for this column), but they’re facing a New England Patriot team that rarely makes big mistakes (11 TOs in 7 games). Start them, and hope that Pat QB Tom Brady throws a pick or 2 and Colt DE Dwight Freeney is able to bust through all the double-teams he’ll face.
- Atlanta – Coming off their bye week and facing a Dolphin team that is STILL starting Gus Frerotte at QB. Yikes. Atlanta scored 18 fantasy points in the Huddle’s Staff league each of the 2 weeks before their bye. Expect about the same this week.
- Carolina – Had a very pedantic Week 8, so they’ll be fired up to cause some turnovers and sack the QB. Their sack-masters will be pressuring young Buc QB Chris Simms all day long.
Third Tier - Best of the Rest
- Tampa Bay – Their Week 9 opponents, the Carolina Panthers, appear to be firing on all cylinders offensively. But the Buc defense comes to play each week, and they’re at home. Don’t expect huge numbers, but a solid effort nonetheless.
- San Diego – I’m putting them here because they face Vinny Testaverde and the NY Jets here this week. The Bolts have caused 11 TOs in 8 games, which is pretty average.
- Washington – Perhaps they’re not putting up fantasy points, defensively speaking, but their defense IS solid, and they’re facing a Philadelphia Eagle team with an obviously-banged up QB in Donovan McNabb, who will probably be without his best WR, Terrell Owens. Worth a shot.
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.