Tier One - Must Starts
- Chicago – The Bears are still the top dogs in terms of fantasy defense. A pretty good draw against J.P. Losman and the Bills this Sunday. Buffalo has only given the ball away 3 times thus far, but you should expect that number to grow – even double – by the end of Sunday’s game.
- Kansas City – Despite having a bye week, they’re in the top-5 in terms of fantasy defense scoring used for this list. Facing rookie QB Matt Leinart should translate into turnovers and sacks.
Tier Two - Solid Starts
- Baltimore - They’ve quieted down after a torrid start (29 and 28 fantasy points in their first two weeks) and have a pretty tough matchup at Mile High against the Broncos. But expect Ray Lewis & Company to be ready for this big game and try and disrupt the shaky Jake Plummer.
- Indianapolis – Another cupcake matchup for the Colt D. They’ve improved their fantasy scoring since Week 1, and you just can’t ignore the fact that they’re going against the Titans. Expect a few picks, but don’t count on too many sacks against the mobile Vince Young.
- New Orleans – Kansas City? New Orleans? What’s up with this list? Well the stats don’t lie. Not only are the Saints facing the Bruce Gradkowski-led Bucs, but they’re averaging 10 fantasy points per outing.
- Philadelphia –TO returns to the City of Brotherly Love to face an Eagle D that has consistently put up decent fantasy points. Don’t expect much brotherly love against TO and the rest of the Cowboys in this heated rivalry.
Tier Three - Best of the Rest
- St. Louis – Since Week 1 they haven’t scored in the double digits, but facing the INT-prone Brett Favre should change that in a hurry.
- San Diego – A top-5 ranked fantasy defense, despite already having a week off. They draw the very tough Pittsburgh Steelers, but in this nationally-televised game, the Charger D should be motivated and will perform.
- Jacksonville – Look for the Jags to rebound from two bland fantasy defense outputs. The Jets will give the ball away, especially via fumbling.
- New England – Expect the Patriot defenders to disrupt Dolphin QB Daunte Culpepper all day long.
- Carolina – If there’s any week for this highly-touted D to go off, this is it. Facing the league’s worst in terms of giving the ball away (Cleveland; 11 total giveaways) should get this defense back on track.
- Dallas – The Eagles don’t turn the ball over much, but you gotta think the Dallas D will have to play nearly perfect to have a chance in this one. They’ve scored 19 and 14 fantasy points in their last two outings.
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.