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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Team Defenses Report - Week 5
Darin Tietgen
October 5, 2006

Tier One - Must Starts

  1. 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. 
  2. 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

  1. BaltimoreThey’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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. New OrleansKansas 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. 
  4. PhiladelphiaTO 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

  1. St. LouisSince Week 1 they haven’t scored in the double digits, but facing the INT-prone Brett Favre should change that in a hurry.
  2. 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.
  3. JacksonvilleLook for the Jags to rebound from two bland fantasy defense outputs.  The Jets will give the ball away, especially via fumbling. 
  4. New England Expect the Patriot defenders to disrupt Dolphin QB Daunte Culpepper all day long. 
  5. CarolinaIf 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.  
  6. 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.