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Team Defenses Report - Week 10
Darin Tietgen
November 9, 2006

Tier One - Must Starts

  1. Baltimore With the top fantasy defense, the Chicago Bears, facing the tough task of handling the Giants in The Meadowlands, the second-best fantasy defense of this season gets top billing. The Ravens have put up 24 and 14 fantasy points over the past two weeks, and face a Tennessee Titan team that has given the ball away 15 times and while QB Vince Young is improving, he’s still a rookie.
  2. Denver – Like Baltimore, they’re trailing the Bears in terms of fantasy output this season, but have a pretty good matchup.  The Raiders looked downright putrid against the Seahawks and unless a miracle occurs, the Broncos should be able to do the same
  3. JacksonvilleThe Jaguars continue to be a feast-or-famine fantasy defense.  They will most likely be feasting this week with the Houston Texans coming to town.  While they have kept the turnovers down, somewhat, they still give up plenty of sacks. 

Tier Two - Solid Starts

  1. Chicago The Giants are, by far, the best team the Bears have had to face all season.  With the Bears struggling on offense, their defense will have to be firing on all cylinders for them to escape The Meadowlands 8-1.  Should Brian Urlacher sit this one out, you may wish to re-evaluate starting them against a Giant team which is 3-1 at home.
  2. AtlantaThe Falcons have been very quiet, fantasy defense wise, since their bye.  Perhaps the visiting Cleveland Browns will get them back on track.  The Browns have given up 29 sacks on the season and turned the ball over 20 times.
  3. Minnesota – Since last week, they’ve moved up from #13 to #10 in the scoring format used for this list.  They’ve scored in double digits since Week 5.  This week’s opponent, the Green Bay Packers, have given the ball up 17 times.
  4. New York Giants – The Giants only put up 7 fantasy points against the horrible Houston Texans last week, otherwise they’d probably get a higher ranking this season against the Bears.  QB Rex Grossman has been giving the ball up far too many times over the past few weeks.

Tier Three - Best of the Rest

  1. San Diego Even without playmaker Shawne Merriman, the Bolts’ D put up 15 fantasy points against the Browns.  Unfortunately, the other Ohio-based team, the Cincinnati Bengals, present a far tougher challenge. 
  2. SeattleFresh off a 23-point outburst against the horrible Raiders, the Seahawks host a Ram team that will allow plenty of sacks.  Don’t count on many turnovers or a low-scoring game, though.
  3. New Orleans – Alright I’ll say it:  The Pittsburgh Steelers are NOT a good team.  They have given up the ball an NFL-worst 24 times this season.  They’ve allowed 26 sacks, good for 3rd-worst in the NFL.  The Saints have slipped since a somewhat-hot start to the season, but the fact remains:  the Steelers will give it up.
  4. Dallas The Cowboys’ defense has been somewhat quiet, averaging only 6 fantasy points per game over the past three weeks.  Perhaps traveling to the new home of the Arizona Cardinals will wake them up.  Arizona has given up the ball 17 times, second worst in the NFC. 
  5. New EnglandThe Jets are middle-of-the road in terms of giving up the ball (14 turnovers) and allowing sacks (21 allowed).  But the Patriots have worked their way into this scoring system’s top 10 and could get into the double digits against their AFC East rivals at home.

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.