Tier One - Must Starts
- San Diego – The Bolts’ D got back to their scoring ways last week with 24 fantasy points against the Broncos. Expect more of the same at home against their rivals, the Oakland Raiders.
- Chicago – The Bears’ D has put up solid numbers in three out of five weeks this season and could easily top double digits – if not approach 20 fantasy points – this week at home against the Vikes.
- New York Giants – The Titans were able to post 20 fantasy points on the Falcons last week, so the hot G-men (19 and 17 fantasy points in their last two) should easily approach that number on Monday night.
Tier Two - Good Starts
- Seattle – They were quiet last week, but faced a tough Pittsburgh team. This week’s a little different as they host the Saints, who can’t seem to get their offense rolling.
- Tennessee – The Titan D has posted quality stats in each of the past two games and could do a number on the Bucs’ offense this week, especially if they pick off QB Jeff Garcia more than once.
- Baltimore – They are a shell of their former selves, but you can’t ignore the matchup against the hapless Rams this week. Expect double digits fantasy points and not much scoring from the Rams.
- Minnesota – They’ve cooled down after their first two weeks, but could get back to scoring big against the Bears, if QB Brian Griese makes a few mistakes.
Tier Three – Average Starts
- Dallas – Sure they are the #2-ranked team defense (in the format used for these rankings), but they face a very tough task at home against the Pats. Temper your expectations this week and if you have better options, you may want to leave the Boys on your bench.
- New England – Sure they are the #3-ranked team defense (in the format used for these rankings), but they face a very tough task on the road against the Cowboys. Temper your expectations this week and if you have better options, you may want to leave the Pats on your bench.
- Arizona – The Cards? Yeah, why not? They’ve posted 14 fantasy points in each of their last two games and now host a Panther offense led by the mighty David Carr.
- Tampa Bay – If they’re able to contain Titan QB Vince Young and pick him off more than once, they might just score in double digit fantasy points. With their offense beset by injuries, their D has to step up.
- Houston – After a hot start, they have quieted down considerably. They could possibly put up decent numbers against a very mundane Jag offense, though.
Track Record – Week 5
(Last week’s rank/Actual rank)
1. (20) Green Bay – Well so much for that supposed weak, mistake-prone Bear offense. QB Brian Griese got that offense chuggin’ along and the Pack’s young, opportunistic D couldn’t budge them. They have some solid matchups down the stretch, so continue to start them against weaker opponents.
2. (5) Pittsburgh – 19 big points was good enough for fifth-best last week. They will continue to be a top-3 or 5 team defense for the season.
3. (8) New England – They got it done against a Brown team that had been playing rather well. Expect the Pats’ D to be up for the challenge against the Cowboys this week, but don’t expect much fantasy production. They will, however, remain as a top team D for the remainder of the season.
4. (9) Dallas – As expected, they posted solid numbers against the Bills. Don’t expect anywhere close to those kinds of numbers this week, but the Boys will be a solid start for the entire season.
5. (24) Houston – Wow, what a disappointment. After a couple of hot weeks, the Texan D has cooled off. Expected way more against the weak Fin offense. They might get back on track this week, and if they do, keep them on your radar as a spot starter.
6. (14) Chicago – We figured they wouldn’t be posting top numbers in Green Bay, but hey at least they were in double digit fantasy points. They’ll get back to their higher-scoring ways this week against the Vikes and of course will be a top start for the entire season.
7. (19) Kansas City –They had been playing well and putting up fantasy points on the defensive side, but fell short against the Jags (4 sacks and no turnovers). They may be a sneaky team D pick later in the season as they face the Raiders twice.
8. (3) San Diego – Well welcome back, Chargers! They pounced all over the unsuspecting Bronco offense last week and could certainly post big numbers against the Raiders at home this week.
9. (23) Seattle – Yawn, so maybe they weren’t the sneaky pick many thought they’d be this past week. The Pittsburgh offense chugged along, and the Hawks just couldn’t get anything going on either side of the ball.
10. (21) Indianapolis – 1 sack and 1 INT? That’s it? Expected more in the “Dungy Bowl”, for sure. After their Week 6 bye, they should get back on track against the Jags and Panthers before their Week 9 battle with the Pats.
11. (4) Tennessee – So they certainly deserved to be on this list, and obviously deserved to be higher. After a couple solid weeks, this D looks like it might be for real.
12. (27) Denver – Wow, goose egg. Ouch. The Bolts came to Mile High and just wiped the Broncos out. This D’s better than that and will show it at some point (but don’t expect it this week as they’re on bye, or in the next weeks following as they face two solid teams in the Steelers and Packers).