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Team Defense Rankings - Week 13
Darin Tietgen
November 29, 2007

Tier One - Must Starts

  1. New England – Averaging 16 fantasy points since their Week 10 bye and will absolutely slam the weak Raven offense.  You know their offense AND defense are looking forward to proving no one can keep up with them after nearly losing to the Eagles.
  2. San Diego –The Bolts’ D rebounded from an abysmal 0-point effort two weeks ago to put up 8 fantasy points against the Ravens.  The Chiefs better watch out, because Shawne Merriman and Company will be in the backfield plenty come Sunday.

 Tier Two - Good Starts

  1. Tampa BayThe Saints looked good last week, but the Bucs should present more of a problem defensively than the Panthers did.  The Bucs’ D has been on fire since their Week 10 bye, putting up 25 and 15 fantasy points. 
  2. Denver – They’ve put up 47 fantasy points over the past three weeks and face a Raider team that will definitely turn the ball over and should allow a few sacks.
  3. DetroitLast time they faced the Vikings, they put up 16 fantasy points.  The Lion D has been somewhat quiet over the past two weeks, but should come alive this week, Adrian Peterson or no Adrian Peterson.
  4. Seattle – Looks like the coaching staff is allowing a bit more flexibility in terms of blitzing and that’s a good thing.  Look for the Hawks to go after either AJ Feeley or Donovan McNabb this week.
  5. Minnesota – Looks like they might be getting hot again.  They’re definitely worth a look against the Lions, who will be throwing the ball all over the field.  Question is, can the Vikings’ questionable secondary do anything about it?

Tier Three – Average Starts

  1. Chicago – Thanks to Devin Hester, this D/ST has looked decent in two of the past three weeks.  The defensive side could get back on track this week against a Giant offense (read: Eli Manning) that looked somewhat lost against the Vikings last week.
  2.  Pittsburgh – This should be a tough matchup against the solid Bengal offense.  Don’t expect a low-scoring game, but the Steelers should get a couple turnover and log a couple sacks.
  3. Cleveland – Hey they came through last week and have a decent matchup against the Cards this week.  Don’t expect a shutout or anything close to one, but you know they’ll pick off Kurt Warner at least once and could do some damage in the backfield.
  4. St. Louis – I’m somewhat leery of putting them on this list, but they do have 23 fantasy points in the past two weeks and face a horrible Falcon offense this week.
  5. Miami –Check out the numbers:  they put up 18 last week in the Muck Bowl, and previously put up 12 against the Eagles.  They certainly can get close to that number against the vanilla Jet offense.
  6. San FranciscoThey’ve put up decent stats over the past couple weeks and will face either an injured Vinny Testaverde or green Matt Moore.

Track Record – Week 12
(Last week’s rank/Actual rank)

  1. New England (9):  Wow, no one expected that!  At least they still put up 14 fantasy points in this nail-biter. 
  2. San Diego (15):  Well, 8 points is better than none.  They’re getting to the QB and they’ll get to him again this week.
  3. Indianapolis (16):  I guess you can’t argue with their filling of the box score:  couple of sacks, couple of turnovers, and only 13 points against.
  4. Green Bay (19):  Four sacks, nice.  One turnover, eh.  26 points against?  Yuck.  OK, it was the Detroit offense that put ‘em up, but come on.  The Packer D has put up solid fantasy stats this season so this week’s output is a little disheartening.  Look for them to rebound, albeit not necessarily this week against the Cowboys.
  5. Pittsburgh (3):  That was just ugly.  Consider the mud and muck the MVP of the Steeler defense.  The Fins managed no points and the Steelers caused two turnovers and logged four sacks.
  6. Arizona (25):  Ugh, so much for the Niner offense stinkin’ up the joint.  The Cards had been one of the hotter fantasy Ds but took a turn for the worse this past week.  Leave them be this week, as they face the Cleveland offensive juggernaut. 
  7. Denver (12):  Not a bad showing for the Bronco D, at least fantasy-wise.  The Bears ended up winning, but at least the Broncos managed 3 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries and grabbed a pick.
  8. Tampa Bay (8):  Whee, nailed that one!  15 fantasy points against a decent Redskin team isn’t anything to shake a stick at.  Filled up the box score and only allowed 13 points to the Skin O.
  9. Cleveland (14):  Hmm, maybe this team isn’t just offense.  8 fantasy points isn’t great, but it’s not horrible either.  Their schedule of games remaining is pretty sweet, so if you’re struggling to find a D, maybe the Browns can help.
  10. Jacksonville  (17):  Again, they’re just too inconsistent, fantasy-wise, to rely on every week.  But if you’re in a larger league with most good team Ds gone, give the Jags a shot against the Panthers in two weeks.
  11. Cincinnati (11):  Ha!  Nailed another.  Was a little reluctant to put the Bengals on this list, but they came through.  Only allowing 6 points to the Titans was the big stat.
  12. Seattle (10):  The Seahawk D is finally playing up to par and can be relied upon from here on out.

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