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Team Defense Rankings - Week 15
Darin Tietgen
December 13, 2007

Tier One - Must Starts

  1. Minnesota – They made good on their top billing last week by putting up 25 fantasy points.  They’ll be another great start this week against the Bears, who’ll be starting Kyle Orton at QB.
  2. Green Bay – This week’s opponents, the St. Louis Rams, have proven that you can pretty much start any fantasy D against them and net good results.  The Packer D had a couple quiet weeks recently but surged last week and that could continue this week.

 Tier Two - Good Starts

  1. Seattle – I’m still a little leery to put them in the “must start” category due to their ability to disappear a bit.  The matchup is decent and they’ve been rather hot over the last three weeks.  Look for double digits this week with the potential for more.   
  2. New England – Another team D that’s probably right on the cusp of “must start” status, but after a couple of real quiet weeks, they’re just a “good” start, even with a cherry matchup.  Start ‘em if you got ‘em, but don’t be shocked if somewhat average results occur.
  3. Cincinnati – The name value of the Bengal D isn’t the best, but you can’t argue with an average of 12 fantasy points per week over the past three weeks, and the matchup against the Niners and QB Shaun Hill looks rather tasty. 
  4. Tampa Bay – vs. Falcons.  That’s all you really need to know.
  5. New Orleans – 41 fantasy points over the past three weeks and a solid matchup against a Cardinal team that will be forcing the issue via the pass looms this week.
  6. Miami– Which Dolphin D will show up this week?  Will it be the one that posted 12, 18 and 16 points in consecutive weeks?  Or the one that posted a mere two fantasy points last week?  Well, they face a very average Raven team this week, and this could be the Dolphins’ best chance at a win, so do the math.  

Tier Three – Average Starts

  1. Indianapolis – The Colts’ D had a rough stretch of games, fantasy wise, early in the season, but since then they’ve been good.  Look for them to put up solid stats against the Raiders this week.
  2. Dallas – After averaging 4 fantasy points per game over the past two, it’s hard to even rank them, but this should be a big game against the hated Eagles, which could mean decent fantasy scoring from the D.
  3. Denver –Are they back on track?  Sure, they only posted two fantasy points against the Raiders, but aside from that week, they’ve been super hot over the past month or so.  They should go on and drub the Texan squad this week.
  4. San Diego – Never really know what Bolt D is going to show up, and without Shawne Merriman it could be a lean day.  But they still have some playmakers and the Lions will probably be deflated after their last minute defeat to the Cowboys last week.

Track Record – Week 14
(Last week’s rank/Actual rank)

  1. Minnesota (2): If it weren’t for a somewhat flukey set of plays by the Packer D, the Vikes would have been the best scoring D this past week.  Not complaining, I’m sure, are the Viking team D owners that’ll be salivating yet again this week against the Bears.
  2. Dallas (31):  If you thought the Cowboys’ D would not only put up a measly ONE fantasy point against the Lions but have THAT much trouble with the reeling Detroit team, well then you’re nuts.  But that’s exactly what happened.  However, aside from spanking the Jets and putting up 24 fantasy points during Week 12, the Cowboy D has been rather average.  Simply didn’t think they’d remain average against the struggling Lion offense.
  3. New Orleans (11):  11 points from your defense is pretty decent, especially considering the Saints were a waiver wire pickup if you used them this week.  The Saints face the Cards and Eagles to close the season, so they’ll only be an average fantasy start these last weeks.
  4. Chicago (22):  The Bears’ D had looked like they were getting back on track but ended up playing very average on Thursday night.  Even knocking out QB Jason Campbell didn’t open things up for this defense.  I guess you gotta bench ‘em for the remainder of the season as they play against the Vikes and Pack.
  5. San Diego (15):  The Bolt D looked like it was getting back on track after a 20 point explosion against the Chiefs but looked a little lost against the Titans this past Sunday.  With Shawne Merriman out, they really lose their big play ability and thus will remain an average fantasy start.
  6. Green Bay (1):  The Pack D came alive on Sunday and could finish the season as one of the better fantasy D options as they face the Rams and Bears.
  7. Miami (24):  After three consecutive weeks of solid fantasy D play, the Fins reverted to how they’d been playing the entire season.  They could be a decent start against the Ravens this week as this’ll be their only real chance at their first win of the season (they play the Patriots and Bengals to close the season).
  8. Seattle (3):  The Seahawks are looking good again and fantasy owners should relish the remaining schedule:  @CAR and vs. BAL.
  9. New England (18):  As expected, the Patriot defense didn’t put big numbers up against the Steelers.  If you had no other options, six fantasy points was all you got. 
  10. Cincinnati (8):  Looks like the Rams are another team you can throw just about any fantasy D at and net good results.  Those that grabbed the Bengal D this past week can give them another shot this week against the Niners. 
  11. Tampa Bay (14):  Not a great showing against the Texans (7 fantasy points) but could double that number this week against a reeling Atlanta Falcon squad.
  12. Indianapolis (7):  The Ravens are yet another team that you look at and figure out who they’re playing in order to pick up that team’s D.  Well, only three weeks left in the season, but those that have the Colts’ D are happy with the results this past week and should be happy that they play the Raiders and Texans in the next two weeks.

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