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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Team Defense Rankings - Week 17
Darin Tietgen
December 27, 2007

Tier One - Must Starts

  1. New England – Hottest fantasy D over past three weeks.  Playing against a vastly inferior team that could perhaps play some backups after the game’s out of hand.  Sounds like a recipe for fantasy success for the Patriot D. 
  2. Seattle – The second-hottest fantasy D over the past three weeks.  Playing against the Falcons.  ‘Nuff said.

 Tier Two - Good Starts

  1. San Diego – They’ve surged here in the last part of the season.  They face an Oakland team that has been giving up tons of fantasy points to pposing D’s.  Should be a solid outing for the Bolt D.
  2. Tampa Bay – The third-hottest fantasy D over the past three weeks.  They face a Carolina offense that is vastly one-dimensional.  Shut down Steve Smith, shut the Panther offense down.
  3. Green Bay– The Week 16 goose egg is a little concerning, but the matchup against the Lions, who give up a boatload of sacks, is sweet.  Figure the Packers will look to close out the ’07 regular season with a good, old-fashioned beatdown of their NFC North semi-rivals.    
  4. Jacksonville – The Jag D, historically a bit of a fantasy D, has been playing quite well lately and while their Week 17 opponents – the Houston Texans – typically don’t give up much to opposing D’s, the Jags should put up at least double digits.

Tier Three – Average Starts

  1. Minnesota – The Vikes’ D has had two poor efforts in a row but face a must-win situation and a Denver team that’s all but mailed it in.
  2. Pittsburgh – With Willie Parker shelved, it’s possible that the Steeler offense shifts to a more ball-control style, which could force its D to buckle down even more.  Add in the fact they look to close the regular season a high note against a very weak Raven team, and you should see double digits – if not more – this week.
  3. Cincinnati – The Bengal D is the epitome of an enigma but face it, they’re playing the 1-14 Dolphins that could be somewhat apathetic after avoiding the o’fer.   
  4. Cleveland –There are few big name playmakers on this D but they’re another team in a must-win situation and crack the top-12 fantasy D’s over the past three weeks.  And the matchup against the Niners is pretty solid, too.
  5. Washington– The Redskin D hasn’t broken double digit fantasy points in quite a while but are in a must-win situation and face a Cowboy team that will probably sit key players. 
  6. Tennessee – The Titan D faces a tough task in defending the Colts, but key offensive players could take some time off in this one.  The Titans are one of the hotter fantasy D’s and could be worth a shot.

Track Record – Week 16
(Last week’s rank/Actual rank)

  1. New England (8) – 14 points is nothing to complain about.  Would have liked to see a fantasy score in the 20’s against the Fins but you’ll take it. Figure they’ll be a solid, lower tier-1 fantasy D come ’08.
  2. San Diego (4) – The Bolts put up a very solid 21 fantasy points against a downtrodden Bronco squad.  They’ll again be a very solid fantasy D next season.
  3. Tampa Bay (18) – Not quite the output we expected but the Bucs D tends to be streaky (fantasy-wise) and they ended up only putting 6 fantasy points on the board.   They’ll again be a fantasy tease in ’08 but could serve as a solid backup based on matchup. 
  4. Minnesota (30) – Uh, wow?  Certainly a surprise, giving it up to the Skins.  They’ll be a solid fantasy D in ’08 . 
  5. Jacksonville (6) – They performed admirably and nearly right on projection against the Raiders.  Like the Bucs, they’re a bit of a fantasy tease but are a suitable start against certain opponents. 
  6. Green Bay (32) – Dead.  Last.  Zero.  Points.  Huh?  Against the Bears?  With homefield on the line?  I don’t think even the most hardcore of Packer fan knows what the heck happened this Sunday.  Chalk it up to the weather?  Just a down game?  Who knows, but I know they’ll be a very solid fantasy D in ’08. 
  7. Seattle (3) – Very solid end to the ’07 season for the Hawks.  Keep them on your radar in ’08 as their schedule usually lends itself to solid fantasy output (read:  against STL, SF and ARI twice each).
  8. Arizona – Uh, OK, so maybe the vs. ATL thing doesn’t work with all defenses.  Don’t even consider them in ’08 unless they make serious changes.
  9. Dallas (16) – Eight points, not horrible.  But not great either.  Especially against a beat-up Panther squad.  Expect good things in 2008 though.
  10. Buffalo (12) – Sure enough, the Bill D played pretty well in Week 16.  They could be considered as a backup in ’08.
  11. Indianapolis (19) – A somewhat disappointing result but this team is winning games and their D should be solid in the playoffs.  And for 2008, they could serve as a solid backup in 2008.
  12. New Orleans (22) – They made some plays on D (see:  McNabb forced fumble that turned into an Eagle TD) but ended up short.  They’ll be an afterthought in ’08.

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