Fantasy Defense Week 4 Rankings: Who To Start With Sit D / ST In Fantasy Football


Rank Team 1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ NE. Mac Jones and the Patriots had been good enough to limit fantastic points to D / STs in two games, but all hell broke loose against the Saints. New Orleans racked up three INTs, two sacks, a blocked kick and a defensive TD in Week 3. It obviously won’t happen every week, but good defenses can exploit the Pats’ rookie QB and l ‘low power attack, and Tampa certainly qualifies as a good defense despite a surprising lack of sacks (3). 2 Buffalo Bills vs. HOU. Davis Mills did not appear ready for prime time last Thursday night, being sacked four times and leading the Texans to just nine offensive points. Buffalo has seven sacks, six takeaways and 21 total points allowed in the last two games, so this one could get really lousy in upstate New York. 3 New Orleans Saints vs. NYG. Daniel Jones is no stranger to turnovers, so despite his debut without INT until 2021, we just know the takeaway monster will soon be lifting its ugly head. New Orleans have six INTs and six sacks and have allowed half under 14 offensive points in a game this year. Given the glut of WR injuries in New York City, Jones might have nowhere to go with the ball, which is a recipe for disaster – especially in what should be an emotional return to the Superdome for the New Orleans. 4 Indianapolis Colts @ MIA. Jacoby Brissett and the Dolphins offense fared well in Las Vegas last week, allowing just two sacks without a take (not counting security). Indianapolis is a much stronger defense than Las Vegas, as shown by its five sacks and six takeaways this year despite having three attacking powers (Seahawks, Rams, Titans). It should be a good game for the Colts. 5 Miami Dolphins vs. IND. Miami has recorded five sacks and five takeaways in three games, and it should be able to keep the score low against Indianapolis, who has yet to score more than 18 offensive points in a game this year. Carson Wentz fared better than expected despite two ankle sprains last week, but it was against the Tennessee pedestrian defense. The Dolphins will increase the pressure and force him to make mistakes. 6 Cincinnati Bengals vs. JAX. You might be surprised to see the Bengals ranked this high, but that’s probably because you didn’t pay attention. With 10 sacks, four takeaways and an average of just 16 offensive points allowed per game, the Bengals have been a top D / ST so far this year. Yes, they have enjoyed a few favorable clashes, but the Jaguars present a similar prospect. Jacksonville has allowed several takeaways in every game this year, averaging less than 16 offensive points per game. Given the tight deadline for Thursday’s road game, Jacksonville could be even less prepared and sloppy than usual. 7 Chicago Bears vs. DET. Chicago is once again a big-game, all-or-nothing defense. There weren’t any takeaways in week 1 or 3, but he had four, including a six pick in week 2. The only thing that was still semi-consistent for the Bears was their pass rush, which racked up five. bags in each of the last two games. The Lions haven’t been great on offense, returning just three times and allowing six sacks this year, but they’re struggling to score (17 points apiece in the last two games) and we know Jared Goff can make mistakes. crucial at all times. point in the game. Expect the Bears to “explode” this week at home. 8 Green Bay Packers vs. PIT. The Packers are on the right track over the past two weeks, totaling five sacks and two takeaways against the Lions and 49ers. Pittsburgh is slowly going off the rails over that same span, scoring just 27 points, allowing six sacks and returning it three times. Given the Steelers’ WR group injuries and Ben Roethlisberger’s poor decision-making, the Packers are in a position to rack up a solid number of points at home. 9 Giants of New York @ NO. The Giants’ great defensive talent hasn’t produced many fantastic points this year despite some decent clashes, but we started to see more signs of life last week when New York produced three sacks, a takeout. and 17 offensive points allowed. The Saints have allowed seven sacks in the past two weeks, and we know Jameis Winston is prone to some bad mistakes. He legitimately looks more stable now than he did with the Bucs, but bad decisions are in his blood. The Giants have decent ground, but their high cap is why they are in the top 10 this week. ten Tennessee Titans @ NYJ. Tennessee is not a good defense, but the Jets have scored 20 total offensive runs, allowed 15 sacks and returned seven times this year. We’ll be shocked if the Titans don’t have a D / ST1-worthy game this week. 11 Dallas Cowboys vs. Panthers. The Cowboys have been a surprise performer so far, posting two INTs in all three games this year (plus two more fumble recoveries). What is perhaps even more remarkable is that they have allowed only 32 offensive points in the last two games (Chargers, Eagles). The Panthers have been effective this year, but Sam Darnold has always been subject to turnover, and playing without Christian McCaffrey (hamstrings) will certainly slow them down. Dallas is a high-risk, high-reward streamer. 12 Baltimore Ravens @ DEN. The Ravens have been a big disappointment so far this year, even in a favorable game last week against Detroit. It’s hard to imagine a big turnaround against a very strong and relatively error-free Broncos team, but it’s important to remember that Denver has so far faced a remarkably loose schedule (Giants, Jaguars, Jets). Sometimes it’s enough to bank on talent when not facing a juggernaut offense. If Denver has one weakness, it’s the offensive line, which has allowed several sacks in each game this year. Baltimore should be able to apply pressure and limit the Broncos’ offensive attack. 13 Cleveland Browns @ MIN. It’s no surprise that the Cleveland D / ST had a bad Week 1 against Kansas City, but he also disappointed in Week 2 against Houston. The Browns came out against Chicago, however, sacking Justin Fields nine times and limiting the Bears to six points. It’s unclear what to expect this week against a Viking attack that only allowed five bags and one takeout all year round. Minnesota won’t play as cleanly all year round, but that clearly can’t be called a “favorable” game. At the end of the day, we consider the Browns to have decent ground but not too high a ceiling. Considering some of the “best” D / ST matches below, that’s about all we can ask for from a low-end starter unit. 14 Washington Football Team @ ATL. Washington has been as bad as any D / ST in fantasy this year, so it probably seems crazy that we’re always giving it the benefit of the doubt. However, we know the pass rush is still strong (six sacks in the first two weeks) and a few bad clashes (especially last week against Buffalo) really hurt Washington’s production. We think it can get back on track, and a clash this week against an error-prone Falcons team is a good time like any other. Atlanta’s fantastic defensive numbers are inflated by two pick-sixes thrown in Week 2, but they still allow for a fair amount of sacks (7) and can struggle to score (16 offensive points per game). Washington should eventually break through. 15 Los Angeles Rams vs. ARI. The Rams have netted three sacks in every game this year and have had several takeaways in each of their first two games. They didn’t score a lot of fantastic points against Tom Brady and the Bucs last week, but it was expected. Arizona are known for their top-flight offense, but they’ve allowed five sacks, four takeaways and two D / ST TDs in the first three games. You can’t count on touchdowns, but the Cardinals will drop a few sacks and flip it once or twice. That’s enough to keep the Rams in the starting bubble. In fact, they might be a “safer” game than the Ravens, Browns, and Washington, so if they’re your starting unit, don’t feel the need to drop them and broadcast a similar D / ST. It will be a tough week for most, so go through it and see where you are next week. 16 Denver Broncos v BAL. Denver provided top-five production thanks to outclassed infractions (Giants, Jaguars, Jets), but it now faces a real test. The Ravens weren’t as clueless as they once were, allowing eight sacks and five takeaways, but we know how dangerous they can be. We still think Denver can get a few sacks (he posted eight while Baltimore allowed eight), so there’s still a decent floor here, but just like the Rams, the cap is a lot lower than usual. . 17 Carolina Panthers @ DAL. Much like the Broncos, the Panthers have been a top D / ST so far this year, and the favorable clashes (Jets, Saints, Texans) are a big reason for that. It’s hard to say how “legitimate” the Panthers are, but we’ll certainly find out this week against Dallas, who ceded virtually no fantasy points to the Bucs and Chargers. Carolina racked up 14 sacks while allowing only 30 total offensive points, so we think that may still have some value, but again we’re dealing with a lower cap. 18 Pittsburgh Steelers @ GB. It’s not just the Pittsburgh offense that’s in trouble. Maybe, in part, because bad offense, the Steelers D / ST has not produced at his normal level this year, totaling just five sacks and two takeaways while allowing 22 offensive points per game. After a terrible week, Green Bay scored 65 points, allowed four sacks and failed to return it. With TJ Watt (core) injured, there’s little reason to think the Steelers will be worth starting this week. If anything, we’ve ranked them too high, but as we saw in Week 1 when they blocked a punt for a TD against Buffalo, the Steelers still have enough talent to nab a few. points even in tough clashes. 19 New England Patriots vs. TB. The Pats have produced this year, although their D / ST numbers are inflated by beating Zach Wilson in Week 2 (six runs allowed, four sacks, four INTs). Even without that game, they’ve been solid (19.5 points per game, five sacks, take-away), but a clash with old friend Tom Brady doesn’t seem to suit them. They will get a few bags, but you can’t count on them for much more. 20 Kansas City Chiefs @ PHI 21 San Francisco 49ers vs. SEA 22 Las Vegas Raiders @ LAC 23 Seattle Seahawks @ SF 24 Atlanta Falcons vs. WAS 25 Detroit Lions @ CHI 26 Philadelphia Eagles vs. KC 27 Arizona Cardinals @ LAR 28 New York Jets vs. TEN 29 Los Angeles Chargers vs. LV 30 Minnesota Vikings vs. CLE 31 Jacksonville Jaguars @ CIN 32 Houston Texans @ BUF

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