This week is difficult. That is not to say that the first seven weeks of this season have been easy, but thanks to six teams on bye fantasy owners have a tough time ahead. Not only do you have six less teams to chose from, but we have a slate of tight gamesk. There are no spreads, as of Wednesday night, of greater than a touchdown and only three games have a spread of five points or greater. With that being said, let’s jump right into how the defenses rank for this week:
Minnesota Vikings – at Chicago
New England Patriots – at Buffalo
Tennesee Titans – vs. Jacksonville
Denver Broncos – vs. San Diego
New York Jets – at Cleveland
Arizona Cardinals – at Carolina
Detroit Lions – at Houston
Seattle Seahawks – at New Orleans
Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Washington
Kansas City Chiefs – at Indianapolis
Dallas Cowboys – vs. Philadelphia
Houston Texans – at Detroit
Carolina Panthers – vs. Arizona
Philadelphia Eagles – at Dallas
Green Bay Packers – at Atlanta
It has not been an easy transition to Houston for Brock Osweiler, and it is not clear when things will get any easier. On paper he has an easy match-up this week facing the Detroit Lions and their 23rd ranked fantasy defense, but how can you trust him? Osweiler is averaging just 5.7 yards per attempt and has eight touchdowns along eight interceptions while showing no signs of righting the ship. So far this season the Lions have been hospitable to opposing passing offenses, but Houston has truly been that bad that Detroit is a streaming option. In all but one game Detroit has at least two sacks, so they should create turnovers from an interception prone quarterback who has yet to truly command the offense.
Entering the season there were high hopes for the New York Jets on the defensive side of the ball. That was especially true after their five sacks in Week 1, but that momentum has failed to carry over. So far, all that has translated to is two wins and being the 26th ranked fantasy defense. New York has yet to score a defensive touchdown so you could make the argument that they are due, and the Browns will likely be more than happy to oblige. Before their two interceptions last week the Jets had gone four weeks without one, and their secondary looked a whole better than it had in the past few weeks. Darrelle Revis isn’t the same player he was a few seasons ago, but he appears to be healthy and no longer a liability while Buster Skrine has rebounded from a disastrous outing that led to him being benched in Arizona. It appears there is a possibility Josh McNown will be back under center, but that shouldn’t matter to the Jets. However, if it is Kevin Hogan starting at quarterback you might be able to make a case for the Jets being the best defense on the board this week.
It shouldn’t be surprising to see Arizona atop the list of fantasy defenses. What might be a little shocking though, is that we aren’t really concerned about the Cardinals facing Cam Newton and the Panthers. So far the Panthers have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to opposing defenses, that doesn’t appear to be changing this week. Even in the games that the Cardinals have given up some points, they have still returned fantasy value thanks to their nine interceptions, four fumble recoveries and 20 sacks. While Arizona wouldn’t be my first choice in DFS, I don’t any reservations about using them in a season long league.
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