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Fantasy Defense Rankings Week 4: Who to start, sit at D/ST in fantasy football



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RankTeam1Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ NE. Mac Jones and the Patriots had been fairly good at limiting fantasy factors to D/STs by two video games, however all hell broke unfastened towards the Saints. New Orleans racked up three INTs, two sacks, a blocked kick, and a defensive TD in Week 3. That clearly will not occur each week, however good defenses can exploit the Pats rookie QB and low-wattage offense, and Tampa actually qualifies as a great protection regardless of a shocking lack of sacks (3).2Buffalo Bills vs. HOU. Davis Mills did not look prepared for prime time final Thursday night time, getting sacked 4 instances and main the Texans to simply 9 offensive factors. Buffalo has seven sacks, six takeaways, and 21 whole factors allowed in the previous two video games, so this one may get actually ugly in upstate New York.3New Orleans Saints vs. NYG. Daniel Jones isn’t any stranger to turnovers, so regardless of his INT-free begin to 2021, we simply know the takeaway monster will rear its ugly head quickly. New Orleans has six INTs and 6 sacks and has twice allowed fewer than 14 offensive factors in a recreation this yr. Given New York’s glut of WR accidents, there may be nowhere for Jones to go along with the ball, which is a recipe for catastrophe — particularly in what figures to be an emotion return to the Superdome for New Orleans.4Indianapolis Colts @ MIA. Jacoby Brissett and the Dolphins offense fared effectively in Las Vegas final week, permitting simply two sacks no takeaways (not counting a security). Indianapolis is a a lot stronger protection than Las Vegas, although, as proven by its 5 sacks and 6 takeaways this yr regardless of dealing with three offensive powerhouses (Seahawks, Rams, Titans). This ought to be a great get-right recreation for the Colts. 5Miami Dolphins vs. IND. Miami has posted 5 sacks and 5 takeaways by three video games, and it ought to have the opportunity to maintain the rating low towards Indianapolis, who’s but to rating greater than 18 offensive factors in a recreation this yr. Carson Wentz fared higher than anticipated regardless of two sprained ankles final week, however that was towards Tennessee’s pedestrian protection. The Dolphins will flip up the strain and pressure him into some errors. 6Cincinnati Bengals vs. JAX. You may be shocked to see the Bengals ranked this excessive, however that is in all probability as a result of you have not been paying consideration. With 10 sacks, 4 takeaways, and a median of simply 16 offensive factors allowed per recreation, the Bengals have been a high-floor D/ST up to now this yr. Yes, they’ve taken benefit of a pair favorable matchups, however the Jaguars current the same outlook. Jacksonville has allowed a number of takeaways each recreation this yr whereas averaging fewer than 16 offensive factors per recreation. Given the quick turnaround for this Thursday highway recreation, Jacksonville could possibly be even much less ready and sloppier than traditional.7Chicago Bears vs. DET. Chicago is again to being a big-play, all-or-nothing protection. It did not have a takeaway in Weeks 1 or 3, however it had 4, together with a pick-six in Week 2. About the one factor that is been even semi-consistent for the Bears is their go rush, which has racked up 5 sacks in every of the previous two video games. The Lions have not been horrible on offense, turning it over simply 3 times and permitting six sacks on the yr, however they’ve issue scoring (17 factors every of the previous two recreation) and we all know Jared Goff could make essential errors at any level in the sport. Expect the Bears to “boom” this week at residence.8Green Bay Packers vs. PIT. The Packers have gotten on monitor the previous two weeks, totaling 5 sacks and two takeaways towards the Lions and 49ers. Pittsburgh is slowly falling off monitor in that very same span, scoring simply 27 factors, permitting six sacks, and turning it over 3 times. Given the accidents to the Steelers’ WR group and Ben Roethlisberger’s poor decision-making, the Packers are in place to rack up a strong quantity of factors at residence. 9New York Giants @ NO. The big-play proficient on the Giants’ protection hasn’t produced many fantasy factors this yr regardless of some respectable matchups, however we began to see extra indicators of life final week when New York produced three sacks, a takeaway, and 17 offensive factors allowed. The Saints have allowed seven sacks the previous two weeks, and we all know Jameis Winston is inclined to dangerous errors. He seems legitimately extra secure now than he was with the Bucs, however dangerous choices are in his blood. The Giants have a good flooring, however their excessive ceiling is why they are a top-10 play this week.10Tennessee Titans @ NYJ. Tennessee will not be a great protection, however the Jets have scored 20 whole offensive factors, allowed 15 sacks, and turned it over seven instances this yr. We’ll be shocked If the Titans haven’t got a D/ST1-worthy recreation this week.11Baltimore Ravens @ DEN. The Ravens have been a significant disappointment up to now this yr, even in a positive matchup final week towards Detroit. It’s powerful to think about a giant turnaround towards a really strong, comparatively mistake-free Broncos staff, however it’s essential to keep in mind Denver has confronted a remarkably smooth schedule up to now (Giants, Jaguars, Jets). Sometimes, you simply have to wager on expertise when it is not dealing with a juggernaut offense. If Denver has a weak point, it is the offensive line, which has allowed a number of sacks each recreation this yr. Baltimore ought to have the opportunity to get strain and restrict the Broncos offensive assault. 12Cleveland Browns @ MIN. It’s no shock that Cleveland’s D/ST had a poor Week 1 towards Kansas City, however it additionally dissatisfied in Week 2 towards Houston. The Browns confirmed out towards Chicago, although, sacking Justin Fields 9 instances and holding the Bears to six factors. It’s powerful to know what to count on this week towards a Vikings offense that is allowed simply 5 sacks and one takeaway all yr. Minnesota will not play that cleanly all yr, however clearly this cannot be certified as a “favorable” matchup. Ultimately, we view the Browns as having a good flooring however not a very excessive ceiling. Given among the matchups from “better” D/STs under, that is about all we will ask from a low-end beginning unit.13Washington Football Team @ ATL. Washington has been as dangerous as any D/ST in fantasy this yr, so it in all probability appears loopy we’re nonetheless giving it the advantage of the doubt. However, we all know the go rush continues to be robust (six sacks by the primary two weeks), and a pair dangerous matchups (particularly final week towards Buffalo) have actually damage Washington’s output. We assume it might get again on monitor, and a matchup this week towards a mistake-prone Falcons staff is nearly as good of a time as any. Atlanta’s fantasy numbers towards defenses are inflated by two pick-sixes thrown in Week 2, however they nonetheless permit a great quantity of sacks (7) and might have bother scoring (16 offensive factors per recreation). Washington is due to break by finally.14Los Angeles Rams vs. ARI. The Rams have posted three sacks in each recreation this yr and had a number of takeaways in every of their first two video games. They did not put up many fantasy factors towards Tom Brady and the Bucs final week, however that was anticipated. Arizona is thought for its high-flying offense, however it’s allowed 5 sacks, 4 takeaways, and two D/ST TDs by the primary three video games. You cannot rely on the touchdowns, however the Cardinals will surrender some sacks and switch it over a couple of times. That’s sufficient for us to maintain the Rams on the start-sit bubble. In reality, they may be a “safer” play than the Ravens, Browns, and Washington, so in the event that they’re your beginning unit, do not feel the necessity to drop them and stream the same D/ST. This will likely be a troublesome week for many, so simply get by it and see the place you are at subsequent week. 15Denver Broncos vs. BAL. Denver has supplied top-five manufacturing thanks to beating up on overmatched offenses (Giants, Jaguars, Jets), however now it faces a real take a look at. The Ravens have not been fairly as lights outs as in the previous, permitting eight sacks and 5 takeaways, however we all know how harmful they are often. We nonetheless assume Denver can get some sacks (it is posted eight whereas Baltimore has allowed eight), so there’s nonetheless a good flooring right here, however identical to the Rams, the ceiling is far decrease than traditional.16Carolina Panthers @ DAL. Just just like the Broncos, the Panthers have been a top-tier D/ST up to now this yr, and favorable matchups (Jets, Saints, Texans) are a giant cause why. It’s powerful to say how “legit” the Panthers actually are, however we’ll actually discover out this week towards Dallas, who yielded hardly any fantasy factors to the Bucs and Chargers. Carolina has racked up 14 sacks whereas permitting simply 30 whole offensive factors, so we expect it might nonetheless have worth, however as soon as once more, we’re coping with a decrease ceiling.17Pittsburgh Steelers @ GB. It’s not simply Pittsburgh’s offense that is struggling. Perhaps, in half, as a result of of the poor offense, the Steelers’ D/ST hasn’t been producing at its regular stage this yr, totaling simply 5 sacks and two takeaways whereas permitting 22 offensive factors per recreation. After a horrible Week 1, Green Bay has scored 65 factors, allowed 4 sacks, and failed to flip it over. With T.J. Watt (core) hurting, there’s little cause to assume the Steelers will likely be price beginning this week. If something, we’ve them ranked too excessive, however as we noticed in Week 1 once they blocked a punt for a TD towards Buffalo, the Steelers nonetheless have sufficient expertise to scrounge out some factors even in powerful matchups.18New England Patriots vs. TB. The Pats have been producing this yr, although their D/ST numbers are inflated by beating up on Zach Wilson in Week 2 (six factors allowed, 4 sacks, 4 INTs). Even with out that recreation, they have been strong (19.5 ppg, 5 sacks, takeaway), however a matchup with previous pal Tom Brady does not determine to go their manner. They’ll get a pair sacks, however you may’t rely on them for far more. 19Dallas Cowboys vs. CAR20Kansas City Chiefs @ PHI21San Francisco 49ers vs. SEA22Las Vegas Raiders @ LAC23Seattle Seahawks @ SF24Atlanta Falcons vs. WAS25Detroit Lions @ CHI26Philadelphia Eagles vs. KC27Arizona Cardinals @ LAR28New York Jets vs. TEN29Los Angeles Chargers vs. LV30Minnesota Vikings vs. CLE31Jacksonville Jaguars @ CIN32Houston Texans @ BUF



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