Fantasy Football: Week 3 Team Defense Recap

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After a week where I missed on 9 of 11 predictions there is only one thing I can say: I’m sorry. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s do our best to forget Week 3 ever happened. It was a crazy week where 2 of our top 4 performers weren’t ranked in the top 12 coming into the games and, for the 2nd time this season, a team went from 1st place the previous week to last place (Tampa Bay). Here’s a recap of those teams that faired well in Week 3.

Week 3 Top Performances

Washington Redskins: vs Oakland Raiders
I thought this would be a high scoring game but it turns out Washington’s defense came to play. In a strong display of pass defense, the Redskins held Derek Carr to 118 yards passing and limited both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree to 2 catches…combined. Washington added 4 sacks and 3 turnovers to give Week 3’s top performance.

Week 4 Matchup: @ Kansas City Chiefs
Early trends seem to point towards the Redskins being far better at home than on the road and Kansas City is in the bottom 10 when it comes to points given up to DEF/ST. You can bench the Redskins in this one.

New Orleans Saints: @ Carolina Panthers
I would have made a water bet that New Orleans would not have finished as a top performer all season long…and today, I’d be wet. New Orleans sacked Cam Newton 4 times, picked him off 3 times, and just shut down anybody not named Christian McCaffrey. Coming into this game the Saints had scored negative points in both previous weeks. It was a great performance from New Orleans that I doubt we’ll see again anytime soon.

Week 4 Matchup: @ Miami Dolphins (in London)
Even with Jay Cutler starting to turn the ball over like his old self again, I cannot recommend the Saints in Week 3.

Jacksonville Jaguars: vs Baltimore Ravens (in London)
I predicted we’d get a top defense out of this matchup…I just picked the wrong side. After a dreadful Week 2 performance, Jacksonville just dominated from start to finish in this game, specifically in the passing game. They held the Ravens to 64 yards passing in a blowout win. The Jaguars also sacked Joe Flacco twice and picked him off once before getting him benched in favor of Ryan Mallett. Mallett scored the Ravens’ lone TD late in the 4th quarter or else the Jags would have been the top DEF/ST yet again.

Week 4 Matchup: @ New York Jets
The Jets played well last week but Jacksonville’s defense should be able to harass Josh McCown all day. With the way the Jaguars secondary has played this season, I don’t believe that Jermaine Kearse or Robby Anderson are going to find much room and I expect to see Jacksonville at the top again in Week 4.

Cincinnati Bengals: @ Green Bay Packers
The narrative coming into this one was that it was a “get right” game for the Bengals offense after firing their OC. It turns out the defense had some input here too. The Bengals lost the game, but they sacked Aaron Rodgers 6 times, tied for the most sacks this week, and picked him off once, which they took back for a TD.

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Week 4 Matchup: @ Cleveland Browns
While I hardly trust Cincinnati, the Browns are giving up the 2nd most points to DEF/ST. As long as Andy Dalton is done putting this defense in terrible starting positions, they should show up near the top again after this one.

Starts

Pittsburgh Steelers: @ Baltimore Ravens
Somehow Pittsburgh is still only owned in less than 60% of leagues. They are the #3 fantasy defense and Baltimore has got to be in shambles after what happened in London this past week.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Atlanta Falcons: vs Buffalo Bills
I’m playing the averages here. The Falcons are far better at home than on the road. The Bills are far worse on the road than they are at home. Even without Vic Beasley, I think the Falcons will be able to pin their ears back and get after the QB all day in Week 4.

New England Patriots: vs Carolina Panthers
The Patriots played good, not great against Houston last week and get another solid home matchup in Week 4. Carolina has given up the 6th most fantasy points to opposing defense so far this year and may be without Kelvin Benjamin.

Stream of the Week

Tennessee Titans: @ Houston Texans
The Titans are owned in less than 6% of leagues and the Texans have been very generous to DEF/ST.  Houston has given up 15 sacks and 6 turnovers in 3 games this year, so I like the Tennessee defense to score some fantasy points in Week 4.

Sits

Carolina Panthers: @ New England Patriots
I will continue my theme of telling you not to start DEF/ST against Tom Brady and Co. The Panthers are owned in nearly 100% of fantasy leagues and should be benched everywhere.

Los Angeles Rams: @  Dallas Cowboys
After seeing what Hoyer-Hyde-Garcon did last Thursday, there is no way I trust the Rams against Prescott-Elliott-Bryant.

Houston Texans: vs Tennessee Titans
The Titans have given up the fewest points to opposing DEF/ST so far in 2017. In fact, they have given up a total of (-4) points this season. Starting defenses against Tennessee is costing you fantasy points. Don’t do it.

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Top DEF/ST Year-to-Date

The table is arranged by YTD fantasy points but all categories are sortable. Also, I have ranked teams on a Yards-per-Game basis in Passing/Rushing.

Team Fantasy Points Weeks in Top 12 Points Allowed Sacks Int Fum Rec Def/Ret TD Safety Blocked Kick Rank vs Pass Rank vs Run
1 Lions 44 3 57 8 7 1 3 0 0 22 12
2 Jaguars 42 2 51 13 4 4 1 0 0 1 28
3 Steelers 34 2 50 11 2 2 1 0 1 2 22
4 Redskins 33 2 54 8 4 3 1 0 0 12 2
5 Rams 32 1 75 10 3 2 2 1 0 11 29
6 Ravens 31 2 54 8 8 2 0 0 0 17 19
7 Bills 28 3 37 10 4 0 0 0 0 9 7
7 Broncos 28 1 64 7 3 0 1 0 1 10 1
7 Eagles 28 1 62 8 3 3 1 0 0 25 6
10 Bengals 27 1 60 10 2 0 1 0 0 4 25
11 Panthers 23 2 40 8 1 1 0 0 0 3 15
12 Texans 21 2 68 8 0 2 1 0 0 16 17