Fantasy Football: Week 6 Team Defense Recap

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It seems that Week 6 has taught the rest of the world what those who try to predict team defense every week already know: the NFL is unpredictable. We saw 15 DEF/ST touchdowns scored by 10 different teams, both season highs, and 7 more TDs than any other week this year. The week’s top defense, the New Orleans Saints, scored more TDs than 17 offenses in Week 6 and the most since the Ravens in Week 4 of 2011. In fact, the 5 combined DEF/ST TDs in the Detroit @ New Orleans game were more than what the entire league scored in Weeks 2 and 3.

The biggest question we’ll need to answer is “Are the Saints for real?” New Orleans has been a bottom 10 fantasy defense every season since 2013 and only scored 74 fantasy points last year. They scored 32 in Week 6. What a fun guessing game this is! Who joined the Saints at the top of the fantasy world? I’m glad you asked…

Week 6 Top Performances

New Orleans Saints: vs DET
You read the intro paragraph correctly, there were 5 defense or special teams TDs scored in this game. The game ended with 90 combined points, yet both team defenses made the top 10. Insane. New Orleans scored 3 of those TDs, their first 3 DEF/ST TDs of the season, added 5 turnovers and 5 sacks, and unsurprisingly find themselves atop the fantasy world. Their 32 fantasy points this week outscored every position player not named Melvin Gordon or Mark Ingram. Insane.

Week 7 Matchup: @ GB
This is more of a “Stream of the Week” type matchup than a recommended start. If you’re scouring your waiver wire and there are slim pickings then you can ride the Saints again in Week 7. The Packers still have weapons and Brett Hundley will have a full week of 1st team practice. I could see this being a high scoring game. Approach with caution.

Houston Texans: vs CLE
Even with all of their defensive injuries, Houston beating up on Cleveland was easy to see coming. The Browns QB woes continually lead to windfalls for opposing defenses and, to no one’s surprise, Cleveland gives up the most points to fantasy defenses this season. Houston had 4 sacks, 3 interceptions, 1 of those taken back for a TD, and a Cleveland miscue gave them a safety as well.

Week 7 Matchup: BYE

Los Angeles Rams: @ JAX
I thought this was going to be a good game for DEF/ST, as the Rams and Jaguars have been really solid this season. The Rams came out swinging, taking the opening kickoff to the house. They also blocked a kick that they subsequently took in for a TD. Add to that their 5 sacks and 1 Blake Bortles interception and you have yourselves a top 3 fantasy defense.

Week 7 Matchup: vs AZ (in London)
I hate London games and Arizona has gotten its offense together with the addition of AP. You could do worse but you could certainly do better in Week 7. Give the waiver wire a good scrub for a better matchup before you roll the Rams out there.

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Week 7 Starts

Jacksonville Jaguars: @ IND
You may be disappointed in the Jags after a mediocre Week 6 performance but don’t let your faith wane now. The Colts give up the 2nd most points to DEF/ST and this secondary shut the Rams down in the passing game. The Colts do not have Todd Gurley so I expect a much better game out of Jacksonville.

Minnesota Vikings: vs BAL
Minnesota played great in Week 6, albeit after they put Aaron Rodgers out in the 1st quarter. Joe Flacco has only thrown 1 touchdown pass in his last 4 games. Minnesota should own this home matchup.

Hannah Foslien/ Getty Images

Carolina Panthers: @ CHI
I love the matchups here. Carolina is top 5 against the run and Jordan Howard looks like the only weapon the Bears have. Mitch Trubisky has amassed 251 yards, 2 TDs, and 3 turnovers in his 2 starts so far. As long as Cam doesn’t make bad decisions, the Panthers defense should get to pin their ear back and attack in this one.

Stream of the Week

Miami Dolphins: vs NYJ
The Dolphins are owned in less than 10% of leagues and have a few things going for them. They finally established their run game and held their own against the Falcons on the road. They get a home game against the Jets who are worse than Atlanta at every position. The caveat here is that Jay Cutler doesn’t turn the ball over every chance he gets…so clearly I’m terrified making this recommendation.

Week 7 Sits

Kansas City Chiefs: @ OAK
The Chiefs are averaging about 6 fantasy points per game and have only had 1 “dominant” performance this season. The Raiders are far better with Derek Carr and only gave up 8 fantasy points in his first game back. As he starts to find his groove this offense will only get better and Kansas City might have trouble slowing that down.

Washington Redskins: @ PHI
Carson Wentz has 7 TDs in his last 2 games and is starting to look like a man not to trifled with. Washington just let CJ Beathard and the 49ers score 24 points and cannot be trusted in Philadelphia.

New England Patriots: vs ATL
Super Bowl jokes aside…why are the Patriots still owned in fantasy football? They have scored 5 fantasy points this season…TOTAL. While the Atlanta offense doesn’t look like a shadow of what we expected, I think this is the game where they fix it.

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.

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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 Jaguars 85 4 110 23 10 6 4 0 0 3 31
2 Lions 75 5 125 13 9 5 5 0 0 23 10
3 Ravens 67 4 118 16 9 5 3 0 0 5 30
4 Rams 65 3 138 20 7 3 4 1 1 13 29
5 Steelers 63 4 90 20 5 3 1 1 1 1 23
6 Texans 59 4 135 15 7 3 3 1 0 14 17
7 Saints 48 3 110 16 7 2 3 0 0 28 11
8 Bills 47 4 74 12 8 2 1 0 0 21 7
8 Bengals 47 3 83 18 4 0 1 0 0 2 14
10 Broncos 46 3 91 13 4 0 1 0 2 6 2
11 Seahawks 45 3 85 11 5 3 2 0 0 9 26
12 Vikings 44 4 101 16 7 1 0 0 0 14 3
12 Eagles 44 2 116 14 6 4 1 0 1 29 1

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