Week 7 has wrapped up and DEF/ST continues to be a minefield. In the overall standings, 5 teams dropped out of the top 12, which is a lot of turnover for one week this late in the season. Some notable stats from our overall leaders include: the Cleveland Browns are the only top 12 DEF/ST to finish 5 individual weeks in the weekly top 12. Say what you will about that train wreck, it has produced a great fantasy defense in 2018. The new #1, the Los Angeles Rams, are the only team to record a statistic in each of the fantasy relevant defensive categories. They get after the other team in every way imaginable and that is part of the reason they are the last undefeated team in the league. Last week, 2 of the top 5 DEF/ST were owned in less than 6% of leagues and I told you to start both of them…let’s recap Week 7 and see who will be talking about after Week 8.

Week 7 Top Performances

Denver Broncos: @ Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals fans weren’t happy coming into this Thursday night tilt, and they were livid coming out. The only silver lining of this beatdown is that it got Mike McCoy fired. Denver managed 6 sacks, 5 takeaways, and 2 DEF/ST TDs, including a pick 6 on the first drive. It was ugly from start to finish…unless you owned the Broncos DEF/ST.

Week 8 Matchup: @ Kansas City Chiefs
No. Do I need to say more than that? Have you watched Kansas City this year? Arrowhead is notoriously tough to play in and it gets tougher when the Chiefs can score seemingly at will. Do not expect a repeat performance.

Los Angeles Rams: @ San Francisco 49ers
This was all too predictable. You get the hottest team in the NFC vs one of the worst. Aaron Donald took this game over, registering 9 tackles, 4 sacks, and a forced fumble. Basically, he had half of the Rams entire fantasy performance himself. Los Angeles finished with 7 sacks, a safety, 4 takeaways, and a blocked kick. It was one of the most thorough beatings we’ve seen in 2018.

Week 8 Matchup: vs Green Bay Packers
There a few things I can’t advocate in fantasy football. 2 of them come crashing together in Week 8. You can’t bench the Rams. You don’t start DEF/ST against Aaron Rodgers. It comes down to this, you can’t cut Los Angeles, so if you have a free roster spot, stream this week. If you do not have the spot, start the Rams with tempered expectations.

Indianapolis Colts: vs Buffalo Bills
Coming into the week, the Colts were only owned in 6% of leagues and were my favorite streaming option for Week 7. They did not disappoint. Despite Buffalo refusing to give us the Nathan Peterman 5 interception game we all deserved, the Colts still managed 5 total takeaways from the Derek Anderson led Bills. Buffalo only scored 3 offensive points and the Colts added 2 sacks to their total. It was a predictable outcome and a good reason to stream DEF/ST in your fantasy league.

Week 8 Matchup: @ Oakland Raiders
Not too often that a great stream option gets to be played 2 weeks in a row. I got a notification in my Yahoo leagues that a ton of people cut Indy for a roster spot on Sunday night and plain and simple: this was a mistake. You have to look ahead at the matchups. The Colts get a DEPLETED Oakland Raiders team with very little offensive firepower and a hurt Derek Carr. Start with confidence.

Week 8 Starts

Chicago Bears: vs New York Jets
After a bye and 2 bad fantasy weeks, the former kings of DEF/ST should rise back to the top after Week 8. The Bears have 6 takeaways in the last 2 weeks so if they can get back to sacking the QB and keeping the score low, they will be just fine. The Jets have only scored 20+ three times this season and give up 2 sacks per game. Sounds like a get right game for Chicago.

Houston Texans: vs Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins offense wasn’t all that great, to begin with, but having to travel to Texas, on a short week, with your best 2 WRs having just got hurt is less than ideal. This is a Brock Osweiler revenge game…and by that I mean the Texans are going to punish Osweiler for all that he put them thru in his short time in Houston.

New England Patriots: @ Buffalo Bills
So clearly the AFC East is bad outside of New England, as all 3 of my must starts are against the Patriots rivals. The Pats themselves benefit here getting a reeling Buffalo team that just gave up a top 3 performance to the Colts. New England’s defense hasn’t been great this season but you have to play the matchups and it doesn’t get much better than this.

Adam Glanzman/Getty Images Sport

Stream of the Week

Kansas City Chiefs: vs Denver Broncos
For a lot of the reasons you shouldn’t start the Denver DEF/ST, you should start Kansas City. Their offensive dominance puts their defense in a great position to attack all game long. They rarely take their foot off the pedal on either side of the ball and that usually means good things in fantasy football. The Chiefs are owned in only 16% of Yahoo leagues and 6% on ESPN.

Week 8 Sits

Baltimore Ravens: @ Carolina Panthers
Baltimore is one the best defenses in the league but the long and short of it is this: Cam Newton finds a way. He took control of the 4th quarter against the Eagles in Week 7 and turned a decent week into a terrible one for a pretty good defense. The Ravens just got handled by Drew Brees and face another tough matchup on the road here.

Jacksonville Jaguars: vs Philadelphia Eagles
I know, you spent an 8th round pick on these guys and you’ve only seen 2 top 12 finishes so far this season. It hurts but you have to let go. The Jags offense puts their defense in an almost unrosterable territory. They have finished outside of the top 12 for 3 straight weeks and follow this game up with a bye. Cut them and start living the stream!

Minnesota Vikings: vs New Orleans Saints
This should be the highest-scoring game of Week 8 and despite the Vikings overall fantasy rank and over 90% ownership, you can not toil with Drew Brees. The Saints give up the 3rd fewest points to DEF/ST. Bench the Vikings.

Top DEF/ST Year-to-Date

All Stats and Scores from FantasyData.com, your league scoring may differ. Ranks vs Pass/Run are based on Yards per Game allowed.

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 Rams 74 4 128 19 7 5 2 1 2 9 12
2 Texans 66 3 144 19 6 7 2 0 1 12 8
2 Bears 66 4 134 19 11 6 2 0 0 18 4
4 Ravens 63 4 101 27 5 2 0 0 0 2 7
4 Jets 63 4 176 15 10 5 3 0 0 21 14
6 Broncos 60 3 164 22 7 4 2 0 3 10 31
7 Browns 58 5 177 19 11 9 0 1 1 26 28
7 Vikings 58 4 165 21 7 5 2 0 0 16 5
9 Cardinals 57 3 184 20 6 6 2 0 0 11 32
10 Seahawks 54 3 117 16 9 4 0 0 0 3 24
11 Colts 53 4 185 21 9 6 0 0 0 19 17
11 Chiefs 53 4 182 19 7 3 3 0 0 31 23

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