Fantasy Football: Week 8 Team Defense Recap

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There are storylines abound this season. 2 weeks ago, injuries were the go-to excuse for the bad offense and great defensive play. This week, mother nature opened the heavens upon multiple games and resulted in 7 teams with multiple fumble recoveries, the most we’ve seen this season. As we cross the halfway point, the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were on bye in Week 8, are the #1 DEF/ST. They have recorded 33 sacks in 7 games this season, they had 33 sacks all of last year. The Jaguars and the New Orleans Saints are the only DEF/ST with multiple weeks atop the fantasy leaderboards. It has been a wild season and Week 8 gave us some more memorable performances.

Week 8 Top Performances

Baltimore Ravens: vs MIA
Well, the week certainly started with a bang. For the first time all season, a DEF/ST took the top spot on Thursday and held on to it all weekend long.  The Ravens owned this game from start to finish. Matt Moore never looked comfortable and could not make a decent throw all game long. The Raven held Jay Ajayi under 2 YPC and held the Dolphins off the scoreboard for the week’s only shutout. Baltimore took 2 interceptions back for TDs and ends Week 9 as the #1 fantasy defense.

Week 9 Matchup: @ TEN
I expect to see a much better game out of Tennessee than we did from Miami but there is no way you are benching the Ravens. The Titans offense looked terrible against Cleveland before their bye week so Baltimore is a pretty safe start.

Kansas City Chiefs: vs DEN
In another forgettable performance by the Denver offense, Kansas City led the league in takeaways in Week 9. The Chiefs forced 3 interceptions and 2 fumbles and took one fumble recovery back for a TD. Kansas City was able to sack Trevor Siemian 3 times on top of those 3 picks and held him under 200 yards passing.

Week 9 Matchup: @ DAL
This feels like a “trap” game. The Chiefs are fresh off a dismantling of the Denver offense and Dallas may be without Ezekiel Elliott so all signs point to starting Kansas City. I feel like this will be a high-scoring game where Dak Prescott proves he can get it done without Elliott…if he has to. As recent weeks have proven, it is very likely the Cowboys will end having their star RB.

Philadelphia Eagles: vs SF
The rain was coming down in Philadelphia and, while it was as bad as we thought it might be, it was enough to hurt an already bad 49ers offense. The Eagles defense held the 49ers to under 200 yards passing and under 100 yards rushing the football. They sacked CJ Beathard 4 times, picked him off twice (one for a TD), and seemingly put him out of a job. After the game, the 49ers went out and acquired Jimmy Garoppolo from New England.

Week 9 Matchup: vs DEN
This Denver offense clearly isn’t scaring anyone and the Eagles defense is as opportunistic as they come. I expect to see lots of QB pressure which should lead to sacks and turnovers for the Philly defense.

Week 8 Starts

Jacksonville Jaguars: vs CIN
If you are apart of the lucky 8% of leagues that cut Jacksonville during their bye, GO SIGN THEM NOW. They are a strong play the rest of the season and that starts this week against a Bengals offense that is struggling to find an identity.

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Los Angeles Rams: @ NYG
The Giants still have no proven firepower on offense. They should get Sterling Shepard back this week but the Rams should be able to contain him and the Giants run game will have to step up once again. I don’t see that happening.

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Houston Texans: vs IND
The Colts offense isn’t great and their defense is going to get eaten alive by Deshaun Watson and company. I think the Texans will dictate the game flow and put the Indy offense in bad spots all game long.

Stream of the Week

Buffalo Bills: @ NYJ
The Bills are more owned than most of my streams (33% in ESPN) but they are available to over 2/3 of you. They have proven themselves to be formidable with 3 or more takeaways in each of their last 4 games and face a Jets offense that has turned the ball over at least once in every game this season.

Week 8 Sits

Dallas Cowboys: vs KC
Kansas City is just a bad matchup for fantasy DEF/ST. You probably didn’t start Dallas last week and you regret that. Don’t compound that error and chase last week’s points against the Chiefs, it won’t play out well for you.

New Orleans Saints: vs TB
Another Week 9 trap game. The Tampa Bay offense looked bad last week and may not have Jameis Winston for this matchup. Enter Ryan Fitzpatrick. While prone to turnovers, he also threw 3 TDs in his only action this season. The Saints defense has looked average the last 2 games against mediocre QB play and I just don’t trust them here.

Denver Broncos: @ PHI
It’s not that I don’t trust the Denver defense, it’s that their offense keeps putting them in unwinnable situations. Carson Wentz has been lights out as of late that makes this game too dangerous to gamble on.

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 107 5 110 33 10 6 4 0 0 1 32
2 Ravens 104 5 148 19 12 5 5 0 0 5 30
3 Rams 84 4 138 23 9 3 4 1 1 9 25
4 Lions 83 5 169 13 10 6 5 0 0 25 7
5 Eagles 72 4 156 22 9 4 2 0 2 26 1
5 Steelers 72 5 131 26 7 4 1 1 1 2 16
5 Saints 72 4 145 19 9 2 3 0 0 17 21
8 Bills 71 5 115 13 11 6 2 0 0 29 3
8 Bears 71 3 171 23 4 7 3 1 1 10 12
10 Chiefs 68 5 180 18 8 5 3 0 1 28 28
10 Seahawks 68 5 132 17 8 4 3 0 0 12 20
12 Panthers 66 5 142 27 3 4 0 0 1 3 5