Week 1 Team Defense Recap

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With this weekly article, we will take a look back at the best Defense/Special Teams from the previous week and tell you if the top performers have a chance to repeat. Next, we’ll take a look at the current week’s matchups and determine the DEF/ST with the best chance to finish near the top and the teams you should be avoiding altogether. Lastly, we’ll give you the current Top DEF/ST in standard scoring. Now, let’s take a look back at Week 1’s best defensive performances.

Week 1 Standout Performances

Minnesota Vikings: @ Tennessee Titans
The Vikings defense was a Week 1 Stud. They scored 2 defensive TDs, recorded 2 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, and an interception. To top it all off they only allowed 16 points. They ended the week as the #1 DEF/ST.

-Week 2 Matchup: vs Green Bay Packers
Week 2 brings a less friendly matchup. Disregard what they did against the Titans and bench them promptly against the offensive firepower that the Packers bring to town.

San Francisco 49ers: vs Los Angeles Rams
I think we all assumed a defense would control this game, we just picked the wrong one. A Week 1 shutout was easily the most impressive DEF/ST performance, though it was only good enough for 2nd place in fantasy terms. Along with 0 points allowed, the Niners also tallied 2 sacks and 2 interceptions.

-Week 2 Matchup: @ Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton is not Case Keenum. Kelvin Benjamin and Co. are not the Rams WR corps. Greg Olsen is not Lance Kendricks. Long story short, the Panthers are not the Rams and you should not be starting the San Francisco DEF/ST in Week 2.

Miami Dolphins: @ Seattle Seahawks
The only DEF/ST to finish in the top 5 that played a top 5 offense. The Dolphins had Russell Wilson running, and fearing, for his life. Along with sacking Wilson 3 times, they intercepted him once and forced a fumble. They also blocked a kick and held this offense to 3 points for 59 minutes, before allowing their first TD in the last 30 seconds.

-Week 2 Matchup: @ New England Patriots
This one is a coin toss. Normally, I’d say to avoid them but this isn’t Tom Brady they’re facing. While Jimmy Garoppolo looked efficient in Week 1, I think it’s safe to say he’s not as good as Russell Wilson. If the Dolphins are going to harass the QB like they did last week, I think they could find themselves in the top 10 again after Week 2.

Week 2 Starts

Carolina Panthers: vs San Francisco 49ers
START OF THE WEEK! Carolina played well in the opening game loss to Denver last Thursday and gets the worst scoring offense of 2015 at home in Week 2. Yes, the 49ers played well on Monday night but they were aided by the fact that the Rams offense did nothing. Start Carolina with confidence.

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New York Jets: @ Buffalo Bills
The Jets played great against the best Cincinnati had to offer. In Week 2, they get a Bills offense that is dealing with injuries to it’s best WR and LT. The Jets sacked Andy Dalton 7 times in Week 1 and should be able to pin their ears back against Tyrod Taylor this week.

Green Bay Packers: @ Minnesota Vikings
Lost in all the hype from their defense in Week 1 was the fact that the Vikings only scored 12 offensive points (0 TDs). Green Bay should have little trouble shutting down Shaun Hill or Sam Bradford and will be able to load the box to stifle Adrian Peterson for the 2nd straight week.

Week 2 Sits

Buffalo Bills: @ New York Jets
The Jets offense gave a talented Bengals defense all they could handle in week 1 and Buffalo didn’t look all that special against a less talented Ravens team. Those facts, combined with what I expect the Jets defense to do to the Bills offense, mean you should not be starting Buffalo this week.

Cincinnati Bengals: @ Pittsburgh Steelers
After underwhelming last week against the Jets, the Bengals will face an even more talented opponent in the Pittsburgh Steelers. This a road game against an offense that already looked to be in mid-season form last week. Bench the Bengals.

Top DEF/ST Year-to-Date
Team Fantasy Points Points Allowed Sacks Interceptions Fumble Recovery Defensive / Return TD Safety Blocked Kick Overall Rank vs. Pass Overall Rank vs. Run
1 Vikings 21 16 2 1 2 2 0 0 18th 6th
2 49ers 14 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 2nd 7th
T3 Eagles 12 10 3 1 0 0 1 0 5th 23rd
T3 Seahawks 12 10 5 0 0 0 0 1 3rd 5th
5 Dolphins 11 12 3 1 1 0 0 1 17th 20th
6 Texans 10 14 5 1 0 0 0 0 8th 10th
7 Bills 9 13 4 0 1 0 0 0 13th 12th
T8 Jets 8 23 7 1 0 0 0 0 27th 4th
T8 Panthers 8 21 2 2 1 0 0 0 4th 27th
T8 Ravens 8 7 2 0 0 0 0 0 1st 9th
T11 Bengals 5 22 1 1 0 0 0 1 9th 29th
T11 Broncos 5 20 3 1 0 0 0 0 7th 31st
T11 Packers 5 23 3 1 0 0 0 0 24th 1st
T11 Cardinals 5 23 2 0 2 0 0 0 20th 19th

It seems that more and more fantasy owners are beginning to stream DEF/ST. It is a good strategy and it’s all about playing the matchups. Of the top 5 units in Week 1, 4 played against bottom 10 scoring offenses from 2015. Do your research, work the waiver wire, and you should have no problem outscoring your opponent in this category most weeks.

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