Week 6 Team Defense Recap

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Finally, a week where I don’t have to mention Minnesota…and yet I just did it anyway! Week 6 was rough on just about every DEF/ST. The league leaders only had 11 fantasy points, our lowest output for a #1 this season. On the positive side, 3 teams tied for 1st place. On the negative side, if you had started the Vikings on their bye, you would have equaled or outscored more than 1/3 of the teams that did have a game over the weekend. We had 10 teams score 0 or negative points, including 3 teams that were ranked in the top 13 overall for the season. I’ve said it before and I guarantee I’ll say it again: Predicting DEF/ST is hard. Let’s look at who held their own in an ugly Week 6 and who might succeed in Week 7.

Week 6 Standout Performances

Kansas City Chiefs: @ Oakland Raiders
Not a lot to say here. The weather wasn’t great, it led to bad field conditions and the Chiefs are our most Meh 1st place team this season. They finished with just 2 sacks, 2 turnovers, and only 10 points allowed but that was good enough for best in standard scoring.

Week 7 Matchup: vs New Orleans Saints
Even at home, I’m not starting the Chiefs against Brees and Co. There is a chance that they get their best pass-rusher, Justin Houston, back very soon but the besides Week 9 against Jacksonville and Week 11 against Tampa Bay you probably won’t be comfortable starting the Chiefs again in 2016.

San Diego Chargers: vs Denver Broncos
Apparently, when the entire AFC West plays each other, we get solid defense. The Thursday game certainly was not exciting but the Chargers played solid defense and held Denver out of the end zone until the 4th quarter. They only allowed 13 points, recorded 2 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries, and were handed a safety on an end zone holding penalty. The game wasn’t pretty, but the defense good enough to tie for the for the top spot in Week 6.

Week 7 Matchup: @ Atlanta Falcons
The Chargers allow 31 points per game on the road, Atlanta has scored 72 points in their only 2 home games. I doubt you owned them before, no need to add the Chargers in Week 7.

Arizona Cardinals: vs New York Jets
At this point, playing any defense that plays the Jets is looking like an excellent strategy. Even more so when they are playing one of the best defenses in the league. Arizona owned this game from start to finish and only allowed 3 points. On top of picking Ryan Fitzpatrick off once, they got him benched and recorded another INT and sack against Geno Smith. It was a solid performance to end Week 6 and put the Cardinals in a 3-way tie for highest performance of the week.

Week 7 Matchup: vs Seattle Seahawks
This is one of those matchups that normally I would tell you to avoid but the Cardinals have the right personnel to contain the Seahawks. They may not finish first again, but they should be top 10 when Week 7 is over. Start the Cardinals DEF/ST.

Philadelphia Eagles: @ Washington Redskins
I mentioned last week that the Redskins do not give up sacks and they proved me right as Cousins wasn’t sacked all game. The Eagles were basically terrible, giving up 27 points and almost 500 yards of offense. Their only tick on the stat sheet was the one interception. So, what should have been a disastrous -3 point outing for Philadelphia somehow turned into a solid 9 fantasy point game… with 2 DEF/ST touchdowns. They took that one interception to the house and added a kick return TD. This shows the volatility of DEF/ST, even bad games can be good fantasy games.

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Week 7 Matchup: vs Minnesota Vikings
You know the Vikings defense will bring it, and that Minnesota offense isn’t scaring anyone. It’s a revenge game for Bradford but I expect the Eagles defense to have another solid week.

Week 7 Starts

New York Giants: vs Los Angeles Rams in London
The Giants offense seems to have turned a corner and the Rams are not made to play from behind. Janoris Jenkins is as prepared as anyone to slow down Tavon Austin, having covered him in practice for the last 3 years. The Rams are giving up the 3rd most points to DEF/ST and this London game should end in a Giants blowout win.

Cincinnati Bengals: vs Cleveland Browns
The Browns are 5th worst against DEF/ST and the Bengals are due for a rebound game. At home against Cleveland sounds like the right combination for success. It also helps that the Bengals know Hue Jackson’s offense very well and that Terrelle Pryor will probably not play.

Baltimore Ravens: @ New York Jets
Not much analysis needed here. The Ravens have been down as of late but are still one of the best DEF/ST in the league. The Jets give up more fantasy points to DEF/ST than any team in the league.

Week 7 Sits

Green Bay Packers: vs Chicago Bears
The Packers have been average as can be this season and the Bears have gone for over 300 passing yards every game with Hoyer as the starter. Thursday night home defenses are about 50/50 this season…I think the Packers end up on the wrong side of that.

Houston Texans: @ Denver Broncos
Revenge game…and I mean for the Broncos defense. If you think they are not bitter that Brock Osweiler picked up and left town you are mistaken. I know the Broncos offense isn’t scaring anyone right now but their DEF/ST will put the ball in their hands often. Just based on how much I think they will be on the field, I am avoiding the Texans defense in Week 7.

Top DEF/ST Year-to-Date

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

Team Fantasy Points Games Points Allowed Sacks Int Fum Rec Def/Ret TD Safety Blocked Kick Rank vs Pass Rank vs Run
1 Vikings 84 5 63 19 7 5 4 1 0 6 4
2 Cardinals 71 6 98 19 9 5 1 2 0 3 17
3 Bills 65 6 101 20 6 6 3 0 0 14 15
4 Broncos 64 6 106 21 5 6 2 0 0 1 22
5 Eagles 57 5 78 14 4 4 2 1 1 4 18
6 Ravens 46 6 115 11 8 3 0 0 2 9 1
7 Chiefs 44 5 102 7 9 3 2 0 0 12 24
8 Seahawks 42 5 78 16 5 1 0 0 1 5 3
9 Texans 41 6 127 16 3 3 1 0 0 2 29
10 Patriots 38 6 91 11 4 4 0 2 0 18 9
11 Chargers 37 6 155 14 7 4 1 1 0 24 5
12 Titans 32 6 113 18 6 0 0 0 0 11 7
13 Rams 31 6 125 10 4 5 1 0 1 16 23
14 Bears 30 6 143 13 4 2 1 0 0 10 19
14 Cowboys 30 6 107 11 4 5 0 0 0 20 10
14 Redskins 30 6 136 16 4 5 1 0 0 15 28

So even on a week where 1st place was on bye, there was no change to the top 6 teams. While Minnesota, Denver, and Arizona are basically matchup proof, you still need to pick your spots with the others. But I will note, that 6 of the top 10 have not yet had their bye. You will need to decide whether to cut them and save a valuable roster spot or sign an extra DEF/ST. A tough decision for sure but the Ballers are here to help. Go join the #FootClan and get your questions answered by the guys.

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