Week 7 Team Defense Recap

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If you ever wondered what makes a fantasy writer smile, let me tell you. It’s looking at the weekly rankings and seeing the top 3 teams are all teams he recommended you start that week. I don’t smile often, but I’m smiling today! Week 7 gave us some really solid defense. We saw 7 defensive or return TDs, the most since Week 3.  We also saw 4 teams not allow a TD and fantasy #1, Minnesota, get beat at their own game. It was a fun week, let’s take a deeper look at the best performances.

Week 7 Standout Performances

Philadelphia Eagles: vs Minnesota Vikings
Fantasy’s #1 and #2 defenses playing each other, it was the immovable object vs another immovable object. Admittedly, the game was far more entertaining than that analogy sounds. At one point these two defensive juggernauts went 5 straight drives turning the opposing offense over. Philadelphia did the most with their 4 takeaways, scoring another defensive TD and holding the Vikings to only 10 points. The Eagles finished with 25 fantasy points and the Week 7 top spot.

Week 8 Matchup: @ Dallas Cowboys
It’s not a great matchup but there is no way you can bench Philadelphia right now.

New York Giants: vs Los Angeles Rams (in London)
Well, it wasn’t the Giants blowout I expected but the New York defense handled its business, albeit against one of the worst offenses in the league. The Giants sacked Case Keenum 3 times, picked him off 4 times, and probably cost him his job. To cap it off, Landon Collins had one of the best defensive TDs we will see all year.

Week 8 Matchup: Bye Week
If you added the Giants in Week 7, nice work. You can probably go ahead and cut them in Week 8. They are too inconsistent to save a roster spot on but it should be noted they have a pretty favorable schedule for 4 weeks after their bye.

Baltimore Ravens: @ New York Jets
The benching of Ryan Fitzpatrick lasted approximately 20 minutes…and the Jets offense continues to benefit opposing DEF/ST. The Ravens injured Geno Smith in the 2nd quarter. Fitzpatrick came in and played pretty decent, the Jets managed 24 points and a win. But like the Eagles last week, the Ravens had a great fantasy game in a bad real game. They forced 2 turnovers, sacked the QB 5 times, blocked a kick, and scored a touchdown. Baltimore wasn’t happy with the result, but fantasy owners were.

Week 8 Matchup: Bye Week
Another top performer on bye in Week 8. I’d probably hold onto the Ravens DEF/ST. They have only had one bad game this year and face a Big Ben-less Steelers team and Cleveland, both at home, coming out of their bye.

Week 8 Starts

Tennessee Titans: vs Jacksonville Jaguars
The Titans aren’t nearly as bad as they looked in Week 7 and Blake Bortles hasn’t seen an interception he can’t throw. Bortles has thrown a pick in every game but one this year. The Titans have gone 2 consecutive weeks without an interception but Bortles should end that streak in Week 8.

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Dallas Cowboys: vs Philadelphia Eagles
This strikes me as a low scoring game and the Cowboys have the superior run game to control the clock. Carson Wentz has 4 turnovers over his last 3 games and the Cowboys looked great against Green Bay in Week 6. Coming off of a Week 7 bye, with an extra week to prepare for Philadelphia, I expect that the Cowboys will be ready to get after the Eagles.

Chicago Bears: vs Minnesota Vikings
This should be another low scoring affair, it has the lowest Over/Under for Week 8. The Vikings are one of the best defenses in the league, and one of the least imposing offenses. Chicago has been surprisingly solid in 3 of their last 4 games, causing 5 turnovers and scoring a TD. The combination of how Leonard Floyd has played for the Bears as of late and how bad the Vikings O-Line looked against Philadelphia could spell disaster yet again for Sam Bradford and the Vikings.

Week 8 Sits

San Diego Chargers: @ Denver Broncos
The only reason you are considering San Diego in this game is because of what happened on Thursday night a couple of weeks ago. Don’t do it. The Chargers have given up 30+ points in 3 of their last 4 games, the one game they didn’t was against the Broncos. That was the exception, not the rule. The Broncos will be looking for revenge in this one and I think they’ll have it.

Kansas City Chiefs: @ Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck seems to be hitting his stride, 1150 yards-8 TDs-2 INTs over his last 4 games, and the Chiefs defense is far better at home than on the road. They played well at home against Drew Brees and the Saints last week but I think their Luck has run out…oh yeah, I went there! Bench the Chiefs.

Buffalo Bills: vs New England Patriots
I know Buffalo was great for you early on. The last 2 weeks they have been mediocre and bad against beatable matchups. This week they get Tom Brady. Bench them.

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 94 6 84 19 9 7 4 1 0 4 3
2 Eagles 82 6 88 20 5 7 3 1 1 5 14
3 Cardinals 78 7 104 20 9 5 1 2 0 3 13
4 Broncos 74 7 115 22 5 8 2 0 0 1 22
5 Ravens 63 7 139 15 8 5 1 0 3 7 4
6 Bills 60 7 129 21 6 6 3 0 0 11 27
7 Seahawks 51 6 84 20 5 1 0 0 3 9 5
8 Chiefs 50 6 123 8 10 4 3 0 0 19 21
9 Texans 41 7 154 16 3 3 1 0 0 2 29
10 Patriots 40 7 107 11 5 4 0 2 0 20 11
10 Chargers 40 7 179 17 8 4 1 1 0 24 8
12 Bears 39 7 169 15 4 3 2 0 1 16 17
13 Packers 38 6 117 17 5 3 0 0 0 15 1
14 Rams 36 7 136 10 4 6 1 0 1 14 15
14 Giants 36 7 141 9 6 1 2 0 1 22 12

Please do not overthink things in Week 8. Start your studs (unless named above) and only go with streamers if you must. This week is full of uncomfortable matchups, and in that situation just go with the guys who you know will get after the QB and turn the ball over. I feel like there will be a lot of points scored by offenses and DEF/ST will probably end with some low scores in fantasy. Remember, you just need to beat the guy you’re playing, not the entire league.

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