1. New England (CLE) – Cleveland’s upstart offense was able to surprise a tough Baltimore defense which played completely out of character last week. We do not foresee a repeat of that against New England. The Patriot defense may be the most stable and consistent group in the NFL right now. While the Brown’s offense continues to improve and impress each week, they are out of their league in this one.
2. Baltimore (@SF) – The Baltimore defense was expected to dominate last week but somehow had a rare meltdown. We look for them to bounce back this week against a San Francisco offense in turmoil. The 49er offense will be without their starting QB and star TE and they struggled to move the ball last week in a big way. The Ravens will play angry and look for them to make a point that they are still a top defense.
3. Green Bay (CHI) – The Packer’s defense continues to be impressive although they had their shaky moments last week. They face a very soft Bear’s offense in a heated rivalry game. We look for them to come after Griese early and often and they should have success in doing so.
4. Dallas (@BUF) – The Dallas defense made easy work of the Rams a week ago and this week’s Monday night match up looks equally as promising. They face an improving Bills offense that still has a long way to go but is on the right path. With the Bills starting rookies at both QB and RB, the Cowboys should have their way again this week.
5. Arizona (@STL) – It is not so much that the Cardinal defense is that great, it has more to do with the fact that Ram’s offense is downright pathetic right now. The Cardinal D has played decent to this point and this is a great match up for them against a very troubled Ram’s offense.
6. Kansas City (JAC) – No one thought the Chief’s defense was going to be bad this year but I doubt anyone expected them to be this good. Granted, they have yet to face a great offensive team, but they have done an excellent and balanced job, especially considering the lack of offensive help they received the first three weeks. We look for them to have another solid outing on Sunday against a Jaguar offense that has been far short of explosive this season.
7. Indianapolis (TB) – This is not the most potent defense in the league but they get the job done. They face a Buccaneer offense whose greatest strength is limiting mistakes and turnovers. Other than that they are pretty average and far from explosive. The Colt’s should be able to control the game without a great deal of effort from the defense.
8. Jacksonville (@KC) – This defense was expected to make their mark as a run stopper. Instead, they have excelled at stopping opponents in the passing game. They have also improved against the run and they should have a solid game against an improving, but far from there, Chief’s offense.
9. Pittsburgh (SEA) – This rematch of Super Bowl XL should be a battle of defenses. While both teams claim solid offenses, this one will likely come down to defense, and the Steelers should come out on top once again. The Steeler defense played pretty well last week in a losing effort and they will likely come to play with a little extra this week.
10. NY Giants (JETS) – The battle for New York bragging rights. Up until the last couple of weeks, this Giant’s defense was one of the worst in the league. They have somehow been rejuvenated by the incredible play of their defensive line (12 sacks vs. Eagles). They still have a long way to go in the secondary but as long as the D-line can keep getting to opposing QB’s; the secondary can go for beers and still be ok.
11. Houston (MIA) – This defense has been on the downslide over the last couple of weeks but we expect they will rebound against a struggling Miami offense. The Texans are still pretty solid against the run and that is the Dolphins only strength of late. Look for the Texans to add plenty of turnover points to your fantasy stat sheet this week.
12. Tennessee (ATL) – The Titans have had a great and unexpected turnaround on defense this season. It has actually been the strength of their team. They face an Atlanta offense which is also on the right track but watch for the Titan’s defense to come off their bye week fresh and ready to play.
13. Seattle (@PIT) – This defense has been slightly better than middle of the road to this point despite some great individual efforts. They face a Steeler offense that is coming off a huge let down last week. The Sea Hawks have not forgotten Super Bowl XL and will be playing with something to prove, but so will the Steeler’s offense. They should have a decent game.
14. San Francisco (BAL) – It is hard to play great defense when the offense is struggling and putting you in bad field position but the 49er defense has done a pretty good job of managing just that scenario. They play a Baltimore team that has struggled to find the end zone and we expect them to hold their own for the most part.
15. Denver (SD) – The Bronco defense has done a tremendous job of slowing down the oppositions passing game but they can not seem to manage against the run. They face the league’s best back in L.T. this week and that could spell trouble. The good news is that the Charger offense as a whole has sputtered all season, including L.T. This is a much better match up than Denver faced last week against the Colts but it still has its pitfalls.
16. Carolina (@NO) – They managed to get off to a pretty good start but this defense progressively gets worse each week. They match up against a struggling Saint’s offense, but here lately, this defense has found a way to make bad offenses look good. They are a risky start this week but the match up is pretty good.
17. Chicago (@GB) – What has happened to the Bear’s defense? They have literally been beaten down the last two weeks. They are pretty banged up right now, especially in the secondary, and the offense keeps putting them in bad situations. They play hated rival Green Bay this week whose offense is playing very well in contrast. The Bears must get to Favre if they have any chance of success.
18. San Diego (@DEN) – It appears that the Charger defense is following the lead of the offense as they continue to get worse each week. The Denver offense does not present them with a monumental challenge but it is still more than enough for you to take a pass on the San Diego D this week.
19. Atlanta (@TEN) – This defense is still a mediocre unit at best. They face a Tennessee offense on the rise and they are on the road. We suggest you look elsewhere for your defensive needs.
20. Washington (DET) – The Washington defense has had a fair season to this point. They are coming off a bye week and should be well rested and ready to play. The bad news is that they face a high powered Detroit offense that is capable of putting up big numbers any week. They are a risky defense to start this week but it could go either way.
21. New Orleans (CAR) – The biggest obstacle this defense faces is their own offense, which continues to put them in bad predicaments on a regular basis. They face a Carolina offense that is on the slide but it will still prove to be too much.
22. Miami (@HOU) – This is not a bad match up for the Dolphins D this week against a injury riddled Houston offense, but the Dolphin’s defense has played so poorly that we could not possibly sleep at night knowing that we suggested you use them. Decent match up, bad defense.
23. Detroit (@WAS) – This defense has been Jekyll and Hyde all season. They show up one week, then they are gone the next. They do produce a lot of turnovers which is a bonus in terms of fantasy but they give up way too many points and they are too unpredictable to recommend.
24. NY Jets (@NYG) – The only thing positive for this defense this week is that they get an away game at home. The Giants should make easy work of this defense that ranks near the bottom in both pass and rush D. Sorry Jet’s fans, but this defense sucks.
25. St. Louis (ARI) – They looked pretty good last week against the Cowboys for oh, a quarter or so, then it was downhill fast. They should have it a little easier at home this week against Arizona but don’t count on it. Their offense can’t stay on the field long enough to get these guys a sip of water. Look for them to hold their own again in the first half and then wear themselves down into a beating.