1. NY Giants (MIA in London) – The Giants, who were by far the NFL’s worst defense after week 1, should be the best in week 8. The Dolphins will be without their only real weapon in Ronnie Brown. It is going to be a long flight home for the Dolphins.
2. Tennessee (OAK) – They are vulnerable against the pass; we all saw that in last week’s 4th quarter meltdown, but they are the league’s best defense against the run. The Titans D should bounce back at home against a Raiders offense that struggles to find the end zone, running or throwing.
3. New England (WAS) – The Patriots defense has been giving up some points as of late, but they are still one of the best fantasy options out there. They should be even better this week with the return of Pro Bowl DT Richard Seymour. The New England D will likely bring the Redskins young QB a world of trouble. Start em if you got em.
4. Tampa Bay (JAC) – With the loss of starting QB David Garrard, the Jacksonville offense could be in for a long day against the Bucs. The Jags may also be without star RB Jones-Drew, which would put all their hopes on the aging, but talented, Fred Taylor. The Tampa Bay defense should stack the line, stop Taylor, and have a big day. Great start for week 8.
5. Indianapolis (@CAR) – The Panthers offense looked much improved behind the arm of Vinny Testaverde, but it looks like Carr will be back at the helm this week. The Colts 3rd ranked defense (#1 against the pass) should improve their fantasy appeal in week 8.
6. Philadelphia (@MIN) – The Eagles defense ranks 8th against the run. If they can limit Adrian Peterson, they should have a really nice day, especially considering the Vikings passing attack is almost non existent.
7. Pittsburgh (@CIN) – It is frightening to start any defense against the high powered attack of the Bengals, but this is not just any defense. The Steelers lay claim to the NFL’s top spot in total defense, and they were able to hold the Bengals to a modest 17 points in their last meeting. They should also come up with at least a couple of turnovers, making them a solid option for your starting line up.
8. San Diego (HOU) – The San Diego defense seems to be back on track. They face a very unpredictable offense in Houston, but barring any 4th quarter miracle comeback, the Chargers should have a nice day. It would not be surprising to see this defense have the best week 8 of any defense.
9. Minnesota (PHI) – They may be the worst defense in the NFL against the pass, but they make up for it against the run. We like their chances for a decent day against an Eagles offense that is only averaging around 12 points per game in their last 3 contests.
10. Jacksonville (@TB) – If their offense does not put them in bad field position, the Jacksonville defense should have a solid day. They face an efficient, but underwhelming Buccaneers offense, which has trouble finding pay dirt.
11. New Orleans (@SF) – This is hardly a great defense, but they may play the part this week against a struggling 49er offense. San Francisco is only averaging around 8 ppg in their last 3 games. They should exceed that number this week, but not by much. This is a great match up for the Saints D.
12. Denver (GB) – We realize that the Broncos defense is atrocious against the run (ranked last), but lucky for them they play the pass heavy Packers this week. The Green Bay running attack is far from impressive, and with a healthy Champ Bailey, there is not a better defense against the pass than Denver. You should start this defense this week with a reasonable amount of confidence.
13. Chicago (DET) – The Bears defense looked pretty good last week against the Eagles, but they are still a mere shell of their former selves. They face a dangerous Lions offense that put up 37 on them in an earlier meeting. They are not the safest starting defense for your fantasy line up, but they are getting back on track, getting healthy again, and playing at home. They should make a much better go of it against the Lions this time around, but they are still a gamble.
14. Green Bay (@DEN) – Expect a fair to midline performance from the Packer defense this week at Denver.
15. Buffalo (@JETS) – The Bills only gave up 17 points to the Jets in their week 4 meeting, and this defense has made a solid improvement since that time. They are not your best option for a starting defense this week, but you could do much worse.
16. Oakland (@TEN) – The Raiders had their best defensive showing of the season last week. They should do a better job against the Titans than Houston did, but that is not saying much. This defense should be used in emergency or bye week situations only.
18. San Francisco (NO) – Statistically, this defense is middle of the road. In reality, they give up way too many points, and they face a potentially dangerous Saints offense. We recommend avoiding the Niners defense this week.
19. Detroit (@CHI) – This defense ranks a lowly 30th in the NFL and they face a Bears offense that has improved since the last time they met earlier in the season. The Lions D is not a good start for week 8.
20. Cleveland (@STL) – The Browns defense is actually bad enough to make the Rams offense look good, especially with the return of Steven Jackson for St. Louis. You should steer clear of the Cleveland D any and every week.
21. Houston (@SD) – This defense is no match for a surging Chargers offense, avoid them at all costs.
22. Carolina (IND) – The Panthers are a mediocre defense this season at best. They are a very poor choice for your starting line up against the high octane Colts offense.
23. Cincinnati (PIT) – The Bengals defense is consistent in all facets of the game, consistently bad. The Steelers offense will cruise against them.
24. St. Louis (CLE) – The Rams defense is not as bad as advertised, but they are a long ways from being good. There are few offenses hotter than the Browns, so this week’s match up may be worse than advertised.
25. Washington (@NE) – This is typically a very solid defense, but not against the Patriots. Give the Skins D the week off for this one.
26. Miami (GIANTS in London) – Apparently, it is not enough for the Dolphins to embarrass themselves on a weekly basis in front of an American audience. They are now going to showcase their train wreck of a defense across the pond in front of a British audience. No tea and crumpets for the Miami defense against the Giants in week 8.
If you have any questions or comments about our Week 8 Fantasy Football defense rankings, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.