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Week 9 Defense Rankings

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

You know you've had a good year defensively when you rank as the number one defense for the week and your opponent is an offense led by Andrew Luck. Thats partly because they had no problem holding Aaron Rodgers to zero passing touchdowns against Green Bay. When you think about how poorly Andrew Luck played for the first half of his Monday night game against the Panthers, it should give you confidence to start them over anyone else that may be available. Frank Gore isn't necessarily going to burn them, so they will have to rely on Andrew Luck's arm — and after watching a few of his poor throws in week 8, that could be a great thing for Denver.

Rank

Team

Opponent

Analysis

1

Denver Broncos

at Indianapolis Colts

It was mentioned a number of times over the broadcast on Monday night that Luck might be playing with an injury. This should favor the number one defense in the league if that is true.

2

St. Louis Rams

at Minnesota Vikings

The Rams haven't scored below nine points since week two. They are also consistently sacking quarterbacks and Teddy Bridgewater is the seventh most sacked quarterback in the league.

3

Atlanta Falcons

at San Francisco 49ers

They didn't rack up many points against the Bucs in week 8, but Blaine Gabbert is making his first start of the year while Colin Kaepernick takes his spot on the bench. Look for Atlanta to force some turnovers. They rank seventh in the league in interceptions.

4

Cincinatti Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Another case of a new starting quarterback. This time it's Johnny Maziel due to a Josh McCown rib injury. Cincy should have a low floor and they played well against the Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger at the helm.

5

New England Patriots

Washington Redskins

The Patriots played extremely well against the Dolphins, and part of that is because they are no slouch of a defense. The other part is because Miami was on a short week. The Redskins are coming off a bye week, and while they are not a better offense than Miami, I do think the extra time to prepare will benefit them. That is just an adivsory for when the Pats dont perform as well as you might think, but they should still be started.

6

New York Jets

Jacksonville Jaguars

What happened to the Jets in week 8? They had what seemed to be a friendly match up with the Raiders given that the run game should have been held in check, but that was not the case. Latavious Murray rushed for over 100 yards against them. They also failed to make tackles. They should be able to come back in week 9 against the Jags, despite their offense having taken a few steps forward. Jacksonville is also coming off a bye week, but that shouldn't steer you away. I expect the Jets to play with some intensity after last week and the fact that they are still in the hunt for the playoffs.

7

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

Lets face it, if the Dolphins win this game it will be a shocker. They just lost their best player on defense and the Bills are coming off a bye. It's almost certain that Rex Ryan ripped into his team for their performance against the Jaguars in week 7, so look for them to step up defensively in this division rival match. The home field advantage should benefit them as well.

8

Minnesota Vikings

St. Louis Rams

It's kind of surprising how well the Rams have been on offense, but that's just because Todd Gurley is a beast. The Vikings gameplan will be centered around containing him, but whether they can actually acomplish that is a different story. Gurley will probably have another good day at the office, but the Minnesota defense overall should be able to give you a quality performance. Maybe not double digits but more than five points is a safe expectation.

9

Philadelphia Eagles

at Dallas Cowboys

The Eagles have some real potential to get into double digit points, but have you seen Darren McFadden running the ball? He looks like the guy people projected him to be when he first came into the league thanks in part to the offensive line. If you start the Eagles D, you will be relying on some poor quarterback play from Matt Cassell, which is a realistic expectation. Philly ranks fourth in the league with 11 interceptions.

10

Carolina Panthers

Green Bay Packers

It's always scary when you start a defense against an offense that has the potential to put up high point totals any week, but the Panthers feature a premier corner and the best middle line backer in the game.

11

Pittsburgh Steelers

Oakland Raiders

This is the pick that wouldn't surprise me if I'm absolutely wrong. The Raiders have been playing well on offense and are coming off a great game against the Jets. But the Steelers are coming off a game where they held Andy Dalton and the Bengals surplus of options in check. There aren't too many startable defensive options for fantasy either this week. On the plus side, they have gotten at least one sack in every game this season.

12

New Orleans Saints

Tennessee Titans

The Saints are coming off a dreadful game where three sacks and a fumble recovery saved them from a negative point performance in Yahoo! standard leagues. But the Titans have given up the most fantasy points to opposing defenses. Marcus Mariota takes a lot of sacks and the Saints are averaging over two sacks per game.

13

Dallas Cowboys

Philidelphia Eagles

Another risk/reward option for week 9. Sam Bradford leads the league in red zone interceptions. If he continues to make mistakes with the ball, it could pay off in a big way for your fantasy team. If the Philly run game gets going, however, it could help to settle Bradford down and get the passing game going.

14

Jacksonville Jaguars

at New York Jets

If Geno Smith is the starter, that's all you need to know. Both the Jets quarterbacks are dealing with injuries, and so is top receiver Brandon Marshall. The Jaguars are coming off a bye and before that, they scored 24 points against the Bills.

15

Green Bay Packers

at Carolina Panthers

The Packers are not a good option to start this week. They make the top 16 cut because the other options for this week are even worse. The Panthers are going to run the ball effectivly against them. Newton is playing like an MVP. Only start them if you have to. The only case I can make for them is they averge over one interception a game, and the Panthers don't have a strong receiving core.

16

Miami Dolphins

at Buffalo Bills

With Cameron Wake done for the year, the Dolphins will be hard to trust moving forward. They are probably dropable in 12 team leagues, but if you are looking for a streamer with Seattle on a bye, this could be an option. Tyrod Taylor is coming back from injury so there is some risk involved if you chose to start Miami, but sometimes risk is what it takes to win a fantasy match. They performed horribly on Thursday night but we can throw out that performance and chalk it up to New England having the best offense in the league.