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Week 3 Defense Rankings

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

We are two football weeks in, and the Denver Broncos defense is leading the charge in fantasy points. It may be time to jump on board this bandwagon for the first half of the season. They face the Lions this week, who will have a banged up Matthew Stafford passing the ball. They are a pass first team, but they are going up against the number one pass defense thus far, so they should be changing up their game plan for this week. It's not easy to predict if they actually will do that, but if they do, it's possible they find themselves in passing situations if they fall behind to Peyton Manning.

Aside from the Lions this week, they will be facing the Vikings in week four, followed by Oakland, Cleveland, and their bye week. You may have to sell them before their bye week however, as they face the Packers and Colts the next two weeks. They also play the Steelers and Bengals in weeks 15 and 16, making them tough to trust during the biggest fantasy games of the year, if you make it that far of course. They may not be the defense you want long term, but it should be interesting to see how long they can hold down that number one spot.

Streaming Defenses of the Week

The first two games of Marcus Mariota's career have been a tale of two games. Now he goes up against Andrew Luck, who I believe will get the Colts out to a lead, forcing Mariota into passing the ball. It's hard to predict game flow, but you should take your chances with the rookie quarterback.

A deep streamer for this week is the Atlanta Falcons. They are hard to trust, but going up against the Cowboys with Brandon Weeden leading the charge, they have a chance to force some turnovers.

Injury Notes

Just as last week, Luke Kuechly is doubtful to play Sunday due to a concussion. They scored 21 fantasy points against the Jaguars in week one, but only four points when he didn't play against the Houston Texans the following week. They have a great matchup against the Saints if Drew Brees doesn't play, and even if he does play, the Saints offense has been surprisingly poor.

Darrelle Revis of the Jets is listed as day-to-day with a groin injury. Revis told the New York Post he has no idea if he will play Sunday. If so, the Jets defense would dip in the rankings by a couple spots.

A pair of Eagles linebackers in Mychal Kendricks and Kiko Alonso may both miss their upcoming game against the Jets. Kendricks is questionable while Alonso is listed as out indefinitely.

Rank Team Opponent
1
2 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
3 Houston Texans vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4 New York Jets vs. Philadelphia Eagles
5 Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins
6 Denver Broncos at Detroit Lions
7 vs. New Orleans Saints
8 Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills
9 vs. Oakland Raiders
10
11 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
12 Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
13 Green Bay Packers
14 Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets
15 Indianapolis Colts
16 Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals
17 Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys
18 Minnesota Vikings
19 Detroit Lions vs. Denver Broncos
20 New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
21 Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns
22 San Diego Chargers at Minnesota Vikings
23 San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals
24 Pittsburgh Steelers at St. Louis Rams
25 Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons
26 Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts
27 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans
28 Kansas City Chiefs at Green Bay Packers
29 Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks
30 Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots


Final Notes

The Houston Texans have been one of the most disappointing defenses throughout these first two weeks. I rank them third going against rookie quarterback Jameis Winston, but if they fail to produce again, it may be time to downgrade this group. They should be given a real chance against the Buccaneers because they still have their key players healthy, which includes J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing, Jadeveon Clowney, Vince Wilfork, Rahim Moore, and Jonathan Joseph. And as John McClain of the Houston Chronicle puts it, "turnovers and poor kickoff and punt coverage gave Kansas City and Carolina exceptional field position, including on touchdown drives that tarted at the Texans' 12, 7 and 36."

The Miami Dolphins offense is missing a key player on the offensive line in left tackle Brandon Albert. Last week, Albert's fill in, Jared Odrick gave up a key sack near the end of the game to propel the Jaguars to an upset victory. Miami Herald writer Adam H. Beasley notes that last season, Albert played in nine games and gave up 17 sacks. In the seven games he missed, the team gave up 29 sacks. The Bills at home in week 1 against the Colts, they finished with two sacks and two interceptions. That should be the minimum they get against Ryan Tannehill.

In 2014, the Bengals defense did well against Joe Flacco, collecting three interceptions and allowing one touchdown in their two meetings. As for the Ravens defense, they struggled last week against the Oakland Raiders, as Derek Carr threw for 351 yards and three touchdown passes. It was their first week without defensive leader Terrell Suggs who is out for the season.