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Week 14 Defense/Special Teams Rankings

Week 14?! We're almost there, folks. Are you in the playoffs? Got a week left? On the outside looking in? You need these rankings.

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

It's either been a great fantasy regular season for you or it's been a terrible journey that's made you question why you play fantasy sports in the first place. There's really no middle ground. At week 14, you're either starting up your playoffs or nearing the beginning of your league's playoffs. Allow these rankings to put you one step closer to fantasy glory. In the words of the immortal Ricky Bobby: "If you ain't first, you're last!"

Rankings up top, notes at the bottom. Let's dive in.

Week 14 Rank

Team

Opponent

1

Minnesota Vikings

@JAX

2

Denver Broncos

@TEN

3

Baltimore Ravens

@NE

4

Arizona Cardinals

@MIA

5

Seattle Seahawks

@GB

6

Kansas City Chiefs

Vs. OAK

7

Philadelphia Eagles

Vs. WAS

8

New England Patriots

Vs. BAL

9

San Diego Chargers

@CAR

10

Detroit Lions

Vs. CHI

11

Dallas Cowboys

@NYG

12

New York Giants

Vs. DAL

13

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vs. NO

14

Buffalo Bills

Vs. PIT

15

Miami Dolphins

Vs. ARI

16

Houston Texans

@IND

17

Carolina Panthers

Vs. SD

18

Atlanta Falcons

@LAR

19

Tennessee Titans

Vs. DEN

20

Pittsburgh Steelers

@BUF

21

Los Angeles Rams

Vs. ATL

22

Cincinnati Bengals

@CLE

23

Washington Redskins

@PHI

24

Oakland Raiders

@KC

25

Green Bay Packers

Vs. SEA

26

New York Jets

@SF

27

Chicago Bears

@DET

28

Jacksonville Jaguars

Vs. MIN

29

Indianapolis Colts

Vs. HOU

30

New Orleans Saints

@TB

31

San Francisco 49ers

Vs. NYJ

32

Cleveland Browns

vs. CIN

The top 5-

The Vikings get the pleasure of playing Blake Bortles and his 15 interceptions this week. The defense hasn't been as elite as in prior weeks, but, well, it's Jacksonville. Play Minnesota.

With DeMarcus Ware getting back up to speed to add to the team's league leading sack total (36) this defense will try to carry the Broncos into the playoffs. Marcus Mariota and DeMarco Murray have been playing great ball, but this is a must win for Tennessee if they want to make the playoffs and they haven't passed those tests in recent memory.

Terrell Suggs won't say Tom Brady's name throughout the week leading up to their Monday Night showdown and I'm betting he's saving it so he can add a few in-game expletives to his name. With Elvis Dumervil being back in the fold, and Jimmy Smith coming back from an injury, the Ravens might just have one of the more complete defenses in football.

The Cardinals have had a rough go of it on offense, but their defense has been as good as any in the league. They're top-2 in total yards allowed (297.3) and top-4 in sacks (31). If you trust their offense not to turn it over to the Dolphins, then Arizona should be a solid play.

Seattle losing Earl Thomas might actually be a blow that they can't come back from. Last year, they played without Kam Chancellor to start the season and they looked awful. Now imagine it without the best safety in the league. Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett will provide one hell of a pass rush, but will it be enough this week against a suddenly-connecting Aaron Rodgers?

The 2nd tier (6-12)-

This tier is made up of teams that either have good defenses, but a bad matchup or have just started to slip up and tempered their expectations.

Kansas City is a great defense and once Dee Ford is fully healthy, the Ford-Justin Houston combo should be a terror. But there's no telling if we'll get that this week. They also play the Raiders who will get their points.

Philadelphia, New England and San Diego all have slipped recently and play offenses that can score. Yes, I know Baltimore's explosion of points from the week before could've been a fluke, but Justin Tucker can give them 18 easy.

The Lions, Giants and Cowboys are all presented with rivalry matchups with Detroit being the sleeper. Matt Barkley looks to get the start this week and the Bears have been very Bears-like this season. A good streaming option.

The rest-

Not seeing a whole lot of deep streaming options as a lot of the weaker offenses play a lot of the weaker defenses (See: SF vs. NYJ, CLE vs. CIN, IND vs. HOU). The Titans might have some sneaky upside against a Broncos team that may have to play Paxton Lynch again. If you have a defense out of this week's top-12 you might want to make a trade or throw up a Hail Mary with a good defense against a good offense and hope they hold their own (See: BUF vs. PIT).

And for those of you that have a bye this week in your league's playoffs: Nice.