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Week 3 Defense/Special Teams Rankings

Here are your Week 3 defense/special teams rankings. Where does your team stack up?

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Week 3 is up next and defenses are starting to reveal who they truly are. Chicago returned a punt for a touchdown, but other than that special teams play has lacked luster. The big points for defenses in fantasy are turnovers returned for touchdowns and the top defenses have been doing that. If you're not lucky to have one of those, you'll have to look deeper into the numbers for points allowed and yards allowed. The Broncos are doing Broncos things, Oakland is a disaster, and the bell is about to sound for the Odell vs. Norman rematch! Week 3 defense rankings, here we go!

Week 3 Rank

Team

Opponent

Previous Week's Ranking

Notes

1

Denver Broncos

@CIN

2

Von Miller is averaging 2 sacks per contest, but we'll see how he fares without DeMarcus Ware. I would still say this defense is just as scary. CIN is only averaging under 3 yards per tote, though, so there should be plenty of sack opportunities here.

2

Minnesota Vikings

@CAR

4

MIN passed the GB test. And now they have to go on the road against CAR who has averaged over 40 pts/game at home over their last 7 home contests. This defense looks poised to hold them to under that, though.

3

Arizona Cardinals

@BUF

14

ARI forced 5 turnovers last week and looked like the team we thought they were going into the year. They now go up to face a reeling BUF team that just fired their Offensive Coordinator (for some reason).

4

Houston Texans

@NE

9

I'm not sure here if HOU is lucky to be playing NE's 3rd string QB, or if Bill Belichick will perform some typical NE voodoo. This is a D that can get after the QB though, and they'll need to here.

5

Seattle Seahawks

Vs. SF

1

SEA's D is trying their best to prop up the struggling offense. They'll continue to do so here as SF hasn't converted a 1st down on 50% of their drives this season.

6

Carolina Panthers

Vs. MIN

3

CAR almost collapsed to SF last week, but have still averaged 11 fantasy points per game so far. Without a healthy Adrian Peterson, CAR usually stout D will be focused on stopping Sam Bradford.

7

New York Giants

Vs. WAS

16

Two weeks in and the Giants are the only defense to not allow a play of 30+ yards. They have yet to force a pick or a fumble, but the poor play of Kirk Cousins may be a good opportunity to do that.

8

Cincinnati Bengals

Vs. DEN

15

The defending Super Bowl Champs finally have a road game so we'll get to see how their offense stacks up against this Bengals D that is not playing the run well. Exercise caution here.

9

Baltimore Ravens

@JAX

11

The Ravens are 2nd in the league in passing yards allowed and JAX's Allen Robinson hasn't been able to get anything going. BAL's in great shape to continue keeping him in check.

10

Green Bay Packers

Vs. DET

7

Damarious Randall got smoked last week, but at least they still lead the league in rushing yards allowed. With Theo Riddick taking over lead back duty for DET, they'll need to put a special emphasis on the pass. Hopefully, some home-cooking will remedy their pass game woes.

11

New England Patriots

Vs. HOU

8

NE is allowing an average of 401 yds/game so far this season, but their ability to force turnovers has helped keep this defense a float. HOU has a high-powered offense, but Brock Osweiler has already thrown 3 picks in 2 contests.

12

Philadelphia Eagles

Vs. PIT

10

PHI is second in points allowed per game (12), but they haven't exactly played the league's most elite offenses. PIT would qualify as an elite offense. Stay cautious if you plan on playing Philly. Big Ben was forced into 2 interceptions last week, so Philly has a chance to force some bad throws.

13

San Francisco 49ers

@SEA

17

SF got blasted by CAR last week, but this could actually be a little bit of a break for them. SEA has only managed to score one offensive TD. Russell Wilson could continue to struggle against SF's D which is a respectable 12th in passing yards allowed.

14

Pittsburgh Steelers

@PHI

21

Ryan Shazier looks like a budding star with 17 total tackles, a pick, and a forced fumble so far. This is also a defense that has only allowed 50.5 rushing yds/game. There pass defense still needs work though and rookie Carson Wentz has yet to throw a pick in 71 attempts.

15

New York Jets

@KC

5

The antithesis of their New York counterpart so far, the Jets have allowed 4 plays of over 50 yards in the passing game already. The good news? KC isn't exactly known for their deep passing game.

16

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vs. LAR

24

Last week, this defense allowed 4 TD's to the Cardinals. This week, they play a team that hasn't scored an offensive TD yet this season. Hopefully, this will inspire some confidence in this defense.

17

Los Angeles Rams

@TB

19

It's hard to tell if the Rams played more respectable defense last week or that they caught SEA on their slow start. They get Jameis Winston this week who just threw 4 picks. LAR may be picking up steam defensively, but their lack of turnovers won't bring big fantasy points.

18

Miami Dolphins

Vs. CLE

22

MIA's rush D is in the basement and they host a CLE team that's quietly in the top-8 in rushing so far. With unproven Cody Kessler now the (roughly) 541st starter at QB for CLE, they'll probably look to run a lot. Not good for this MIA D.

19

Tennessee Titans

Vs. OAK

27

TEN is in the middle of the pack for both rushing and passing so far (14th in both categories) and have managed 6 fantasy points this season. OAK in the meantime has averaged 31.5 ppg so far. I'd stay away from TEN's D here.

20

Chicago Bears

@DAL

23

CHI has been in the top-10 for total yards allowed thus far. But if DAL continues to unleash Dez Bryant and a confident Dak Prescott, the Bears will need their offense to help provide some relief. And that doesn't seem likely.

21

Kansas City Chiefs

Vs. NYJ

12

The Chiefs top corner, Marcus Peters, can be very paradoxical. He will get beat on one play, then make a great interception the next. If NYJ's receivers continue to have nagging injuries, then ‘interception Marcus Peters' should show up.

22

Washington Redskins

@NYG

18

I would play WAS's D just so I could watch the Josh Norman -€” Odell Beckham Jr. pay-per-view with a strong vested interest. WAS is in the bottom 5 for total yards allowed, though, so if I wanted to win I wouldn't.

23

Dallas Cowboys

Vs. CHI

26

Brian Hoyer will get the start against the Cowboys in Jerry World this week. If there's any chance for DAL to up their fantasy standing, it's here. Sleeper potential for deeper leagues.

24

Atlanta Falcons

@NO

29

In ppg and yards allowed per game, the Falcons are 27th and 29th, respectively. NO racked up 507 total yards in their first home contest in the Superdome. Advantage: Saints.

25

Buffalo Bills

Vs. ARI

6

The Bills have a defensive TD under their belts, but have allowed an average of 400 total yards to opposing offenses. With ARI finding their footing against TB the week before, it might be a rough Sunday for Rex and Company.

26

San Diego Chargers

@IND

31

SD has been surprisingly stout against the run in the first 2 weeks with an average of 76 rushing yards allowed. The passing game, however, is allowing a whopping 324.5 passing yards per game and the Colts have passed the ball 87 times compared to just 40 rushing attempts. Not a good weakness for the Chargers to have this week.

27

Detroit Lions

@GB

25

I'll take an angry Aaron Rodgers at home over a defense that is ranked 23rd in passing yards allowed and only has 1 pick to their name. Or is GB's offense really that bad?

28

Cleveland Browns

@MIA

28

CLE hasn't been terrible on defense, but they haven't been the best either. Allowing BAL back into the game last week has to be a real confidence killer and the offense is starting a rookie at QB. Already 29th in time of possession, the Browns likely won't hold on to the ball long enough to give this defense some rest unless they continue to run the ball well.

29

Jacksonville Jaguars

Vs. BAL

13

JAX has allowed 32.5 ppg and have been gashed on the ground. The investment in this defense hasn't shown itself and like their fellow check writers, Oakland, they're looking for answers.

30

Oakland Raiders

@TEN

20

Is this really the defense that Reggie McKenzie paid for? They've allowed 34.5 pts/game and their corners can't cover. Who knows if they can right the ship?

31

Indianapolis Colts

Vs. SD

30

SD has been a top-3 rushing team so far while IND is 29th in rushing yards allowed. SD's offense has been rolling with Phillip Rivers' high play so far and I don't expect this defense to slow them down.

32

New Orleans Saints

Vs. ATL

32

The only team that has allowed more total yards per game on average than the Saints is OAK. And OAK got obliterated by Matt Ryan to the tune of 396 yards through the air last week. You have all been put on Shootout Alert.