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Week 1 Defense/Special Teams Rankings

The 2016 season is upon us and it's time to set those week 1 lineups. Use this as a guide to help you gain some extra points to bring yourself a win by the time the final whistle blows on Monday night.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It's the most wonderful time of the year, folks, and I'm not talking about stockings and candy canes. It's fantasy football time so get your lineups set before tonight's game kicks off. The rankings here are a combination of matchups and average rankings from our friends over at ESPN, yahoo.com, NFL.com and, of course, SB Nation. Keep in mind that it is Week 1 and we have yet to see how some new defenses pan out (looking at you Raiders and Giants). Use this as a guide to pick up a W and start your fantasy season right.

Week 1 Rank

Team

Opponent

1

Seattle

vs. MIA

2

Houston

vs. CHI

3

Arizona

vs. NE

4

Carolina

@ DEN

5

Denver

vs. CAR

6

Los Angeles

@ SF

7

Minnesota

@ TEN

8

Green Bay

@ JAX

9

Cincinnati

@ NYJ

10

Kansas City

vs. SD

11

New York Jets

vs. CIN

12

Philadelphia

vs. CLE

13

Buffalo

@ BAL

14

New York Giants

@ DAL

15

Oakland

@ NO

16

Pittsburgh

@ WAS

17

Tampa Bay

@ ATL

18

New England

@ ARI

19

Baltimore

vs. BUF

20

Jacksonville

vs. GB

21

San Francisco

vs. LA

22

Indianapolis

vs. DET

23

Detroit

@ IND

24

Atlanta

vs. TB

25

Tennessee

vs. MIN

26

Cleveland

@ PHI

27

Washington

vs. PIT

28

Chicago

@ HOU

29

Miami

@ SEA

30

Dallas

vs. NYG

31

San Diego

@ KC

32

New Orleans

vs. OAK

The top D/ST this week has to be the Seattle Seahawks playing at home against the Miami Dolphins. That stadium will be loud and that defense will be ready for Ryan Tannehill and the boys to come to town. Is this the year the Miami signal caller (finally) puts it all together? My money is on the Legion of Boom not letting that happen.

The Texans hosting the Chicago Bears should be another good matchup to keep an eye on. With the return of JJ Watt, a maybe healthy Jadeveon Clowney ready to prove he's worthy of the #1 overall pick status, and what could be a very good running game that will allow this unit to take extended rests, the Texans will look to make strides this year.

We saw what the Cardinals defense was capable of last season when they boasted a #2 DVOA ranking against the run and #4 against the pass. The addition of Jamie Collins from the visiting Patriots provides them even more front-7 depth. New England might be unsure just how well Jimmy Garoppolo will play, especially with Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu lurking in the secondary.

In the opening Super Bowl rematch, we have the Carolina Panthers trying to exact revenge on the Denver Broncos at Mile High. What makes this go around different from the last time? For starters, Peyton Manning is gone. I know what you're thinking, he was so ineffective that Cooper Manning could have been playing in Peyton's jersey and no one would've noticed. But he still had to be respected as a weapon and make the correct play calls at the line of scrimmage. Cam Newton also has his favorite 6'5" target back in Kelvin Benjamin. Game plans on both sides will have to adjust to accommodate those roster differences. Speaking of roster differences, we can't forget how much talent was poached from Denver and the results of that could be more drastic than initially thought.

Defenses to keep an eye on: Oakland, Green Bay, New York Giants