Fantasy Football Week 4: Top 15 Defense/Special Teams Rankings

Jamal Collier@@JCollierDAnalyst IIISeptember 24, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 09:  Cornerback Patrick Peterson #21 of the Arizona Cardinals prepares to take the field before the season opener against the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 9, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Carindals defeated the Seahawks 20-16. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

One of the league’s more historically ferocious defenses will be unavailable for play in fantasy football in Week 4. Mike Tomlin’s Pittsburgh Steelers (and Chuck Pagano’s Indianapolis Colts) will be out of action while the two teams have their Week 4 byes.

There are other defenses with favorable matchups at home. Five of them are my top five fantasy defenses for Week 4.


1. Arizona Cardinals (vs. Miami Dolphins)

The Cardinals are 3-0 on the season. They’ve gotten there largely on the legs of their defense. These guys went to New England in Week 2 and held the heralded Patriots’ offense to 18 points, picking Tom Brady off once.

In Week 3, the talented Philadelphia Eagles went down to Arizona and got handled by the Cardinals. Arizona allowed just six points defensively and forced three fumbles.

Oh, and they got those six points back. The Cardinals had a defensive score in Week 3 as well.


2. Baltimore Ravens (vs. Cleveland Browns)

The Ravens haven’t been as hot as the Cardinals recently, though they have played two of the same opponents already this season (Philadelphia and New England).

But Baltimore has forced six turnovers this season and scored a defensive touchdown in Week 1.

In Week 4, they will see the all-rookie backfield of Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson at home on a short week. The Ravens should have a big game.


3. Dallas Cowboys (vs. Chicago Bears)

The Cowboys have been doing work defending the pass in the early part of the season. If Jay Cutler isn’t able to keep his mistakes down, the Bears will have a very long day trying to move the football.

Dallas’ edge rushers should have the advantage over the Chicago offensive line while its defensive backs stay glued to the Bears’ receivers.


4. Houston Texans (vs. Tennessee Titans)

The Texans’ talented defense will welcome first-year starting quarterback Jake Locker to Houston. Locker had a fantastic day in Week 3 against the Detroit Lions at home, but the Texans’ defensive backs are much better than the guys Detroit had.


5. Green Bay Packers (vs. New Orleans Saints)

The last time the Packers were at home, they saw the Chicago Bears and absolutely harassed Jay Cutler. The Green and Yellow had seven sacks and four interceptions.

Green Bay may not duplicate those totals against Drew Brees and the Saints, but they should force New Orleans to play from behind and get after the quarterback.


6. Seattle Seahawks (at St. Louis Rams)

7. New England Patriots (at Buffalo Bills)

8. Atlanta Falcons (vs. Carolina Panthers)

9. San Francisco 49ers (at New York Jets)

10. New York Giants (at Philadelphia Eagles)

11. Miami Dolphins (at Arizona Cardinals)

12. Philadelphia Eagles (vs. New York Giants)

13. Denver Broncos (vs. Oakland Raiders)

14. St. Louis Rams (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Washington Redskins)