Fantasy Football Week 5: Pittsburgh Steelers and Defenses to Avoid

Ben LaymanCorrespondent IOctober 3, 2012

ORCHARD PARK, NY - AUGUST 25: Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reaches in to break up a pass intended for Scott Chandler #84 of the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on August 25, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

There are some defenses in the NFL you don't want to face in fantasy football.

Whether it's because they're due to dominate a favorable matchup, or because they're downright one of the best defenses in the NFL every year, fantasy football fans need to be aware of these nightmare scenarios.

It's easy to draft a quarterback like Matt Ryan, plug him in every week and not worry another second. However, even the best fantasy options deserve second-thought when facing some of the elite defenses in football.

If there's a player on your fantasy team facing one of these elite defenses, you may want to think twice about starting that player this week.

Here are a few defenses to avoid in fantasy football in Week 5.


Pittsburgh Steelers

The Philadelphia Eagles fly to Heinz Field this weekend in a battle for NFL bragging rights in Pennsylvania. It's a bad time for the Eagles to visit the Steelers, as Pittsburgh will likely see the return of star defenders James Harrison and Troy Polamalu. The Steelers are a completely different defense when Polamalu and Harrison are in the lineup.

The Steelers are also coming off of a bye week.  Pittsburgh has won four straight games coming off of bye weeks under head coach, Mike Tomlin. The Steelers' defense shut down the New York Jets' offense in Pittsburgh in Week 2, and the Eagles could be subjected to a similar beat down.

Vick's nine turnovers in four games stands as one of the worst ratios for any signal-caller in the NFL. Vick managed to escape Week 4 against the New York Giants without a turnover, which only makes it more likely that the other shoe will drop this week against Pittsburgh.

The Eagles are also dealing with breaking in backup center Dallas Reynolds. Protection issues should be expected from Philadelphia this weekend, as they try to figure out all of the exotic zone blitzes the Steelers are known to throw at offenses.

Fantasy owners should consider other options over Eagles players this week.


Houston Texans

The Houston Texans have breezed through four opponents so far in 2012. The offense receives much of the attention, but the defense has been the more consistent unit for this team. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has shown the ability to shut down different styles of offense.

The Texans will face the struggling New York Jets this week. The Jets don't offer much in fantasy to begin with, and that's especially true now that wide receiver Santonio Holmes is out with an injury.

Fantasy owners could be tempted by the matchup at home, but defense travels well in the NFL, and the New York Jets are a game away from becoming a complete disaster.

If you're unfortunate enough to have a New York Jets player on your fantasy team, it would be wise to bench that player for Week 5.


Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens have seen their defense play dominantly at times this year. This weekend's game against the Kansas City Chiefs will be one of those times.

Matt Cassel is close to playing himself out of his starting job, as he posts lower and lower quarterback ratings each week. Kansas City's offense has been inept for the most part in 2012, and its best moments have typically been when the game is already out of hand.

The San Diego Chargers went to Arrowhead last week and slapped the Chiefs around on both sides of the ball. The Ravens, a tougher team in the trenches on defense, should be expected to do the same thing this week.

Fantasy owners should start Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, and Jon Baldwin at their own risk. You've been warned.