The San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears laid the defensive wood on the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys, respectively, in Week 4. After witnessing the strength of their performances and noting their matchups this week—San Francisco gets the Buffalo Bills at home, Chicago goes to the Jacksonville Jaguars—it’s nearly impossible not to rank them in the top two fantasy defenses for Week 5.
So that’s what I’m going to do.
The 49ers pitched a shutout in New York while getting three sacks and forcing four turnovers, returning one for a sort of fluky defensive score when Santonio Holmes kind of flung the ball to the 49ers while reacting to an injury that has ultimately taken him out for the season.
That’s not going to happen every week.
In Week 5, they will face a Buffalo squad quarterbacked by a guy who threw four interceptions last week.
Chicago is the highest-scoring fantasy defense in ESPN standard leagues through four weeks, and it’s not even close.
They lead the second-place Texans by 10 points.
The Jaguars, meanwhile, are allowing even more points to fantasy D/STs this season than the Bills are. The Bears will be on the road, again, while the 49ers will be at home, so I have San Francisco ranked higher this week.
The Bears are No. 2.
Here’s the rest of the list.
3. New York Giants (vs. Cleveland Browns)
The Giants didn’t force a turnover against the Eagles in Week 4 for the first time this season.
The Browns have committed at least one turnover in every game this year. They’ve also given up defensive touchdowns in each of their two games on the road.
4. Houston Texans (at New York Jets)
The Jets offense is falling apart at the seams. The Houston defense has been playing very well and should take care of business yet again on Monday night.
5. St. Louis Rams (vs. Arizona Cardinals)
I don’t expect there to be a lot of offense in this game. The Rams defense is also underrated. St. Louis has eight interceptions in four games.
Kevin Kolb threw two picks last week to the Miami Dolphins at home.
6. Minnesota Vikings (vs. Tennessee Titans)
7. Baltimore Ravens (at Kansas City Chiefs)
8. Arizona Cardinals (at St. Louis Rams)
9. Atlanta Falcons (at Washington Redskins)
10. Seattle Seahawks (at Carolina Panthers)
11. Green Bay Packers (at Indianapolis Colts)
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
13. New England Patriots (vs. Denver Broncos)
14. Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Chicago Bears)
15. Philadelphia Eagles (at Pittsburgh Steelers)