Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top Defensive Matchups This Weekend
Defense also wins fantasy football championships.
And Week 6 of the 2012 NFL season, interestingly enough, offers quite a few favorable defensive matchups from all over.
One that cannot go unnoticed is the Houston Texans hosting the Green Bay Packers. Yes, it's the Packers with Aaron Rodgers and a proven explosive attack.
Houston, though, is rising fast with guys like J.J. Watt and Brooks Reed in Wade Phillips' front seven. Lest we forget about Green Bay's struggles, the Pack have averaged just 22.4 points per game this year.
So along with Houston, let's see the best defensive matchups given from another week in pro football.
5. Minnesota Vikings (at Redskins)
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Jared Allen and the Minnesota Vikings are an underrated defense.
Although Minnesota ranks No. 15 against the pass, this defense is No. 6 against the run and allows only 304.2 total yards per contest.
In addition, Allen and Co. have given up just 33 points in the previous three games and it's no surprise the Vikings are 4-1. This week, Minnesota travels to our nation's capital to play Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins.
For as potentially explosive as the Redskins have proven to be at time, Washington is still rather inconsistent in the passing game. RG3 has only been sacked 11 times, although that number would be higher if it weren't for his mobility.
Well, pressure is the core of what makes Minnesota so tough. With 14 sacks through five games, Allen will get his, and when double-teamed, that simply frees up someone else. Include a secondary capable of locking Washington's receivers down one-on-one and multiple turnovers will occur.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Lions)
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At first glance, this may not appear like a mismatch.
Because of how stellar the Detroit Lions are at throwing the rock, the Philadelphia Eagles may be at a disadvantage.
This, however, is not the case.
For one, the Eagles have significantly improved against the pass at all levels compared to last season. They also present one of the NFL's deepest and most talented defensive fronts to get quarterback pressure.
As for Detroit, exclude the aerial assault and the Lions offense remains a question mark. The ground game has yet to find a rhythm to build off the passing attack, which has kept Detroit one-dimensional.
The pass protection has been solid, but no receivers after Calvin Johnson have stepped up. Philly's dominance in one-on-one situations controls throughout and minimizes any damage from the Motor City's Stafford-to-Johnson connection.
3. Houston Texans (vs. Packers)
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The Houston Texans would normally be higher; however, we still have to keep in mind that they're going against Aaron Rodgers.
As the reigning NFL MVP, Rodgers is definitely having a down year through five games.
Still, the Texans have only faced one elite quarterback in Peyton Manning. And as we know, Manning missed all of 2011. Therefore, Rodgers will certainly be Houston's toughest challenge yet.
That being said, it's a two-way street because the Packers haven't faced a defense quite like the Texans either. Houston is awesome at rushing the passer and slowing down anything on the ground.
In turn, the coverage blankets emphatically well whether it's zone or man. Expect Rodgers to spread the field and utilize quick-developing plays because his pass protection hasn't been entirely consistent in 2012.
Green Bay's lack of a rushing offense will get suffocated throughout, so Titletown's offensive production rests with Rodgers' ability to read pre-snap and make audibles. Nevertheless, the Texans present too much disciplined talent across the board and their front seven controls the line of scrimmage all night long.
2. Arizona Cardinals (vs. Bills)
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The Buffalo Bills turn the ball over too much.
Also, the Arizona Cardinals bring a nice pass rush and are capable of locking down in man coverage to totally limit Buffalo's offense.
Not to mention the fact that the Bills have dealt with durability issues at running back and the Cardinals allow an average of just 3.6 yards per carry. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been inconsistent and turnover-prone, so anticipate Patrick Peterson and Adrian Wilson to attack the ball when challenged.
If anything, Arizona needs to be concerned with Buffalo's ground game because Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are capable of exploding for multiple big plays. Unfortunately for Buffalo, after a fast start on the ground, it has been stuffed in recent week.
Therefore, the Cardinals need to stack the box and use man coverage with a Cover-1 safety. This forces the Bills to throw more and Fitzpatrick's receivers to make plays against a solid Arizona secondary.
In short, advantage Cardinals.
1. Atlanta Falcons (vs. Raiders)
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The Oakland Raiders and Atlanta Falcons is a polarizing matchup.
Oakland struggles to run the ball at times, but Darren McFadden has big play potential as we saw against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Plus, the Falcons' defensive weakness is against the run as Atlanta has allowed an average of 5.4 yards per carry (ranked No. 31). So we can fully expect Run DMC to take control of this game from the start, right?
Well, not exactly.
Because the Dirty Birds field an opportunistic secondary, Atlanta can load the box and force Carson Palmer to outplay Matt Ryan. The Falcons, though, have a reliable pass rush and will create turnover opportunities for the coverage players.
The Raiders are a one-dimensional offense and with Atlanta's offense putting up points, Oakland won't be able to utilize McFadden as much to keep pace.
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