Fantasy Football Week 12: Top 15 Defense/Special Teams Rankings
Fantasy football owners will have access to a couple of lottery tickets at the D/ST position in Week 12. Three quarterbacks are in line to get their first starts of the season on Sunday, which may result in a big-time performance for the opposition.
The fresh blood at the position includes guys like Chad Henne, Ryan Lindley and Charlie Batch. Potential beneficiaries—otherwise known as scheduled opponents—of those matchups are the Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams and Cleveland Browns, respectively.
Cleveland is the only one of the three that will be at home in Week 12, but it will face the most seasoned of the three new starters. Batch is 37 years old.
All three fantasy D/STs will have their place in the top 15 defenses for Week 12—but only one makes the top five.
6. Carolina Panthers (at Philadelphia Eagles).
7. Atlanta Falcons (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
8. Baltimore Ravens (at San Diego Chargers).
9. Minnesota Vikings (at Chicago Bears).
10. San Francisco 49ers (at New Orleans Saints).
11. Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Oakland Raiders).
12. San Diego Chargers (vs. Baltimore Ravens).
13. Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cleveland Browns).
14. Cleveland Browns (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers).
15. Tennessee Titans (at Jacksonville Jaguars).
5. Arizona Cardinals (vs. St. Louis Rams)
The St. Louis Rams aren’t putting up a ton of points these days: They have averaged 15 PPG in their last eight and turned the ball over in every game during that time. In six of the eight games, Rams opponents registered multiple sacks.
Arizona Cardinals kick returner extraordinaire Patrick Peterson has also had success against St. Louis, returning two punts for touchdowns in his first three career meetings with the Rams.
4. St. Louis Rams (at Arizona Cardinals)
The Arizona Cardinals will be starting rookie Ryan Lindley for the first time this season, throwing him to the wolves as the St. Louis Rams defensive line manhandled Arizona’s offensive front in Week 5. The Rams held Arizona to a season-low three points and sacked Kevin Kolb a season-high nine times.
They also forced a fumble.
3. Chicago Bears (vs. Minnesota Vikings)
The Chicago Bears D/ST was a fantasy buzz saw in its first nine games, topping the 20-fantasy-point threshold four times in ESPN standard scoring. In Week 11, the unit was unable to force a turnover for the first time all season against Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers.
It failed to register a single fantasy point.
Chicago’s Week 12 opponent, the Minnesota Vikings, have turned the ball over in five of their last six games. The Bears should be able to make fantasy noise on Sunday once again.
2. Seattle Seahawks (at Miami Dolphins)
The Miami Dolphins have turned the ball over seven times in their last two games, scoring a combined 17 points. Their opponents scored two touchdowns on defense in the same time, and they are not fantasy world-beaters at the D/ST position: the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills did that damage.
Seattle’s defense has forced five turnovers in its last two games and, although it has not scored a defensive touchdown all year, it has been a top-10 fantasy unit in terms of total fantasy points this season.
1. Denver Broncos (at Kansas City Chiefs)
Ladies and gentlemen: Your winner of the Fantasy Defense Facing the Kansas City Chiefs Award in Week 12 is the Denver Broncos D/ST. On the strength of 13 forced turnovers and five touchdowns scored by Denver’s D/ST in its last five weeks, the Broncos have the second-best fantasy defense on the season.
Kansas City, meanwhile, has consistently proved to be the most favorable matchup for opposing fantasy D/STs to face.
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