2012 Fantasy Football Week 14: Team Defense Rankings / Projections

Sean E. DouglasSenior Writer IIIDecember 4, 2012

Oct 7, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) pushes off Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) during the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. The Seahawks defeated the Panthers 16-12. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

What an interesting week for team defenses as some regular options we would look to as possible starters are playing in unfavorable matchups. Unless they want to roll the dice on games like the Patriots against the Texans, fantasy owners will be looking to options usually left on the waiver wire this week.

One situation we have to keep a close eye on is the Seahawks as their starting cornerbacks are expected to face a four-game suspension at some point. However, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, they should play this week. In a tasty matchup against the Cardinals at home, Seattle would be a shoe-in as a top five fantasy defense if their corners are active.

After that we will be looking at contests like the Jets playing the Jaguars or possibly the Rams taking on the Bills as possible opportunities for start-worthy defensive squads.

What Did We Learn From Week 13?

—Bad luck was the reason for Arizona even posting two field goals against the Jets last week. One of the scoring drives was because of a fake punt that Arizona ran for about 40 yards to set up a late first-half attempt. The second was on a Jets fumble deep in New York territory.

While New York only sacked Ryan Lindley one time, they were dominant in this game and were able to overcome three Mark Sanchez interceptions without giving up a point on the subsequent Bills drives.

—Even without Jonathan Joseph, the Texans defense embarrassed Jake Locker. They confused the young quarterback—sacking him six times, intercepting him three times and forcing two fumbles as well. Like Christian Ponder in Minnesota, Locker is still considered the “future” quarterback of the team and with that in mind we can understand why both teams failed to yank their struggling young quarterbacks.

While only completing 21 of his 45 pass attempts, we did see Locker sustain a few long drives towards the end of the game—one of which resulted in a Kenny Britt touchdown. Because of Locker’s struggles we must have the Titans on our radar for potential fantasy plays going forward. This week the Colts match up against them.

Sean’s Week 14 Watch List

—The Vikings put up a good fight against the Packers on the road last week but Christian Ponder decided not to show up to the party and they lost. At least Minnesota will be playing at home this week, and we should expect a more competitive game this time around as they face a Bears team that made quick work of them two weeks ago.

—The Broncos will make some big plays against the Raiders on Thursday night and are worthy of starting in your lineup as a top five defense this week. Keep an eye on Darren McFadden’s progress as he has a history of big games against Denver, but on a short week I have to feel like he’s unlikely to play.

1 49ers Dolphins
2 Bears @ Vikings
3 Broncos @ Raiders
4 Steelers Chargers
5 Seahawks Cardinals
6 Vikings Bears
7 Jets @ Jaguars
8 Chargers @ Steelers
9 Cardinals @ Seahawks
10 Jaguars Jets
11 Bills Rams
12 Browns Chiefs
13 Colts Titans
14 Packers Lions
15 Rams @ Bills

Week 14 Standard Rankings – QB | RB | WR | K | D |