Fantasy Football Week 2 Rankings: Defenses

Michael WhooleySenior Writer ISeptember 19, 2009

DETROIT - DECEMBER 07:  (L-R) Kevin Williams #93 and Pat Williams #94 of the Minnesota Vikings watch from the sidelines during the NFL game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 7, 2008 in Detroit, Michigan.  The Vikings defeated the Lions 20-16. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Week One is in the books for the NFL, and we now have something other than projections to base our rankings on. Before heading to the Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week 2 Defensive Rankings, let’s first acknowledge it is not time to panic after just one week of your fantasy football season.

Generally, you draft your defense because you have faith in them for the entire season. You should not drop whoever you own and start playing match ups until you’ve seen a few games and noted things are not looking up. With that being said, this weeks rankings will be based on Week One stats along with continued projections. As we head into the article, I would like to explain the “Bruno Boys Star System”.


5-Stars (* * * * *)—Bruno Boys Top Plays of the Week

4-Stars (* * * *)—Bruno Boys Very Solid Plays of the Week

3-Stars (* * *)—Bruno Boys Average Plays of the Week

2-Stars (* *)—Bruno Boys Try to Avoid Playing this Week

1-Star (*)—Bruno Boys Do Not Start Unless You COMPLETELY Have To

Key Abbreviations: YPG (Yards Per Game); PPG (Points Per Game)

1. (Minnesota Vikings)
@ Detroit Lions

Yes, the Lions lost yet again. Sure, the defense who plays them are likely to be a good start.

The Vikings are a top play for this week, but it’s not just because of the match-up. They simply have a strong defense led by a fantastic d-line. The Lions’ offense could be compared to the one the Vikings faced in Week One, the Cleveland Browns. Minnesota gave up 268 yards total to Cleveland, with most of those coming through the air (179).

With a rookie QB making mistakes in his first start (against a weak Saints defense), Matthew Stafford could be in for a long day. Expect Minnesota to keep the pressure on the Lions as they did the Browns, when they totaled five sacks. 

Bruno Boys Stars: *****

2. (Washington Redskins) vs. St. Louis Rams

While the Redskins lost their first game against the Giants, their defense showed promise but didn’t do anything outstanding as they forced just a couple turnovers, recorded one sack, and gave up 351 yards.

Expect awesomeness in Week Two, however, as they face a Rams team this week that got shut out in Week One and whose offense looked downright putrid, totaling 247 yards. Washington’s defense will dominate this game from start to finish.

Bruno Boys Stars: *****

3. (Seattle Seahawks) @ San Francisco 49ers

The Seahawks' defense was very impressive in Week One against a divisional foe, pitching a shut out while only allowing 247 yards of offense.

While the 49ers beat the reigning NFC Champs, their offense was less than impressive against a meager defense, as they totaled 203 yards. Seattle’s defense was picked as a sleeper defense coming into the year, and they will continue to shine through the second week of the season.

Bruno Boys Stars: *****

4. (Green Bay Packers) vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The move from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 for the Packers went a lot better than most people thought it would. The Packers forced new Bears quarterback Jay Cutler into throwing four interceptions and racking up a couple sacks.

The Bengals offense was supposed to be rejuvenated heading into the year and were expected to blow up the scene against a weak Denver team. Instead, they did nothing but shoot blanks. The Bengals haven’t had too much success against 3-4 defenses, and this will continue this week.

Bruno Boys Stars: ****

5. (Pittsburgh Steelers) @ Chicago Bears

The Steelers didn't do well in Week One, giving up 320 yards, forcing two turnovers, and only getting one sack.

With the way the Bears looked in Week One, though, expect a significant upgrade from the preseasons’ top ranked defense.

Cutler will need to improve his reads of a 3-4 defense, but that will be hard as he will see added pressure from a mastermind in defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. The Steelers are without Troy Polamalu, but the way the Bears looked against the Packers, it may not matter.

Bruno Boys Stars: ****

6. (Denver Broncos) vs. Cleveland Browns

Did the Denver Broncos defense, who many ranked near the bottom of the league going into the season, really only give up seven points this past week? There is a lot of doubt as to whether those numbers can continue, but for one more week, it’s tough to say they won’t. Denver gave up 307 yards in Week One, but also recorded two interceptions and three sacks.

Going up against a Browns offense still trying to find their way, the Broncos are worth a flier if you are need of a spot start defense this week.

Bruno Boys Stars: ****   

7. (Tennessee Titans) vs. Houston Texans

The Houston Texans were supposed to be an explosive offense with a healthy Matt Schaub throwing to the dynamic Andre Johnson, with the electric Steve Slaton in the backfield, but that wasn’t the case in Week One. The Tennessee Titans gave up a low 36 rushing yards last week, but a high of 321 pass yards.

Could this be a recipe for Houston to get back on track, or for the Titans to develop their overall defense? Expect the latter, as Tennessee’s defensive line looks as strong as a year ago, while the Texans offense looked to be in a major funk putting up a total of 183 yards of offense against the Jets.

Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

8. (Arizona Cardinals) @ Jacksonville Jaguars

This may be a bit of a reach, but Arizona’s defense did a nice job against the 49ers in Week One, while the Jaguars offense struggled against the Colts. Arizona allowed a mere 203 yards of total offense while adding four sacks. The Jaguars couldn’t get their offense going against a mediocre Colts defense, gaining 228 yards.

With Jacksonville starting a young offensive line, Arizona’s defense should have success in Week Two.

Bruno Boys Stars: ****

9. (New York Giants) @ Dallas Cowboys

The Giants did very well in Week One against a good Redskins team, allowing 272 yards and creating three sacks, three turnovers, and scoring a touchdown. The Cowboys offense looked impressive against the Bucs, gaining 462 yards.

Who wins this battle of offense versus defense? It could go either way, but look for the defense to come out ahead on this one.

Bruno Boys Stars: ***

10. (Indianapolis Colts) @ Miami Dolphins

The Colts defense did well in Week One, allowing 228 yards and 12 points. Miami’s offense was a disaster against Atlanta, with four turnovers. The Dolphins do have playmakers on offense, but Indy’s defense should be a good spot start for this week.

Bruno Boys Stars: ***

11. (Baltimore Ravens) @ San Diego Chargers

Baltimore’s defense wasn’t stout against the Chiefs last week, as they allowed 24 points. They did play well in allowing the third lowest amount of yards at 188. This may be a dangerous match-up, but after seeing the Chargers' offense struggle against the Raiders, you have to like the Ravens' defense to at least be an average play this week, which is where we rank them.

Bruno Boys Stars: ***

12. (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. New Orleans Saints

The Eagles were the best defense in Week One, allowing a league low 169 yards, forcing five sacks, seven turnovers, and scoring two touchdowns. The Saints were the best offense in Week One, putting up 45 points on 515 yards.

What can you expect from this match-up? Well, New Orleans will score, but the Eagles’ defense will still put up decent numbers. This match-up can be seen as a risky play, but you should at least get average numbers out of Philly.

Bruno Boys Stars: ***