Fantasy FootbalL Week Three Rankings: Defenses

Michael WhooleySenior Writer ISeptember 26, 2009

GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 15:  Linebacker A.J. Hawk #50 of the Green Bay Packers plays defense against the Cleveland Browns during the preseason game at Lambeau Field on August 15, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Two Weeks down and hopefully you are making the moves necessary to keep you at the top of the standings. Defenses have been tough to predict thus far, with some teams exceeding expectations and others not living up to their potential.

While you should stay with your defense if they were a top five unit entering 2009, you could start to look at match-ups against some of the worst offenses in the NFL.

With that being said, this weeks rankings will be based on the first 2 weeks of the seasons stats along with continued projections. As we head into the Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week 3 Defensive Rankings, 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.  (Green Bay Packers) @ St. Louis Rams

The Packers defense struggled against the Bengals after they dominated Jay Cutler and the Bears in Week 1. They couldn’t pick a better week to bounce back than against a Rams offense that has one touchdown in two games.

St. Louis is terrible on offense, averaging 246 yards and 3.5 points per game thus far. With the Packers forcing turnovers (they have 6 interceptions thus) and creating pressure (4 sacks), expect a big game out of the Packers defense.

Bruno Boys Stars: * * * * *

2. (Baltimore Ravens) vs. Cleveland Browns

Yes, the Ravens have more play-makers on defense than the Packers and are facing a statistically worse offense (Browns have averaged 234 yards and 13 points).

The reason they are behind Green Bay though is because Cleveland has more potential on offense to score and Baltimore has only forced 2 interceptions and made 5 sacks. While both are fantastic plays, we get the feeling Baltimore will be second best on Sunday.

Bruno Boys Stars: * * * * *

3. (Denver Broncos) @ Oakland Raiders

The Broncos defense, which was supposed to be terrible, has been surprisingly good through the first two weeks of the season. Denver has allowed the second least amount of yards in the NFL, averaging 253.5 yards, and compiling 7 sacks.

Now Denver takes on another terrible offense, as the Oakland Raiders may have a decent ground game but can’t do a thing through the air. While it is tough to say the Broncos are a good defense for the entire year (they have not been tested), they are worthy of a start this week.

Bruno Boys Stars: * * * * *

4. (New York Jets) vs. Tennessee Titans

It looks as though the Jets defense will be a must start no matter what offense they play after shutting down two teams who have explosive offenses in the Houston Texans and New England Patriots.

The Jets have given up an average of 241 yards and 8 points in their two games and have yet to give up a touchdown. While the touchdown streak may end this week, their defense will continue to put up solid numbers and hold opponents to a low score.

Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

5. (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. Kansas City Chiefs

The Eagles went from being one of the best defenses in Week 1 to one of the worst in Week 2. Their 295 yard average is respectable but their 29 points per game is not. With the pressure Philadelphia can put on a team (7 sacks in two games) which creates turnovers (8 total), this team should get back on track against a Chiefs team still trying to find its identity.

After being sliced and diced by the Saints, the Eagles will be motivated and ready to play.

Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

6. (New York Giants) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Giants defense, ranked in the top 3 coming into the year, has been less than stellar in two games against their divisional foes. New York has given up 325 yards and 24 points per game while only recording 3 sacks. The one thing the team has done is create turnovers, which they have 6 of.

Tampa Bay has been surprisingly strong on offense, averaging 401.5 yards per game but haven’t played a great defense like the Giants so far (Dallas and Buffalo). Even without Kenny Phillips, expect New York to turn up the heat and have a strong day on defense.

Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

7. (Washington Redskins) @ Detroit Lions

You could say the Redskins defense deserves to be higher in Week 3, but in all reality the Detroit Lions have play-makers on offense that can put up some big numbers.

Overall, the Redskins defense has done a nice job having allowed just 298 yards and 15 points per game over 2 weeks. This defense should have success for a second straight week and can be used as a middle of the road D/ST 1 this week.

Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *


8. (Minnesota Vikings) vs. San Francisco 49ers

Minnesota may have played two of the worst offenses in the NFL (Detroit and Cleveland) but did what they were supposed to do, allowing 266.5 yards and 16.5 points per game. Minnesota has totaled 7 sacks and 5 turnovers in those two wins.

Now the undefeated San Francisco 49ers come to town, and with the front four being Minnesota’s biggest strength, the team will look to shut down Frank Gore. When Gore doesn’t get going, the 49ers offense doesn’t get going. Expect a strong showing from Minnesota’s defense.

Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

9. (Chicago Bears) @ Seattle Seahawks

This high ranking is based on quarterback Matt Hasselbeck not playing in this game. Seattle’s offense is not the same without him in there and with the strong showing the Bears defense had against Pittsburgh after losing linebacker Brian Urlacher, you have to like their chances.

The Bears have allowed 267 yards and 17.5 points per game and should average about that this week. Chicago also has totaled 6 sacks in two contests and will likely continue their three sack per game average this week.

Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

10. (Pittsburgh Steelers) @ Cincinnati Bengals

The Steelers are putting up decent numbers, allowing 297.5 yards and 13.5 points per game. The team is really missing Troy Polamalu though, which was evident in their loss to Chicago and the lack of pressure they have been getting.

Pittsburgh has only been able to total 2 sacks and 2 turnovers through two games. These aren’t the numbers you expected when you drafted them as the #1 defense this year.

While Cincinnati seemed to get their offense back on track in Week 2, they have never had much success against the Steelers. Pittsburgh seems to be the best of the average plays this week.

Bruno Boys Stars: * * *

11. (Cincinnati Bengals) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Ranking these two teams back to back when they play each other is tough but considering both are the best of what we consider average plays, you have to do so.

The Bengals defense has done a nice job limiting the Broncos and Packers, and if they can produce against Pittsburgh, they may be fantasy football worthy the rest of the season.

Cincinnati has allowed 306.5 yards and 18 points per game but the big reason they have been successful is their league leading 9 sacks (7 of which coming from Antwan Odom).

With the Steelers offensive line being so weak, they will once again be dialing up all kinds of pressure.

Bruno Boys Stars: * * *

12. (Oakland Raiders) vs. Denver Broncos

This may be a bit of a reach, but the Raiders have done a nice job in the two weeks to start the season on defense. While they may have given up 363 yards per game, they have only allowed 17 points per contest.

They have recorded 5 sacks and 4 turnovers in that time and have been led by their strong defensive line play. Denver has yet to really put it together offensively, only scoring 19.5 points per game.

While this could be a bit of a high ranking, consider Oakland a good waiver wire plug-n-play this week.

Bruno Boys Stars: * * *


13. (Tennessee Titans) @ New York Jets

The Titans pass defense has been terrible to date, allowing both Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Schaub to throw for over 300 yards each. Their run defense has been stout though (giving up a mere 49.5 yards per game) and with the Jets coming to town, this may be a good game to right the ship.

Quarterback Mark Sanchez has looked good early on but will have the pressure on him when his running game doesn’t get going. Tennessee is an average play this week but has a lot of upside.

Bruno Boys Stars: * * *

14. (Seattle Seahawks) vs. Chicago Bears

This ranking depends a lot on the injuries to Seattle’s defense. If Marcus Trufant and Lofa Tatupu can play, they are worthy of an average start. If not, you may want to avoid plugging them in this week.

Seattle has given up 313 yards and 11.5 points per game so far this season but are helped by the strong performance in Week 1 versus the Rams in which they didn’t give up a point.

The defense played well against the 49ers until Tatupu left, which left a gaping hole in the middle of the defense. This is why you must get on the Bruno Boys Live Chat to see who is in and who is out on game day.

Bruno Boys Stars: * * *

15. (San Francisco 49ers) @ Minnesota Vikings

The 49ers have been a pleasant surprise so far all over the field, but their defense thus far has played phenomenal against two above average offenses in Arizona and Seattle.

In their two games, San Francisco has given up 291 yards and 13 points per contest. If they can somehow stop running back Adrian Peterson, they will finish the day well above this ranking, but regardless of how good your rushing defense is stopping AP is a tough task.

Bruno Boys Stars: * * *


For the rest of the Week 3 Defensive Rankings, click HERE!