Fantasy Football Week Four Rankings: Defenses

Michael WhooleySenior Writer IOctober 3, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 11:  Justin Tuck #91 of the New York Giants reacts after a saftey against the Philadelphia Eagles during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game on January 11, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Week Four is knocking at the door, which means the bye weeks are upon us and will be for the next seven weeks of the football season.

In looking for the favorable matchups to fill the void left by a bye week team, you will need to find a defense who won’t bring your team down.

That means these rankings will become more and more important the rest of the season, so stayed plugged into the Bruno Boys as we try to help steer you towards a championship with the Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week Four Defensive Rankings!

Bruno Boys Defensive 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. New York Giants
at Kansas City Chiefs

The Giants defense played incredible in Week Three, not allowing a single point on the board for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while holding them to 28 yards rushing and 58 yards passing.

The Giants have forced seven turnovers in only three games and still have yet to peak with their pressure packages, only averaging a sack per game.

Look for a strong showing similar to what they did last week against an anemic Chiefs offense.

Bruno Boys Stars: *****

2. San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

Things couldn’t get much worse for St. Louis, and the team who gets to benefit most against the beleaguered Rams is San Francisco.

The 49ers defense has done well so far this year, as they have not allowed big games to good offenses like Arizona and Minnesota.

Their six sacks and four interceptions demonstrate the pressure the 49ers have gotten up front, which should continue this week.

Bruno Boys Stars: *****

3. Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

The Bengals defense has been solid so far, registering a league high 10 sacks in three games. They have also held opponents to a respectable 18.7 points per game and allowed a mere 88.7 yards on the ground.

As good as those numbers are, their opponent is the best part this week. The Browns don’t have any idea what they want to do on offense, averaging 9.7 points per game and 218 yards per game.

Until the quarterback situation is settled and they can get their running game going, any defense playing Cleveland is a must start.

Bruno Boys Stars: *****

4. Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions

The Bears have been an above average defense so far, but what makes them standout this week is their nine sacks and four forced turnovers.

The Detroit Lions are a young team led by a rookie quarterback in Matthew Stafford who usually makes mistakes every game.

With the Bears putting up solid numbers against better teams, it should be expected that Chicago’s defense dominates in this one.

Bruno Boys Stars: ****

5. Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins

Buffalo has been a ho-hum defense so far but look at two of the three offenses they have played—the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints, who have the first two quarterbacks taken in most fantasy drafts.

Now, they get to play a second year pro that has never started a game in Chad Henne.

Sure, Buffalo’s defense has given up 117.3 yards per game on the ground and Miami loves running the ball. But, if you’re Buffalo, you will likely drop an extra man in the box to stop the run and see what Henne can do with his arm to beat you.

With a bunch of average plays defensively this week, rolling the dice on Buffalo may end up being worth the gamble.

Bruno Boys Stars: ****

6. Washington Redskins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington has had some great matchups the last couple weeks for their defense, and so far, they have only taken advantage of one of the two.

With the third and final game where you can play the Redskins D, will they come to play?

As long as the offense can keep them off the field for at least half the game, then yes. Surprisingly, what has hurt Washington is their inability to stop the run (127.7 yards per game), and lack of pressure (four sacks in three games).

With Tampa Bay starting a new quarterback, though, this may be the game Washington needs to turn things around.

Bruno Boys Stars: ****

7. Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

Okay, the Ravens defense played great against two terrible offenses in Kansas City and Cleveland but only average at best against San Diego.

Well, they get a good rating here because right now, New England has not looked as explosive on offense as they did a couple years back.

Baltimore’s seven sacks and six interceptions shows they are still getting pressure on the quarterback, and as we saw in the Patriots-Jets game, when that happens, New England’s offense tends to sputter.

Bruno Boys Stars: ***

8. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. San Diego Chargers

Pittsburgh’s defense has not been the best defense this season as originally projected, but they also have been without their best playmaker in Troy Polamalu.

The biggest problem for the Steelers is their inability to get to the quarterback, as they have only five sacks and have created just two turnovers.

Even with that being said, the Steelers have yet to play their best and usually create a lot of problems for the Chargers. If you have them, you have to keep rolling with them.

No need to look for a matchup. They are still a top-10 defense in almost every week they play.

Bruno Boys Stars: ***

9. Denver Broncos vs. Dallas Cowboys

Yes, the Denver Broncos haven’t played a premier offense (their opponents have included the Browns, Bengals, and Raiders), but for a defense that was supposed to be terrible, they’ve put up some respectable numbers.

Through three weeks, the team has allowed the least amount of yards (214.7) and points (5.3) per game, are tied for the most sacks in the NFL (10), and have created eight turnovers.

Now the real test comes against a Dallas Cowboys offense that is prone to turnovers but can rack up yards in a hurry. If Denver comes out of this game with stellar numbers, you may want to buy on this defense in a hurry.

Bruno Boys Stars: ***

10. Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee’s defense has been middle of the pack so far at best, but it has a good matchup in Week Four.

The Jaguars' strength is to give the ball to running back Maurice Jones-Drew and let him do the damage. With Tennessee only allowing 60.7 yards per game on the ground and Jacksonville only putting up 202.7 yards through the air, this seems like a good matchup play even if you have lost faith in the Titans.

Bruno Boys Stars: ***

11. New York Jets at New Orleans Saints

A good defense versus a good offense will likely see mixed results this Sunday. The Jets will want to pressure Drew Brees, forcing the Saints to keep their high flying aerial attack out of commission.

If the Saints can get their ground game going, the Jets will have to start playing less aggressive. This is going to be a terrific matchup to watch.

This will likely be as low as the Jets defense gets ranked all year, as they have been outstanding through three weeks of the season.

Bruno Boys Stars: ***

12. Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers

Minnesota’s defense has yet to see a big challenge with three games against struggling offenses (Lions, Browns, 49ers).

While the Packers offense led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers may be a good test, it still isn’t great, as Green Bay has yet to blow up the offensive stat sheet.

If you own the Vikings defense, you have to start them as they have been rock solid so far in totaling eight sacks and six turnovers in three games.

Bruno Boys Stars: ***






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