Fantasy Football Week 5 Rankings: Defenses

Michael WhooleySenior Writer IOctober 9, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 27: Jared Allen #69 of the Minnesota Vikings hits Shaun Hill #13 of the San Francisco 49ers in the chest after he passes the ball at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 27, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the 49ers 27-24. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Defenses have been more valuable then ever this season, as there have been many who put up top scores for all fantasy football players on certain weeks. While it is nice having one defense you don’t have to worry about, this may be the year where playing the waiver wire each week for a defense isn’t a bad thing. That makes the Defense/Special Teams rankings every week more important then ever before. Let’s hope we can once again point you in the right direction and to find out who will be a great plug-n-play simply read the Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week 5 Defensive Rankings.


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) @ St. Louis Rams

Did anyone happen to see what the Vikings defense, and in particular defensive end Jared Allen, did to Green Bay on Monday Night? Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was under pressure all night, and Allen recorded 4.5 sacks and forced a fumble. Did you also see how badly the Rams offense played against the 49ers defense? San Francisco’s defense/special teams recorded 3 total touchdowns, which was more than their entire offense. Any defense playing the Rams is a must start unless they show signs of turning it around. Considering the Vikings are already solid, they should produce a field day.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * * *

2. (New York Giants) vs. Oakland Raiders

The Giants have the best defense in the NFL, allowing a total of 232.3 yards of offense per game this season. The Raiders are the worst offense in the NFL, totaling 208.5 yards per game. Does that spell mismatch? You bet. New York should handle the Raiders offense with ease this Sunday, especially with their only good player on offense (Darren McFadden) out of the lineup. Expect minimal yards gained and the Giants to put stellar numbers across the board.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * * *

3. (Pittsburgh Steelers) @ Detroit Lions

The Steelers were the unanimous first defense chosen in drafts this season and have yet to perform like the best. The injury to Troy Polamalu has limited their blitzing attack and allowed other teams to attack through the air. No matter who lines up behind center on Sunday, Matthew Stafford or Daunte Culpepper, they will struggle regardless if Polamalu plays or not. Pittsburgh will shut down running back Kevin Smith and corner Ike Taylor has shown he can cover top receivers, which means Calvin Johnson may be in for a long day. That means Pittsburgh may be able to bring more pressure and finally start racking up some points on defense. The Steelers may only have two sacks per game, but are still the fifth best in yards allowed at 279.8 per contest.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * * *

4. (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After a bye week, the Eagles couldn’t have picked a better opponent to get warmed back up. Tampa Bay is already starting their second quarterback and has had injuries to both the running back and wide receiver position. The Eagles defense meanwhile has been excellent outside the Saints game, allowing 262 yards per game while adding 10 sacks. Philadelphia should have no problem being a dominant force this Sunday.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * * *

5. (Dallas Cowboys) @ Kansas City Chiefs

Dallas’ defense has been atrocious so far this year, allowing a whopping 371.3 yards per game and getting 6 sacks and 4 turnovers. One thing they have done though is not allowed their opponent in the end zone, as teams have scored an average of 19.6 points on them. The hideous numbers should make you wonder why they should be recommended, but the only reason to play Dallas is because their opponent is so bad. Kansas City can’t get anything going on offense, only putting up 246.5 yards and 16 points per game. Their running attack is terrible and you might as well sign yourself up to play receiver for this team because quarterback Matt Cassel has no one to throw to. Almost every week, the defense playing one of the 5 mentioned teams should be a start in fantasy football no matter who it is.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

6. (New York Jets) @ Miami Dolphins

The Jets may have lost last Sunday for the first time but here is something you may not realize. The Jets defense held the high powered Saints attack to only seven points all game, with the New Orleans defense scoring the other two. In fact, that touchdown did not come until the 4th quarter, with 6 minutes remaining in the game. Miami may have gotten their offense jump started, but they will need quarterback Chad Henne to play near perfect football with all the pressure he will be facing. The Jets defense allows 277.8 yards and 14.3 points per game.  They are a must start every week no matter the matchup at hand.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

7. (Indianapolis Colts) @ Tennessee Titans

With Dwight Freeney playing last week in limited action, he should be able to be a full participant this week in this divisional matchup. That is big news, as the pressure he creates off the edge makes up for safety Bob Sanders not playing. Tennessee has struggled on both sides of the ball this season. The only weapon that has produced for them so far is running back Chris Johnson and with teams knowing this, it allows for the defense to scheme around him. The Colts give up 308.3 yards per game but a very low 15.5 points per game. Indianapolis does a great job of applying pressure with 12 sacks on the year, which leads to turnovers, as they have six. This is a very favorable matchup for the Colts against the struggling Titans.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

8. (Washington Redskins) @ Carolina Panthers

If only the Redskins offense could step up like their defense has been able to do so far, they may be in contention. Washington’s defense has had some favorable matchups, but has performed quite well this season. They have seven sacks and five turnovers, and allow 301.5 yards and 15.5 points per game. The Panthers do not seem like the team who ran the ball down everyone’s throats of a year ago, as they have amassed 293.3 yards and 12.3 points per game. Their quarterback can’t stop turning the ball over and the offensive line doesn’t seem to want to protect. Until Carolina gets its offense turned around, you have to like any defense that has some skill to be a good play.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

9. (New England Patriots) @ Denver Broncos

New England’s defense has proven over the last two weeks it can stop good offenses, as both Atlanta and Baltimore did not blow up the stat sheet. The Patriots have allowed 287.5 yards (only 95.3 on the ground) and 17.8 points per game. The Patriots defense has eight sacks and four fumble recoveries, but the scary number is the 1 interception they have made so far. Denver’s offense relies heavily on the run, with 148 of their 376 yard average coming though the running game. With the Patriots being tougher on the ground, this looks like a good matchup play for the Patriots. However, with old offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels now the coach of the Broncos, it has to keep you questioning how much that affects the game. Even with that being said, you still have to like New England’s defense to be an average play with a lot of upside, which gives them an extra star.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

10. (Baltimore Ravens) vs. Cincinnati Bengals

No one really talks about the Ravens defense without Rex Ryan being there, but they are still a potent bunch. They have created 10 sacks and seven turnovers in this young season, and don’t stop bringing pressure on opposing offenses. While Cincinnati’s offense has looked good at times, they will likely struggle to put up a lot of offense against Baltimore. After seeing the offense disappear in the second half of their game against a pathetic Cleveland team, it is tough to say they will show up ready to light the world on fire on the road. If you own the Ravens, you likely play them every week. No need to think twice about a possible change for one week.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

11. (Carolina Panthers) vs. Washington Redskins

Carolina’s defense has been terrible so far this year, giving up 362.3 yards and 29 points per game. They cannot create pressure with only four sacks and also cannot turn bad play into turnovers, with only four in their three games. The reason Carolina gets ranked so high though is because of the struggles the Redskins have had on offense. Washington has 325.3 yards and a minuscule 14 points per game. If there was ever a game for Carolina to get its defense back on track, it’s this one. The matchup allows Carolina to be an average play for this week. 
Bruno Boys Stars: * * *

12. (Denver Broncos) vs. New England Patriots

After playing so well on defense through three weeks, last week was supposed to be a good test for the Broncos defense. They were quite successful, holding Dallas to 10 points on 315 yards and creating five sacks and two turnovers. That elevates them to an average play against a really good offense in New England. If Denver can shutdown the Patriots, you may be able to start them on a weekly basis without worrying about the matchup. Denver has only allowed 239.8 yards and an amazing 6.5 points per game. They have 15 sacks and 10 turnovers in their four games.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * *