Fantasy Football Week Ten Rankings: Defenses

Michael WhooleySenior Writer INovember 13, 2009

GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 18: Kevin Smith #34 of the Detroit Lions is tackled by Ryan Pickett #79 and A.J. Hawk #50 of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on October 18, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Lions 26-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Welcome back! Welcome back to NFL play all those terrible teams who took Week 9 off (Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills). And, thank you for making it possible for fantasy owners to, once again, play the match ups.

This week you will see there are, indeed, a few favorable pairings in which you can go ahead and plug and play certain defenses. However, there are also some very good games between two quality teams in Week 10, putting you in a bind as to whether the unit you have played most of the year is worthy this week. Trust in the Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week 10 Defense Rankings below to help guide you in the decision making process.


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. (Baltimore Ravens) at Cleveland Browns

Given a bye week, you’d think the Browns would have figured out their starting quarterback and then planned an attack to beat the Ravens and practice it for two weeks. Instead, they wait until after Week 9, waiting until Monday to name a starter. Baltimore’s defense hasn’t been as good as in recent years, allowing 320.6 yards and 19.3 points per game with 17 sacks and 11 turnovers. And, after a great game against the Denver Broncos, the defense of the Ravens was just mediocre against the Cincinnati Bengals. However, with a prime time game against an inferior opponent, expect a big game from Baltimore’s defense, likely their best performance of the year.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * * *

2. (New Orleans Saints) at St. Louis Rams

If the Baltimore Ravens defense is ranked the best, then the Saints unit has to be considered 1A. Really, the only reason the Ravens are ahead is due to how terrible the Cleveland Browns are. Not that the St. Louis Rams are much better, but they do have at least one playmaker in Steven Jackson. This should be a monster game for the New Orleans defense, who will likely score at least one touchdown plus add a number of turnovers. This year the Saints have given up 331.6 yards and 21.8 points per game while adding 19 sacks and 24 turnovers. Isn’t it great to see the bad teams play again this week? May not make for a good game to watch, but fantasy wise, it’s wonderful.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * * *

3. (Minnesota Vikings) vs. Detroit Lions

Another good defense gets to have a crack at a horrible offense, with the Minnesota Vikings looking like another excellent play as they take on the Detroit Lions. This season, the Vikings have allowed 332.6 yards and 21.8 points per game while totaling a league high 31 sacks and 13 turnovers. Fresh off the bye week, this will be a great tune up game for Minnesota and its defense. The promise Detroit showed early in the year with its offense is all but gone, and the Lions will be in for a long day against a defense who continually puts pressure on the quarterback.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * * *

4. (Denver Broncos) at Washington Redskins

When you look at Denver’s last two games where they allowed 30 and 28 points respectively to the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, you’d think their defense has been awful. But, Denver allowed a special team’s touchdown to Baltimore, a defensive touchdown to the Steelers, and an interception that put the Steelers inside Denver’s 20. The unit is still a good play for the rest of the season and the numbers show it. On the year, the Broncos have given up 280.3 yards and 15.5 points per game with 26 sacks and 14 turnovers. This game against the Washington Redskins this week will allow Denver to get its averages back to normal and put up a good fantasy day. The Redskins offense has been disastrous this season, and without their best offensive weapon in Clinton Portis on the field, it can only get worse. 
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

5. (Miami Dolphins) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have finally found their offense with rookie quarterback Josh Freeman behind center, as he helped lead his team to victory. Can he do the same this week? It was actually their defense who helped the Buccaneers upset the Green Bay Packers, as the unit lacked a running game and had average success through the air. The way to attack this Miami Dolphins defense will be with the passing game due to its young corners, but the pass rush of Miami may end up being too much to handle to Freeman. Add that the Dolphins played well against the New England Patriots (just a couple big plays from Tom Brady) and you can see the Miami unit putting up a solid day. This season Miami has allowed 341.4 yards and 25.5 points per game with 21 sacks and 10 turnovers. This may be one of the few weeks you can trust in the Dolphins defense this year.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

6. (New York Jets) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jets have played quite well despite losing their anchor in the middle of their defense, nose tackle Kris Jenkins. The team is giving up 273.4 yards and 16.8 points per game while adding 14 sacks and 15 turnovers. This week the Jacksonville Jaguars come to town and will likely try to get their ground game going, preferably up the middle. New York will likely keep an extra man in to defend running back Maurice Jones-Drew and if quarterback David Garrard needs to beat them deep to win, this game is all but over. The Jets should have a solid day on defense in Week 10 even if Jones-Drew gets his yards.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

7. (Pittsburgh Steelers) vs. Cincinnati Bengals

One thing we noticed with the Pittsburgh Steelers defense on Monday night, they’re back! The team had quarterback Kyle Orton rattled all game long, forcing him into a ton of mistakes with all kinds of different disguises. The Bengals do have a better offense than the Denver Broncos, but there is no way this defense doesn’t put up solid numbers. This season the Steelers have allowed 284.9 yards and 17.4 points per game with 23 sacks and 13 turnovers. This defense could end up finishing higher than this, but the match up knocks them down a few pegs. Overall though, if you drafted the Steelers defense you have to play them no matter what. Feel good about the game this week, as the unit seems to be playing at a high level meaning they should continue to have a lot of success.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

8. (Philadelphia Eagles) at San Diego Chargers

Even with the tough loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles defense still played well. What you seen from that game you can expect against the San Diego Chargers. San Diego didn’t do a whole lot on offense against the New York Giants, until there was roughly 2 minutes remaining in the game. The Eagles defense has a better secondary, which means quarterback Philip Rivers may be in for a long day if no one gets open and the Eagles bring a ton of pressure. This year Philadelphia has given up 304.5 yards and 19.1 points per game while totaling 27 sacks and 22 turnovers. Have confidence in going with the Eagles this week while on the road in San Diego.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * *

9. (Oakland Raiders) vs. Kansas City Chiefs

There have been a couple times in the year the Oakland Raiders defense has been ownable and one of those times was against the Kansas City Chiefs. While this would be a risky play this week, it may end up being worth it for you. This season the Raiders have given up 373.3 yards and 25.1 points with 17 sacks and 10 turnovers. With all the turmoil in Kansas City plus the strength of the Oakland defensive line, you may be surprised by how well this defense ends up playing. Ignore their bottom of the barrel ranking and take a chance on them this week.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * *

10. (Arizona Cardinals) vs. Seattle Seahawks

The last time these teams met, the Arizona Cardinals defense dominated, giving up only 3 points with 2 turnovers created. While it may be tough to duplicate a strong performance, putting up an average week is not out of the question. This season Arizona is allowing 340.4 yards and 20.5 points per game while adding 21 sacks and 13 turnovers. They have the best schedule moving forward on the year, meaning you may need to jump on this defense a week earlier then your counterparts. Considering how well the Cardinals did last time against Seattle, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to plug them in for this week too.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * *

11. (Buffalo Bills) at Tennessee Titans

Considering how bad the team has been as a whole for the Buffalo Bills, their defense is quietly having a good year. Buffalo gives up 372.4 yards and 21.1 points per game with 17 sacks and 18 turnovers. The Bills get after the quarterback and can create turnovers as well as another other defense in the NFL. The Tennessee Titans offense does seem like they are starting to get in track a bit over the last 2 weeks with quarterback Vince Young in the game. However, Young has yet to face a defense as aggressive as the Bills and may find himself throwing to the other team from time to time, giving Buffalo’s defense a chance at doing quite well this week.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * *

12. (Washington Redskins) vs. Denver Broncos

Despite how bad the offense is in Washington, their defense continually keeps them in games. That should be the case this week against a Denver Broncos offense who has yet to get their offense going in 2 big losses to the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. On the year the Redskins have allowed 286.3 yards 19.3 points per game while totaling 21 sacks and 8 turnovers. While you can’t expect the turnover margin to really increase (Kyle Orton has done a good job outside of this past Monday night of taking care of the football), their defense should be able to limit what Denver tries to do offensively. Washington should put up middle of the road numbers this week at home.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * *