Fantasy Football Week 1 Projections: Which Defenses Do You Have to Play?

Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 09:  Safety Eric Berry #29 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after breaking up a pass to tight end Todd Heap #86 of the Baltimore Ravens in the endzone during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 9, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Defense is often something that fantasy football owners overlook when considering matchups throughout the regular season.

The first week of the season will be no different, as there are many defenses in the perfect position to take advantage of an offense's futility and put up big fantasy points.

The best fantasy matchup this weekend comes in the form of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs will have to step up their game, as the offense will be limited with or without Matt Cassel because he will not be 100 percent healthy.

Going against the Buffalo Bills will allow Tamba Hali to get a lot of sacks for your defense. Demetrius Bell figures to be the starting left tackle for the Buffalo Bills, and he wouldn't be starting for many teams around the league. Hali will be able to repeatedly beat him and get sacks while also potentially forcing fumbles.

That pressure should also allow guys like Eric Berry and Brandon Flowers to get their hands on the ball on the back end. The potential for turnovers in this game is very high, while the Chiefs shouldn't allow the Bills offense to put up many points at home.

In fantasy and real life, the Pittsburgh Steelers are always a defense worth taking, but especially this week as they face off against the Baltimore Ravens.

Ravens and Steelers games generally don't tend to be high-scoring, while the Ravens offense looks limited at best. The youthful receivers didn't impress in preseason outside of Tandon Doss, while Lee Evans and Anquan Boldin also won't have much help from their young tight ends.

The Ravens offensive line is at best in flux as Bryant McKinnie looks to find his feet. If McKinnie isn't at 100 percent instantly, James Harrison will be able to take over this game. With pressure from the Steelers front seven, Troy Polamalu and company could be giving Joe Flacco more nightmares, as they have done over the past few years.

With Donovan McNabb under center and Adrian Peterson in the backfield, you would expect the Minnesota Vikings to have a good offense next year. However, the Vikings have the man who is mostly responsible for the Colts' woes right now manning their left tackle position.

Charlie Johnson is a horrible left tackle playing on an offensive line that for the most part is poor. He and Phil Loadholt will have McNabb under duress throughout the year, while Peterson will need to be at his best to have even a decent year.

The Chargers secondary should be able to get their hands on a few of McNabb's passes, especially as Bob Sanders figures to at least be healthy for the first week...or snap...of the season.

Even without Larry English the Chargers will be able to manhandle the Vikings offensive line to create sacks and force turnovers. Turnovers and sacks are the most important part of fantasy football defense.

If there were any three defenses to put on the field for the start of the NFL regular season, the Chiefs, Chargers and Steelers would be at the top in both real and fantasy football.