Fantasy Football Rankings Week 1: Top 5 Defense and Kicker Matchup Plays
Team defenses and kickers are the red-headed stepchildren of fantasy football, often relegated to the end of drafts and to relative irrelevance in leagues. However, selecting the right fantasy defense or kicker in a given week can be the difference between victory and defeat, so here are some of the top matchup defenses and kickers for week 1.
1.) Cleveland Browns (vs. CIN): Any time you have a fantasy defense matching up against a rookie quarterback making his first career start on the road who has little in the way of proven options in the passing game that is what you call tasty, and this matchup is delicious.
2.) Arizona Cardinals (vs. CAR): Just about everything I just said about the Cleveland defense applies here as well, and although Cam Newton is a more mobile quarterback than Andy Dalton and the Panthers have a bit more offensive firepower no team gave up more fantasy points to opposing defenses in 2010 than Carolina, making the Arizona defense an excellent matchup play this week and for the two weeks following as well.
3,) Detroit Lions (at TB): The Buccaneers were one of the feel-good stories of the 2010 season, but they face one of the most fearsome defensive lines in the NFL this week, and that line should harass Tampa quarterback Josh Freeman into a turnover or two while notching a few sacks.
4.) Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders (at DEN): The Broncos allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing kickers in 2010, so you could do a lot worse than rolling with the big man with the big leg on Monday night.
5.) Phil Dawson, Cleveland Browns (vs. CIN): The Bengals were one of the more generous teams in the NFL to opposing kickers from a fantasy football perspective a season ago, and the Browns offense isn't a juggernaut by any stretch, meaning they may sputter in the red zone a time or two.
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