Fantasy Football Week 2 Rankings: 3 Defenses to Start

Chris CiprianoCorrespondent IISeptember 13, 2011

Fantasy Football Week 2 Rankings: 3 Defenses to Start

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    A fantasy defense can often be the deciding factor in whether you win or lose.

    Just look at Week 1 when seven defenses put up 15 points or more. That's more points than studs like Chris Johnson, Roddy White, Jamaal Charles and Larry Fitzgerald put up.   

    And they weren't just the top defenses either. Among the top scorers were the San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans and Washington Redskins. Not your typical stingy defenses.

    When dealing with fantasy defenses, it all depends on the matchup. The 49ers and Texans are hardly among the league's elite defenses, but they played inferior opponents last week.

    Tedd Gin Jr. propelled the 49ers special teams with two return touchdowns while the Texans dominated a Peyton Manning-less Indianapolis Colts team.  

    As we look ahead to Week 2, here are three defenses that might not be owned, but will have a big fantasy day.  

Detroit Lions

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    The Detroit Lions started the season in impressive fashion by defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 27-20, on the road. 

    The victory looks even more impressive when you consider the Buccaneers scored one of their touchdowns in the final two minutes and the other one off an interception return. Take those two touchdowns away and the Buccaneers only scored six points.

    This Sunday, the Lions host the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs were only able to score seven points against the Buffalo Bills while playing at home in the opening week. No offense to the Bills, but their defense isn't in the same class as the Lions.

    Jim Schwartz will have Ndamukong Suh and company ready to go this week as the Lions try to get to 2-0. 

New York Giants

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    The New York Giants weren't at their best in Week 1, falling 28-14 to the Washington Redskins. If any owner gave up the Giants defense, it would be wise to pick them up for this week. 

    Don't let those 28 points they allowed fool you. One touchdown was an interception return and on another, the defense was deflated thanks to a blocked field goal.

    Luckily for the Giants, the St. Louis Rams come to town this week. They are catching the Rams at the right time as Steven Jackson likely won't be available and neither will Danny Amendola. There is also a chance Sam Bradford misses the game, and if he does, the Giants become an absolute must start.

    The Giants could also be getting Justin Tuck, their best pass rusher, back from injury. All of this should equal a nice Giants win with plenty of chances for them to force turnovers. 

Cleveland Browns

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    The Cleveland Browns defense is a choice for those in deeper leagues and those who don't mind taking a chance that could backfire. 

    Yes, the Browns defense didn't look good last week. And yes, it was against the Cincinnati Bengals, thought to have one of the poorest offenses in the league. But one thing to know about the NFL is that you shouldn't overreact after Week 1.

    Last year after Week 1, people thought the Houston Texans were going to be great, the New York Jets stunk and Brett Favre was still a good quarterback. As the season progressed, these assumptions proved false.

    So don't go writing off the Browns and their defense after one week. They have a great matchup this week against the Indianapolis Colts, who are quarterbacked by Kerry Collins.

    The Houston Texans had a great fantasy day against the Colts last week and they didn't even intercept Kerry Collins. Expect that to change this week.

    If you like to look ahead, the Browns have a very favorable schedule going forward. Their next five opponents in order are the Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. That's about as easy as it gets in the NFL.

    You could pick up the Browns defense and start them for the next six weeks if you want.