Defenses in the NFL are off to a horrid start. Whether it's collective rust stemming from the lockout or just the fact that offenses in the NFL are better than ever, scoreboards have been lighting up all across the league.
This phenomenon has been incredibly frustrating for fantasy owners trying to get good production out of their fantasy defense. It seems that no defense, no matter how good, has been immune from being torched.
Hopefully for the sake of fantasy owners everywhere, defenses will start to settle in soon. The following are three fantasy defenses that have as good a shot as any at having great games in Week 4.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are set to take on the Miami Dolphins in Week 4. Before the season, I wouldn't have liked any defense against the Dolphins, as I believed that the Dolphins had a really underrated offense that had a lot of potential.
After what I have seen so far this season, I'm changing my tune. The Dolphins are a mess. They have nice individual pieces, but for whatever reason, they don't pile up points like they should. Chad Henne can be a prolific passer, Brandon Marshall is close to an elite target, Daniel Thomas is a promising rookie running back and Reggie Bush is one of the more versatile talents in the league.
Somehow, the Dolphins have managed to turn all that talent into a bad offense. They might score some points against San Diego, but they will give owners of the Chargers' defense big points with their turnovers.
In what could be a big game for defenses, the Ravens take on the Jets in Week 4. The Jets have continued to prove in 2011 that their offense lags far behind their defense. Mark Sanchez still turns the ball over far too much and I think they're relying too much on LaDainian Tomlinson.
We all keep waiting on the Ravens defense to show signs of slowing down, but it hasn't happened yet. They are still one of the more physical defenses in the entire league, and their level of veteran leadership is through the roof.
The Ravens are definitely a must-start in every week for another year. They have passed every test so far this season, and that included a Week 1 game against the Steelers when they looked like the best defense in the league.
Things haven't quite gone according to plan for the Eagles this season. They are sitting at 1-2 and neither side of the ball has lived up to expectations quite yet.
The defense will take a huge step forward in Week 4, as they have a tailor-made matchup against the 49ers on the schedule. The 49ers have had some success this season, but it hasn't been because they have an explosive offense.
There is certainly more pressure on the defensive unit now. Mike Vick, who was already recovering from a concussion, is now out with a broken hand. It will be on the defense to go out and win them some games.
In Week 4 against the 49ers, they will do just that.
Joseph Healy's Week 4 Fantasy Defense Rankings
1. San Diego Chargers
2. Baltimore Ravens
3. Philadelphia Eagles
4. New York Jets
5. Green Bay Packers
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
7. Minnesota Vikings
8. New Orleans Saints
9. Atlanta Falcons
10. New England Patriots
11. Chicago Bears
12. Washington Redskins
13. St. Louis Rams
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
15. Tennessee Titans