Fantasy Football Week 4: 5 Sleeper Fantasy Defenses to Start This Weekend
Every fantasy owner has their own strategy for success within fantasy football. For some, it is all about the quarterbacks. For others, it is about selecting the right running backs.
But what is overlooked is the wisdom to select the right defense on the right Sunday.
Defenses are rarely given enough credit, but one that dominates another team can put up a good 20-plus points for a team, giving a team a much needed boost if he is facing a close matchup.
Here are five often overlooked fantasy defenses that have favorable matchups this weekend...
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not known for having a particularly stout defense, but they certainly have talented players. And their secondary is excellent, with Aqib Talib and Ronde Barber making up one of the finest cornerback tandems in the NFL.
This Sunday, the Buccs will face off against the Indianapolis Colts. And with Curtis Painter starting, they have tremendous potential to take advantage of an inexperienced quarterback. Painter, being the inexperienced player he is, is likely to throw a few errant passes, which should allow Talib and Barber to potentially pick off a few passes.
And interceptions mean big fantasy points. Take the Buccaneers defense for this week if it is available.
2. Chicago Bears
Ever since their pummeling of the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1, this Chicago Bears defense has looked lackluster, and is currently ranked 25th in the league. Not good for a team hoping to repeat repeat last year's successes.
But what the Bears defense excels at still is generating pressure. And while their pass defense looks awful, they are facing a rookie quarterback in Cam Newton. As incredible as Newton has been thus far, Newton is still a rookie, and is going to make mistakes. The Bears are exactly the team to force those mistakes out of the young quarterback.
This could be another game for Brian Urlacher to grab a few fumbles or interceptions.
3. Minnesota Vikings
While the Minnesota Vikings have shown a great deal of potential this season, they have been marked by a complete inability to close out games, blowing double-digit leads in the second half and finding themselves now at 0-3.
But expect the Vikings defense to do great this weekend.
Unlike the past games, they are now facing a Kansas City Chiefs team that may be the worst in the NFL. The team has one of the very worst passing games, and are unable to get the running game going without Jamaal Charles.
Adrian Peterson will be enough to put the Vikings ahead by double-digits yet again. And this Chiefs offense this time is way too feeble to mount a comeback.
4. Cleveland Browns
This Browns defense is one of the most underrated in the NFL. Once one of the laughingstocks of the NFL, it is now ranked within the top 10 and has contributed greatly to the Browns standing 2-1 and tied with the Steelers and the Ravens for the AFC North crown.
Additionally, they are playing a Tennessee Titans team that should be reeling from the loss of Kenny Britt. Matt Hasselbeck has played surprisingly well so far this season, but is now losing a favorite target in Kenny Britt to injury for the season, who had already caught three touchdown passes.
Without Britt, Hasselbeck will be hard-pressed to effectively move the Titans offense. And he may make more mistakes and throw a few interceptions now with inferior talent at wideout to throw to.
Combine that with an ineffective Chris Johnson this season, and the Browns defense could generate a lot of points.
5. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles defense has not lived up to expectations by any means. But few realize that they are still currently ranked as the 12th best defense and the eighth best passing defense. And with an entirely new roster, combined with a new coaching staff, this team may improve with more time to gel.
From a fantasy standpoint, they have a favorable matchup this weekend against the 49ers. Yes, the Eagles have trouble stopping the run, but they have an incredibly talented group of cornerbacks. Facing Alex Smith and a 49ers offense with few playmakers through the air other than Vernon Davis and this Eagles secondary could generate a few turnovers.
Win or lose, this Eagles defense is still an excellent fantasy option going forwards.