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Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings: 7 Defenses You Should Start

Matt LeirdahlContributor IIIDecember 21, 2016

Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings: 7 Defenses You Should Start

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    Defenses may not always score the most points, but they are a necessity for any fantasy football team because sometimes they can score big. 

    In Week 7, there are some huge mismatches that fantasy football owners will be able to take advantage of.

    Several of the worst offensive teams are playing the best defensive teams.

    Of course, special teams are a part of defenses in fantasy football, but this year there have not been any standouts, mostly due to the new kickoff rules.

    Here are the top seven defenses to start in Week 7. 

No. 7: Detroit Lions

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    The Detroit Lions are playing the under-performing Atlanta Falcons in Week 7.

    With Atlanta's porous offensive line, Ndamukan Suh will have no problem breaking through for several sacks this week. 

    The Lions have forced 14 turnovers this season, and Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan has had no problem turning the ball over this season. He has six interceptions. 

    The Lions have also scored two defensive touchdowns.

    If the Lions can shut down Michael Turner and get into the backfield with some hits on Matt Ryan, it will be a big scoring week for the Lions.

No. 6: Denver Broncos

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    This week, the Denver Broncos are playing one of the worst teams in the NFL, in the Miami Dolphins.

    While the Broncos defense has not been stellar this year, the Dolphins' offense has been even worse. They have scored an average of 15 points per game, in fact. 

    With Matt Moore throwing the ball, Miami is not much of a threat to put the ball in the end zone. In the two games that he has played, he has turned the ball over five times.

    The Broncos defense has forced seven turnovers this season, but they did play several quality quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers.

    This week will be a huge turn around for the Broncos. 

    Not to mention, Champ Bailey is playing again, which is a huge plus for the Broncos defense. 

    Look for a lot of turnovers and few points scored out of Miami, which is a recipe for success for any fantasy football defense. 

No. 5: Green Bay Packers

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    The Packers are taking on one of their division rivals this week, who are being led by a rookie.

    The Minnesota Vikings have elected to start Christian Ponder for the first time on Sunday. This is a great week to be the owner of the Packers defense.

    Due to the nature of Green Bay's high scoring offense, the Vikings will get down, and quickly. This will force them to rely on the pass to catch up, creating a lot of turnovers.

    Ponder is a rookie and unproven. The Packers defense, on the other hand, is not.

    They have 11 interceptions this season and have recovered five fumbles. This trend will continue against the Vikings. 

    After the Vikings' Week 6 performance, minimal points can be expected from them as well, perfect for fantasy football owners. 

No 4. Cleveland Browns

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    The Seattle Seahawks have one of the worst offenses in the league, and the Cleveland Browns will take advantage of it. 

    Seattle Seahawks' quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has thrown five interceptions this season and the Cleveland Browns have been very effective at stopping the pass. 

    The Seahawks' running game has been virtually nonexistent, so they are a perfect match for the Browns, who have the fourth-best passing defense.

    The Browns have averaged over two sacks a game as well, contributing to fantasy football scoring. 

    Cleveland will shut down the Seahawks offensively. Maybe they will get a turnover or two as well. 

No. 3: Pittsburgh Steelers

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    The Arizona Cardinals have one of the most under-performing offenses in the league, and no doubt, the Steelers will take advantage of that.

    Kevin Kolb has been a disappointment this season, and he is not going to turn it around against the best pass defense in the league. 

    He has thrown six interceptions this season, and that total will only go up against the Steelers. The Steelers are due for some turnovers, as they only have one interception all season.

    The Steelers have also given up the fourth-fewest points in the league, averaging 17 points per game. The Cardinals will be under that line.

    Pittsburgh will have a huge week on the defensive side of the ball.

No. 2: Dallas Cowboys

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    This week the Dallas Cowboys take on the disappointing St. Louis Rams. The Rams have the worst offense in the league. 

    They average 9.8 points per game and the recent acquisition of Brandon Lloyd probably won't help that average anytime soon. 

    The Cowboys are looking for blood after their disappointing loss to the Patriots, and they will take it out on St. Louis.

    The most integral part of the Rams' offense is running back Steven Jackson. While he hasn't done much this season, he sure won't do anything against the Cowboys.

    The Cowboys have the No. 1 rush defense in the league.

    They have also forced 11 turnovers and have 16 sacks, numbers which will improve in Week 7. 

    No doubt, the Cowboys will have a big week, especially on the defensive side of the ball. 

No. 1: Baltimore Ravens

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    The Jacksonville Jaguars have the second-worst offense in the league, averaging 12 points per game.

    The Jaguars have a rookie quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, at the helm, and the Ravens have the best defense in the league. 

    This week, Gabbert will show his rookie side and throw interceptions. The Ravens have six this season. They also have recovered 10 fumbles. 

    Not to mention, they average almost three sacks a game.

    With the Jaguars low-powered offense and the Ravens high-powered defense, the odds of Jacksonville putting up big numbers are pretty bad.

    The odds of the Ravens producing big numbers defensively are pretty good. 

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