Fantasy Football Week 12 Rankings: Defenses

Michael WhooleySenior Writer INovember 29, 2009

BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 22:  Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens is introduced before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at M&T Bank Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Colts defeated the Ravens 17-15. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

Every week we try to give you the best plays based on projections, statistical information, and how the teams match up. While we don’t get every defense right, the Bruno Boys provide you with enough reasoning to help make sense of why we are projecting these defenses where they are at.

Unlike other sites, we provide numbers and analysis that is unmatched by any other site. That’s why you need to keep checking in and see why a defense is ranked where it is with the playoffs approaching very quickly.

Week 12 again provides us with some good and bad match ups that you will want to follow. While you may want to depend on your defense you used a high pick on, this is the time you can use the extra roster space on an extra defense so you can play the match up card when your best defense is in a tough game.

Keep the Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week 12 Defense Rankings in mind when thinking of what defense to play this week.


5-Stars (* * * * *) - Bruno Boys Top Plays of the Week

4-Stars (* * * *) – Bruno Boys Very Solid Plays of the Week

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3-Stars (* * *) – Bruno Boys Average Plays of the Week

2-Stars (* *) – Bruno Boys Try to Avoid Playing this Week

1-Star (*) – Bruno Boys Do Not Start Unless You COMPLETELY Have To

Key Abbreviations: YPG (Yards Per Game); PPG (Points Per Game)

1. (Cincinnati Bengals) vs. Cleveland Browns

Even after the average game against the Oakland Raiders when the Bengals were a five star rated defense, they should bounce back with an impressive performance this week.

Cincinnati was able to create three turnovers in the game against Oakland, which shows they are still an aggressive unit and will create fantasy footbal l production every week especially against inferior competition. That’s what the Cleveland Browns are this week, even after their 37 point game against the Detroit Lions .

Cleveland should come back to the form that made them the second worst offense in the NFL against Cincinnati and the defense will capitalize with a big day. This season the Bengals have allowed 310.5 yards and 16.7 points per game with 25 sacks and 18 turnovers.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * * *

2. (Dallas Cowboys) vs. Oakland Raiders

Ever since the bye week back in Week Six, the Dallas Cowboys defense has played quite well, scoring eight fantasy points or more in four of their past five games. On Thanksgiving, they should add to the impressive total with the Oakland Raiders coming to town.

The Raiders are all but guaranteed to have multiple turnovers and since they are the worst offense in the NFL with 227.3 yards and 10.8 points per game. Ignore their latest win over the Cincinnati Bengals and know any defense playing them will do well. This year, Dallas has given up 329.9 yards and 17.5 points per game while adding 25 sacks and 12 turnovers. The Cowboys are a must start for Week 12.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * * *

3. (Green Bay Packers) @ Detroit Lions

This may be a bit of a risky play considering two of their best players on defense, defensive end/linebacker Aaron Kampman   and cornerback Al Harris , are out for the season with torn ACL’s. The bigger injury could be to the Detroit Lions offense, as they simply are not the same kind of unit without quarterback Matthew Stafford (injured shoulder ) behind center.

On the year, Green Bay has allowed 282.5 yards and 20.3 points per game while totaling 21 sacks and 22 turnovers. Usually when big injuries hit a defense it is a good idea to keep them on the bench to see how the backups do with all the added playing time. But this is the rare exception with the Lions on the schedule this week that you can play the Packers defense.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * * *

4. (Seattle Seahawks) @ St. Louis Rams

Seattle’s defense may have been lit up by the Minnesota Viking s last week, but keep in mind how well they played in Week 1 against the St. Louis Rams when they pitched a shutout. The Seahawks seem to play their best against weak opponents, with their three big games on the year coming against the St. Louis Rams , Jacksonville Jaguars , and Detroit Lions .

This season Seattle has given up 347.3 yards and 23.3 points per game with 22 sacks and 14 turnovers. Ignore the negative point total from last week and feel comfortable that Seattle’s defense will put up an impressive performance and give you double digit points.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

5. (San Diego Chargers) vs. Kansas City Chiefs

San Diego has had its moments where they have shined this season, and one of those times was against the Kansas City Chiefs back in Week Seven when they had three interceptions and only allowed seven points.

Despite the Chiefs upset win over the Pittsburgh Steelers , their offense looked putrid for most of the game and only had 13 first downs all game. The Chargers will shut down the passing lanes and keep in check any running attack Kansas City may try to establish.

This year San Diego has allowed 321.1 yards and 20.5 points per game while adding 27 sacks and 15 turnovers. Count on the Chargers defense to have another big week and shut down the Chiefs for a 2nd time this season.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

6. (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. Washington Redskins

This ranking may be a bit low for the Philadelphia Eagles defense considering the Washington Redskins will be starting their third string running back this Sunday. Look for a combination of quarterback Jason Campbell’ s inability to play consistently and a ball hawking secondary like the Eagles should lead to multiple turnovers.

Philadelphia should have no problem producing a big day with all the problems the Redskins have on offense. On the year the Eagles have given up 305.1 yards and 20.4 points per game while adding 30 sacks and 23 turnovers.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

7. (Miami Dolphins) @ Buffalo Bills

The weakness for the Dolphins defense all season long that we’ve talked about is their secondary due to how young the guys are back there. In Week 11 Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick showed he could throw the football against the Jacksonville Jaguars , but remember they were taking on of the worst pass defenses and 98 of his 297 yards came on one play.

Miami should be able to hold down the Bills the same way they did the Carolina Panthers last week, except doing a better job against the run. This season Miami has allowed 341.5 yards and 24.4 points per game with 29 sacks and 13 turnovers.  The Dolphins will be a solid play for Week 12 among other defenses in fantasy football
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

8. (Minnesota Vikings) vs. Chicago Bears

One thing quarterback Jay Cutle r does as much as anyone else in the NFL is throw to the other team. While the Vikings don’t have a great secondary, their pass rush will force Cutler into making a lot of foolish decisions, which will lead to a big day for the Minnesota defense. On the year the Vikings have given up 317.0 yards and 19.3 points per game while adding 36 sacks and 16 turnovers.

Chicago struggled with the Philadelphia Eagles pass rush last week and there isn’t a team anywhere near as good as the Vikings and defensive end Jared Allen . The pressure will be there all day and with the combination of the sacks and turnovers created off those sacks, Minnesota should be a very good play this week.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * * *

9. (New York Jets) vs. Carolina Panthers

Although the New England Patriots got revenge in a big way against the Jets last week, it wasn’t due to the defense. Quarterback Mark Sanchez gave way to 4 interceptions, one of which was for a touchdown, while continually giving New England great field position.

Therefore, you should simply ignore the 31 points allowed by New York last week. This season the Jets have allowed 294.4 yards and 18.9 points while totaling 18 sacks and 17 turnovers. Carolina will get its yardage on the ground with the run but the key for the Panthers will be whether quarterback Jake Delhomme will be able to make plays with his arm when his team needs it.

Don’t expect that to happen against an aggressive secondary who gets help with the pressure from the linebackers in blitz packages. Count on New York to at least be an average play with a good bit of upside.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * *

10. (Pittsburgh Steelers) @ Baltimore Ravens

After a soft schedule made quarterback Joe Flacco look like an all pro to start the year, the Baltimore Ravens signal caller looks to be coming back down to earth. The biggest playmaker for the Ravens offense is running back Ray Rice who will likely be bottled up for most of the game.

The one thing the Pittsburgh Steelers do on defense is take away a teams best player on offense and if Rice isn’t out there making something happen for his team, Baltimore will struggle to get a victory.

This year Pittsburgh has given up 277.9 yards and 18.4 points per game while adding 30 sacks and 14 turnovers. The Steelers defense is susceptible to some big plays but they should finish in the top 10 in fantasy football scoring for Week 12.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * *

11. (New York Giants) @ Denver Broncos

It’s not that the Giants’ defense looked much improved from their losing streak in their last game against the Atlanta Falcons , but instead it’s the Denver Broncos’ offense that seems to be completely out of sorts right now. The way to attack New York’s defense will be with the deep ball, something Denver doesn’t do much of.

If the Giants can limit the short routes and the defensive line applies a ton of pressure, New York will be a lot better this week than their average ranking. This season New York is giving up 282.2 yards and 23.5 points per game with 22 sacks and 18 turnovers.

Bruno Boys Stars: * * *

12. (Arizona Cardinals) @ Tennessee Titans

One thing you have seen from the Tennessee Titans and Vince Young is that they will keep the ball on the ground most of the game and not resort to the pass until it is necessary. The Arizona Cardinals have been surprisingly strong against the run this season, ranking eighth in the NFL allowing 103.2 rush yards per game.

While running back Chris Johnson will get his yards, Arizona may be able to contain him and keep quarterback Vince Young in the pocket to not let him run all over the field. If the Cardinals can do that, they will force Young into some mistakes that will lead to big fantasy production.

This year Arizona has allowed 350.4 yards and 19.7 points per game while totaling 28 sacks and 16 turnovers. While Tennessee could explode at any time, it seems like the Cardinals defense may have the right personnel to hold down the Titans offense this week.
Bruno Boys Stars: * * *




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