Week 3 Team Defense Rankings & Projection
Week 2 was a bloodbath when it comes to injuries and not just on the offensive side. Nick Bosa is likely done for the season as the 49ers defense has been dealing with the injury bug. Malik Hooker also suffered an injury for the Colts. There will likely be more injuries to come out of this week. On the offensive side, multiple quarterbacks and big-time running backs went down. This is going to hurt their offenses and opposing defenses will get a slight bump. Looking at Week 3, it is not the usual names up top as we have some top defenses in lesser spots while there are a lot of middling defenses that get a major bump in the matchup department.
Week 3 Top Options
The Patriots are back on top this week as they go back home to face the Raiders. Las Vegas is on a short week and while the offense isn’t a bad one, they do not match up well with a Patriots secondary that stifles wide receivers. It will also be tough for Josh Jacobs to get going against one of the better run defenses in the league. The Patriots project the highest this week and no surprise given the dominant run they’ve been on dating back to last season.
Indianapolis is coming off a strong game against the Vikings where they needed a better defensive showing after the game against Jacksonville. The Colts will welcome the Jets this week, who might be pulling a few practice squad players up just to field a team. The offensive line is in shambles and they have very few options for Sam Darnold to work it. They were missing Jamison Crowder this week and both Chris Hogan and Breshad Perriman left in Week 2.
Houston struggled in Week 2 as the offense had a tough task against Baltimore. The horrendous schedule continues as they now have to face Pittsburgh, making it three top ten passing defenses in a row for Deshaun Watson. The Steelers pass-rush continues to dominate and against a below-average Houston offensive line, it should be another big week for them.
The Eagles have not looked great on either side of the ball through the first two weeks and have a matchup to potentially get them off on the right foot. While Joe Burrow is no ordinary rookie this is still a run game that has struggled and an offensive line that has had him running for his life at times. The Eagles defense has dealt with some injuries early on but there is still a lot of talent here.
There is a great chance you are streaming this week or trying to find a better matchup. With the Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes meeting, both defenses you would normally start are in a tough spot. The Bears take on the Falcons and then the Vikings have fallen off the face of the earth. These are some of the higher-rostered defense you might consider swapping out. You might just simply going week-to-week like a true streamer. Cleveland is the first team out there as they are just 10% rostered. Washington has struggled to really move the ball and put up points consistently and if Cleveland’s offense can produce like last week it will put Washington in the hole early.
Tampa Bay was able to put up a solid score this past week against Carolina, and the Panthers offense is loaded with talent. They are around 40% rostered and will take on Denver this week. Drew Lock is going to be out for the next few weeks and Courtland Sutton suited up but left the game in the second half. The Buccaneers have a great run defense and the pass defense is looking vastly improved. Now Jeff Driskel isn’t a bad backup quarterback but it is tough to see this group being able to put up big offensive numbers.
The Los Angeles Chargers were dropped this week by many as they took on the Kansas City Chiefs. They are less than 30% rostered and will welcome Carolina this week. The Chargers have an excellent secondary that just slowed down Pat Mahomes and company and has been great against the run. Christian McCaffrey also left the game late, and his status is unclear for Week 3.
Defenses To Avoid
Now the Ravens and Chiefs do have good defenses but it is really hard to see either of them coming out with a worthy fantasy score at the end of it. If you can pocket them and look elsewhere I would. The Chiefs didn’t move the ball well and the Chargers still had nothing to show for it in terms of fantasy points. The Ravens had a defensive touchdown and shut down the Texans but this is a different story. The Saints are another team, as they play the Packers. Both of these defenses I am avoiding this week. You have two quarterbacks who do not turn the ball over nor do they take a lot of sacks. There just isn’t a ton of upside in this game and plenty of options to work with this week.
There are a few NFC North defenses to avoid this week but one might be an avoid for the rest of the season. Minnesota’s front seven has some injuries but that might not be the real excuse here. The secondary continues to get exploited and they have a tough road ahead. They get Tennessee this week which moved the ball well without AJ Brown. I am simply avoiding the Vikings defense from here on out. With Atlanta’s offense moving the ball the way it is, the Bears are a tough start for me this week. The Falcons have scored 25 and 39 points in the two games so far and are back at home where they have always put up big offensive numbers. They are throwing 70% of the time and averaging 6.6 yards per play. Chicago would really need a defensive or special teams touchdown to average out the points they allow.
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