Week 5 NFL Defense (DEF) Fantasy Football Rankings: Steelers Defense Welcomes Philadelphia Practice Squad
Week 5 Team Defense Rankings & Projection
This was not a high scoring defensive week as the Rams were the only team to score double-digit fantasy points. Given the number of good matchups, there were, it isn’t a big surprise. This week we get into some byes as the Packers and Lions are the only two teams not playing at the moment. However, Tennessee still needs to get its Covid-19 issues under control, and we have begun to see the cracks in the system compared to the first few weeks. It will come into play again this week as Cam Newton isn’t expected to play. Week 5 has plenty of strong matchups, especially for some of the top defenses. Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay are two teams that grade out well against weak offenses.
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Week 5 Top Options
The Pittsburgh Steelers essentially had their bye week as they were not able to get the game in against the Titans. This leaves them with a lot of rest as they will go into Week 5 with the Eagles on the schedule. Philadelphia has struggled out of the gates and while injuries are a reason for it, Carson Wentz has also struggled with his decision making. When you factor in the offensive line troubles and Greg Ward being a lead wideout, the Steelers defense should have a field day. They already have 15 sacks through the first three games and the Eagles have allowed 11 themselves with six turnovers.
Baltimore was unable to generate any turnovers against Washington this past week and it led to a lackluster outcome. While Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense can put up some numbers, the offensive line is also abysmal and this is going to be an issue for the Bengals this week against the Ravens. I expect the Ravens to get back to their strong fantasy performances like weeks one and two. Cincinnati has allowed the most sacks so far this season.
While the 49ers defense is not at full health, I still like them this week against the Dolphins. They can sling the ball around a bit but Ryan Fitzpatrick is still a turnover-prone quarterback and the Dolphins have a lackluster run game. The 49ers defense has played quite well despite the injuries, although facing weaker offenses has helped. Miami has one of the lower implied totals and the 49ers defense does project well for this week.
Los Angeles was about the only defense to deliver a better than average score from last week. The Rams needed their defense to step up in Week 4 as the offense failed to show up. They will travel this week heading to Washington and are nine-point favorites right off the bat. Washington continues to struggle with their offensive line and Jalen Ramsey will match up with Terry McLaurin.
New England’s week has been a weird one and I am writing this before the Chiefs game on Monday. I didn’t expect them to have a good game and I am assuming they didn’t. They will get the Broncos, who are dealing with plenty of injuries on the offensive side. Drew Lock is a 50/50 shot to play based on reports but that doesn’t matter much to me. Noah Fant, Courtland Sutton, and KJ Hamler leave this receiving core very limited, which is already in a tough matchup with one of the best secondaries.
The Chiefs are less than 30% owned and are available this week against the Raiders. Las Vegas struggled last week to move the ball against a good Bills defense and the injuries to the receiving core is not good when in need of putting up some big points. Chiefs have a legitimate secondary but do struggle against the run a bit. While they are now on a shorter week than usual, they are one of the few defenses to pick up and use this week. If someone gets frustrated and drops the Buccaneers defense after this past week, you can look at them as an option.
With Cam Newton unlikely to be able to return in time against Denver. The Broncos are worth a streaming look against a backup-QB led Patriots offense that doesn’t have a ton of playmakers. While the Broncos play against the Jets isn’t going to be encouraging, this is still a solid defense and the Patriots offense was not impressive against the Raiders in the Week 3 meeting, even with Newton under center. We might get to see this Pats offense in an awful state.
Defenses To Avoid
The Saints defense just isn’t getting it done for me at this point and while I usually would like taking them at home against a rookie quarterback, the home matchup doesn’t matter much either. Both of these defenses I am sitting this week, as the Chargers have a tough task against the Saints, who are likely to get back Michael Thomas. With Chris Harris going down and injury after injury to this team, it is going to be tough to get them back in the picture of being a strong fantasy defense.
Seattle took a big leap in being rostered this week against Miami and this is another one where that home edge just isn’t there. However, Seattle’s defense just isn’t that good in general. They struggle getting to the quarterback and the secondary is a major issue. While we don’t know which Kirk Cousins will show up, Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson are a mismatch for this secondary.
Dallas I went back and forth these last few days because of how they played. Continuing to watch the Giants offense, something has to give here. Both have played terribly. If you are in a deep league, I don’t mind tossing them in, otherwise I want some consistency. The Cardinals defense was another in-between team I debated on as a streaming option, but the Jets moved the ball quite well last week and Arizona’s defense just isn’t as good as some though. Although playing Washington and a banged-up San Francisco team will elevate the way we look at your defense.
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