Week 8 Team Defense Rankings & Projection
It was a straight forward week for defenses as Buffalo delivered a much needed big game after struggling for most of the season on the defensive side. Kansas City was the big winner this week with 20+ points and will be well in play this week against the Jets. The 49ers went into Foxboro and shut down Cam Newton, while Washington punished Dallas. Bye weeks shouldn’t hurt you this week with Arizona, Jacksonville, Houston, and Washington on bye. Week 8 is a bit thin with defensive matchups so there will be some risks needed if you are streaming.
Week 8 Top Options
No doubt about it, the Kansas City Chiefs are the top option this week and they are coming off of a 21 fantasy point outing after some lackluster performances. They get the Jets this week who allowed Buffalo to get back on track. New York is averaging 276 yards per game this season and a whopping 12.5 points per game. The Jets rank 26th in pass protection and they rank 31st in offensive DVOA. They are rushing Perine and Gore as their options, and while Denzel Mims is back Jamison Crowder went down with an injury. With the Chiefs pass rush picking it up they should be able to get strong pressure and the offense is going to force the Jets to try and play catch up. We know how this one is going to go and I wouldn’t be surprised so see another monster week for the Chiefs defense.
Starting your face of the franchise rookie quarterback against Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams is certainly an odd choice. Miami’s offensive line is still not great and that worries me this week for the Dolphins. While Tua has a great long-term future, this week I don’t expect much against the Rams pass rush and 11th rated pass defense. The Rams defense has been able to get to the quarterback more often than not this season, as they have a couple of games where they put up 5 or more sacks.
Tampa Bay is a strong option this week going up against the Giants. They are not much better than their other New York counterparts and have given up a ton of fantasy points to opposing defenses this season. They continue to turn the ball over at a high rate, with 13 turnovers on the season, and have also allowed 20 sacks. This Buccaneers defense is scoring well for fantasy and has been ball-hawking as well. With Daniel Jones’s ability to take care of the ball, we are looking at a monster week for the Buccaneers defense. With the pass rush they have as well, they should get plenty of pressure to Daniel Jones and have already shown to have those upside games where they have 5-6 sacks.
Philadelphia is still out there in about 45% of leagues and would be my first choice if available. Because they played the Giants this past week it drove up their ownership a bit. They get Dallas this week in a putrid NFC East matchup, and luckily for us, it is on Sunday Night Football. This Dallas team has fallen apart and the weapons didn’t matter against Washington. Andy Dalton will be questionable this week after leaving with a bad concussion. The offensive line is in trouble and it showed. Philadelphia’s defense has struggled against the pass but has been solid against the run and has some pass rushers ability to get to the quarterback.
With the lack of options this week, I will look towards a few riskier defenses in spots where there is some upside. New Orleans is one of them, facing a Bears offense that ranks 26th. The Bears haven’t exactly faced a lot of good defenses either, outside of the Buccaneers. They have managed to squeeze bye most weeks. Not a bad spot to roll with the Saints offense, even though they have underperformed at times this season. Green Bay is 9% owned out there and would be in a better spot if Dalvin Cook sits out another week. Time will tell but the offense doesn’t match up well with the Green Bay defense if they have to play from behind which is likely the case.
Defenses To Avoid
We are starting to see a change in the Patriots dominance as they were run over a second week in a row. They get the Bills this week and I am curious if their defense is playing at their fullest or not. This was a week where they still shouldn’t have allowed 30+ to the 49ers and they did. Given there are not a lot of defensive options to pick up and replace this week, the Patriots still are viable in hopes that Josh Allen commits a couple of turnovers. On the flip side of this game, I didn’t mention the Bills defense because they are a bit banged up in their front seven, but they are certainly startable this week. The Colts defense is back off a bye and now that they have played some real offenses their numbers have gone down. Not a big surprise after playing the Jets and Washington in the first few weeks of the season. They will have some better matchups down the road but this is not one of those weeks.
The Steelers struggled defensively this past week and the loss of Devin Bush is going to hurt them. Now facing Baltimore this is a tough matchup especially with a team that doesn’t turn the ball over a ton and has Lamar Jackson. The Seahawks and 49ers are also two tough defenses to trust. The 49ers especially, you can make a case for Seattle if there are limited options just due to the fact they can match up well against the run, and if Deebo Samuel is ruled out and it looked bad, the Seahawks would have one less talented receiver to worry about. You might think the Cowboys offense can at least slow down the Eagles, but this defense is horrendous and should not be started.
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