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Team Defenses Report - Week 12
Darin Tietgen
November 23, 2006

Tier One - Must Starts

  1. Baltimore They’ve been rather quiet the past two weeks, but the visiting Steelers have surpassed the lowly Browns and Raiders in total turnovers on the season.  Expect more of the same this week. 
  2. Chicago – The Bears have been fantasy football’s best defense all season, but this week, they travel to New England to face a Patriot team that’s given the ball away 16 times, which is pretty much the NFL’s average.
  3. Carolina – In this “what have you done for me lately” world of fantasy football, the Panthers are the toast of the town after putting up 15 and 27 fantasy points over their past two games.  The Redskins have given up an NFC low 9 times, but you know the Panthers’ front seven will be all over QB Jason Campbell.     

Tier Two - Solid Starts

  1. Seattle The opportunistic Seahawk D will surely benefit from facing a very banged-up Packer squad.  After two real solid weeks, the Seahawks only scored 3 fantasy points against a surging Niner squad.  Don’t expect a letdown here.
  2. Dallas – Ah yes, the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.  Their D has put forth some incredible efforts on this holiday game in the past.  The Bucs will certainly give the ball up (18 times this season) and allow sacks (20 times). 
  3. Jacksonville – They’ve quietly remained in the top-5 in this scoring format and should run roughshod over the hosting Bills.  J.P. Losman has some confidence after a big Week 11.  He’ll find different fortunes against the underrated Jag secondary.

Tier Three - Best of the Rest

  1. Miami The hottest fantasy D over the past three weeks (based on the scoring system used for this list).  The Fins should feast on the host Lions on Thanksgiving and will rattle QB Jon Kitna all day.   
  2. San DiegoThe Bolts have been very average, fantasy defense wise, over the past two weeks.  But they’re hosting the Raiders, who for some reason are starting Aaron Brooks again.   
  3. Denver – With the Broncos losing to the Chargers at home last week, this week’s battle with the 6-4 Chiefs is pretty much a must-win.  Trent Green is back, but only passed 16 times last week.  Who knows what the big-play Bronco secondary will do to Green & Co. with 20+ pass attempts in this inaugural Thanksgiving night matchup
  4. New England The Patriots remain in the top 10 (#6) in this scoring format after a 20 point week against the Packers.  This week, the Bears come to town – a much tougher task.  Rex Grossman has been very up and down the past few weeks, so there’s potential for a big effort from the veteran Patriot D. 
  5. CincinnatiThe Bengals are not the turnover machine they were last season, but this week, they face their Ohio rivals, who give the ball up a ton (24 total turnovers) and have given up the second-most sacks in the NFL. 
  6. San Francisco All of a sudden, the Niners are 5-5 and are in contention in the NFC West.  The Rams, a chic preseason pick in the West, have been slipping.  They’ve given up a ton of sacks (35) and Bulger typically throws one pick a game.

Note: League scoring used for this column is 2 points for safety, fumble recovery, blocked punt or FG, 1 point for blocked PAT or sack, 6 points for defensive or special team TDs, and anywhere from 10 to 2 points based on points allowed.