Choosing a defense is hard. The, and have been three of the league's top units so far, but each of those teams plays the in Weeks 7-9, and I'm just going to shake my head no for a while.
On the other side, choosing a defense against someone is easy. We just did it in that opening paragraph. The best fantasy defenses this year are theand , but they aren't matchup-proof. On the flip side, the worst fantasy defense to play against is Denver, and yeah, the Broncos are matchup-proof.
The opposite side of that is the, who have allowed 95 points to opposing defenses through seven games. No other team has allowed more than 77; only one has allowed more than 64.
I've been working on an idea for changing fantasy football a bit. It's a just-in-my-brain idea, since no one is going to go for it. But I think it's interesting.
I've long played survivor pools, picking a winner every week. A couple years ago, I started hearing of death pools instead, where you pick a different team to lose each week. It's a preventive measure against stacking your deck with only Jaguars andevery week, making you pick and choose losers, which is frankly a little more interesting than sitting down to make your pick and saying "Okay, who's playing Jacksonville?"
My idea is that, instead of drafting defenses, we start drafting "defensive opponents." It's for basically the opposite reasons as the the death pools. Right now, it doesn't make sense to draft a defense before the last couple rounds, because the units are so unpredictable that you're burning a pick on something you might drop in Week 3.
The way to fix that -- the way to make that part of your roster something you might spend an earlier pick on -- is those defensive opponents. We all knew the Jaguars would struggle in the preseason -- wouldn't we have been willing to spend an earlier draft pick on "defense facing Jacksonville" than we would on "Seattle defense?" I certainly would have.
There is currently a 70-point range from the top fantasy defense to the bottom. But there is a 99-point gap between best defensive opponent and worst. The opponent matters to a defense more than it does to any other position.
This is ultimately silly, since we aren't changing fantasy like this. But I find it interesting. And when you're picking your fantasy defense (with the 49ers andoff this week), make sure you're looking at the opponent, because that could be some good times.
On to our Week 8 rankings:
Defense/special teams rankings, Week 8
(DK: Daniel Kelley; DC: Dan Ciarrocchi; SK: Scott Kaliska; John Daigle has the week off)
|2||Detroit Lions||ATL (London)||1||2||4|
|8||New England Patriots||CHI||10||7||7|
|14||Kansas City Chiefs||STL||23||10||9|
|16||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||MIN||11||19||17|
|20||New York Jets||BUF||--||16||16|
|21||Green Bay Packers||@NO||18||21||21|
|25||St. Louis Rams||@KAN||--||22||23|
|--||New Orleans Saints||GB||24||--||--|
|--||San Diego Chargers||@DEN||25||--||--|
|--||Atlanta Falcons||DET (London)||--||--||25|