There are 32 teams in the NFL. You might have heard that before. So far this season, 26 of those 32 teams have put up at least one defense/special teams fantasy score of fewer than zero points. Three other teams have bottomed out at zero exactly. That means, through 11 weeks, only Baltimore, Detroit and Kansas City have at least contributed to fantasy numbers every week.
But defenses can change in a few weeks' time, often far more quickly than an individual player can. So now that every team has played 10 games (except stupid Carolina and Pittsburgh, throwing the numbers off slightly), I figured it would be a good time to look at the differences in performances from the first five weeks to the last five.
Through the first five games, Detroit and Philadelphia were averaging double-digit fantasy points. In the last five, both of those have fallen off (though not by much), while Arizona, Green Bay and Miami are up over 10 now.
Let's look at the numbers. Below, we'll look at all 32 teams, with their first-five average fantasy performance, their second-five average (second-six for Carolina and Pittsburgh, the jerks) and the difference between the two.
If you're streaming defenses, as I often recommend, the basic way to look at a defense is just to sort teams by full-season fantasy point total. That lets a team like San Diego, which started out really strong, look much better than it has been in recent weeks. At the same time, a full-season look sells short a defense like Jacksonville, who has actually been fairly competent in recent weeks.
And then there's Miami, which is just good no matter how you look at it.
Anyway, on to the Week 12 rankings:
Defense/special teams rankings, Week 12
(DK: Daniel Kelley; DC: Dan Ciarrocchi; JD: John Daigle; SK: Scott Kaliska)
|18||New York Jets||@BUF||20||16||18||16|
|19||New Orleans Saints||BAL||17||17||21||18|
|24||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||@CHI||--||23||--||22|
|--||New York Giants||DAL||--||25||--||--|