After a crazy week for fantasy defenses in Week One, things got a little bit back to normal. The Seahawks dominated the San Fransisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football, defeating the Super Bowl runners-up 29-3. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was picked off three times and he fumbled once.
Despite the fact they lost, the Minnesota Vikings had a good defensive showing against the Chicago Bears. They picked off Bears quarterback Jay Cutler twice, sacked him once, and forced two fumbles recovering both. They also held him to under 300 passing yards.
In the AFC, the Denver Broncos had a field day with Eli Manning, picking him off four times in their 41-23 rout of the New York Giants.
But that was Week Two and this is not a defensive review piece. We need to look at Week Three and predict the top defensive performers to give people the best chances of wining in their fantasy leagues.
So without much further ado, here is here are the top five fantasy defenses for the third week of the season.
1. Seattle Seahawks (playing the Jacksonville Jaguars at home)
Photo: Kirby Lee / USA TODAY Sport
The Seattle Seahawks currently have the best defense in the league after two games. They held the Carolina Panthers to a mere seven points in week one with on the road with an early kickoff game. We have discussed earlier in this piece what they did in week two against the potent San Francisco offense.
Week Three sees the Seahawks take on the Jacksonville Jaguars, their offense has scored a whopping seven points in two games. Once upon a time, the Jaguars could rely on star running back, Maurice Jones-Drew, but since his return from injury he has averaged 2.9 yards per carry (25 carries, 73 yards). With Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne at quarterback, the Jaguars do not have much of an aerial attack either.
This really is a “no-contest” kind of choice. This is going to be a field day of turnovers and sacks for the Seattle defense.
2. Minnesota Vikings (playing the Cleveland Browns on the road)
Photo: Bruce Kluckhohn / US PRESSWIRE
Road games are never easy…unless they’re in Cleveland. This match-up between the Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns is much like the one above. The Browns appear to be in full-on “tank mode” having traded their best offensive weapon, Trent Richardson, to the Indianapolis Colts earlier this week for a first roundpick in the 2014 draft.
With Brian Hoyer starting in place of the injured Brandon Weeden, the Browns do not have much of a passing attack either. They only managed six points against the Baltimore Ravens in Week Two, the same Ravens defense that had 49 points dropped on them by Peyton Manning in Week One.
With such a lack of offense, this should be an easy match-up for the Vikings.
3. Chicago Bears (playing the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road)
Photo: Steve Mitchell, / US PRESSWIRE
Once upon a time, traveling to Pittsburgh for a road game was difficult. Heinz Field was a fortress. It was not an easy place to play in especially on prime time games (as this one will be – Sunday Night Football). Unfortunately for the Steelers, those days seem to be gone.
The Steelers scored only ten points against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football in Week Two. In Week One, they had a humiliating loss at home to the Tennessee Titans where they were held scoreless until the fourth quarter. Both these defenses are less talented than the one the Bears field.
The Bears have had one of the better defenses in the league for the past decade. It will be a long night for Ben Roethlisberger.
4. Denver Broncos (playing Oakland Raiders on the road)
Photo: Ed Szczepanski / USA TODAY Sports
The Oakland Raiders are currently 1-1 with third year pro Terrelle Pryor under center. They lost a close game to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1 and beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week Two. Neither team has a defense as good as the one the Broncos have
Despite losing two elite level pass rushers (Von Miller to suspension and Elvis Dumervil to “Faxgate” earlier in the off-season) the Broncos have still managed to field a solid defensive unit that has created turnovers. Winning the turnover battle is what wins games. If the Broncos defense can pick off Eli Manning four times, what could they do against Pryor’s Raiders?
Much like the other three match-ups we’ve talked about, this seems like an easy one to predict. The Broncos should easily be able to hold the Raiders to under 14 points and get a few turnovers in the process.
5. Houston Texans (playing the Baltimore Ravens on the road)
Photo: Jerome Miron / USA TODAY Sports
The Houston Texans travel to Baltimore to face the current Super Bowl champions. Despite the fact that the Texans stand at 2-0, they have struggled. They needed overtime to defeat the Tennessee Titans in Week Two and were on the verge of a blowout loss to the San Diego Chargers before coming back and winning.
What makes this match-up interesting is that the Ravens could be without star running back Ray Rice. Rice suffered a hip injury in the 14-6 win against the Cleveland Browns in Week Two and is a doubt to play. Managing only fourteen points against the Browns is another reason why the Houston defense is on this list.
With Rice out, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco will have to air it out. And Flacco isn’t the most reliable or accurate quarterback in the league. And a lot of his recieving weapons have either left or are injured. For this reason, the Texans will come out on top.
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