Originally written on Down and Distance  |  Last updated 11/19/14

In fantasy football, defense/special teams is often overlooked. Most people don’t realize that if their fantasy team’s defense/special teams knocks one out of the park, it could be the difference between losing a close matchup and winning. With that being said, here are my top 5 fantasy football defense/special teams for week 3.

5) Houston Texans (VS Denver Broncos)

Denver is coming off a short week after their Monday night game against Atlanta, giving Peyton Manning less time to prepare for an already intimidating defense. Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips has no problem bringing the heat and has a lot of weapons to choose from when it comes to getting in Peyton Manning’s face. Even though Manning is one of the best when it comes to recognizing pressure and getting out of bad situations, it’ll be interesting to see how Wade Phillips chooses to combat him.



4) Detroit Lions (VS Tennessee Titans)

Even though Detroit’s defense has been less than stellar so far this year, Tennessee’s offense has been dismal. The Titans have allowed opposing  defenses to run up 24 fantasy points (in standard scoring leagues) thus far this season. The only team that has given up more is the Chicago Bears. More on that later, though. Chris Johnson, who was supposed to strike fear into opposing defenses, is quickly turning into one of the most monumental fantasy running back flops of all time. I don’t see him breaking out of his slump this week. He’s had a total of 21 rushing yards this season including 4 yards  Even though Detroit’s run defense hasn’t been great this year (they gave up 148 rushing yards last week) they’ll get some good opportunities to look better this week.




3) Buffalo Bills (VS Cleveland Browns)

Even though Brandon Weeden looked much improved from week 1 to week 2, so did Buffalo’s defense. The team recorded three turnovers and five sacks against the Chiefs last week and helped turn a game that was supposed to be close (according to ESPN at least) into an old fashioned beat down. The Bills pass rush looked great last week compared to week 1. Just ask Matt Cassel. I’d expect the Bills to have a field day with Cleveland’s weak offensive line.


2) New York Jets (VS Miami Dolphins)

The Jets have the honor of facing Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins in week 3. The defense should have no problem wreaking havoc on rookie QB Ryan Tannehill and forcing him to make some bad decisions. There are only a few things I would be concerned about in this matchup. Firstly, star cornerback Darelle Revis might be inactive due to a concussion suffered in week 1. Secondly, Reggie Bush had a huge game last week, and is always a threat to do it again. He has accounted for nearly 40% of the Dolphins offense so far this season. Basically, if the Jets can stop Reggie Bush and put pressure on the backfield, this defensive matchup is a no-brainer


1) St. Louis Rams (VS Chicago Bears)

I mentioned earlier that the Bears were the only team that had given up more fantasy points to opposing defenses than the Titans. Last week’s performance against the Packers was bad. And when I say bad, I mean BAD. Chicago gave up 7 sacks and Jay Cutler threw four interceptions. To make matters worse, Cutler ran his mouth both during and after the game about his offensive line. After being sacked to end a series in the second quarter, national TV cameras caught a heated exchange between Cutler and Left Tackle J’Marcus Webb. Cutler began hurling expletives at Webb before shoving him out of the way. This, in my opinion, is probably one of THE DUMBEST things for a quarterback to do. I don’t expect Cutler’s offensive line to go out of their way for him after his actions against Green Bay. Cutler think’s he’s on his own. And if he continues to spout off, he will be.




Dark horse candidates for the week:

1) Indianapolis Colts (Vs Jacksonville Jaguars)

Any time you get to play against Blaine Gabbert, there’s potential for defensive points. The Jaguars had a grand total of 117 offensive yards against Houston last week.

2) Baltimore Ravens (VS New England Patriots)

the Patriots got embarrassed last week. This one is a bit iffy because it would be foolish to ever count out Tom Brady and the Pats offense, but I think the Ravens smell blood in the water this week and do their best to avenge their loss in the AFC Title game last season.

3) Miami Dolphins (VS New York Jets)

This one all depends on which Jets team shows up. If the week 1 Jets show up in Miami, the ‘Fins are in big trouble. On the other side of the coin, if the week 2 Jets show up the Dolphins could have a field day with a mistake-prone Mark Sanchez.



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Down and Distance Columnist - Tad Johnson @TJ_DownDistance

The post Top 5 Fantasy Defenses/Special Teams for Week 3 appeared first on DOWN & DISTANCE.

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