Fantasy Football: Top 3 Defenses Managers Should Start in Week 8


By Alex Hall (@AlexKHall)

As the fantasy football season trudges on, it’s becoming clear which defenses are the ones
owners should start. While it’s always tempting to play the matchups week to week with this
aspect of fantasy, here are the top three defenses owners can count on this coming week.

Chicago Bears

This could be a real simple explanation if I just redirected readers to this past Monday Night Football game featuring the Bears and Detroit Lions. It’s quite possible that Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford ran the equivalent of about four miles in that contest with how much Brian
Urlacher and co. had him on the run.

The Bears defense forced three fumbles, one interception and sacked Stafford three times for 20 yards. The Lions offense also only converted four of 13 third downs for a first against the latest version of the “Monsters of the Midway”.

This week Chicago takes on Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers attack that had posted just
14 points against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7. The Panthers offense has struggled this season, with just the No. 22 and No. 13 passing and rushing offense respectively. That should have the Bears licking their chops for this early-day matchup comes Sunday and so should their fantasy owners.

Seattle Seahawks

Remember those Detroit Lions mentioned just a few paragraphs ago? Yeah, they face the Seattle Seahawks and their sneakily stingy defense. While Seattle’s D is ranked just No. 14 overall, they have held the likes of the Green Bay Packers, Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers to 13 or fewer points this season. Those three teams boast the No. 1, 14 and 8 ranked passing offenses in the NFL this season.

Seattle might not have the most well-known defensive players, but the likes of Brandon
Browner, Richard Sherman and Chris Clemons are quickly changing that fact. Head coach Pete
Carroll and the Seahawks front office have developed one of the league’s most up-and-coming, dangerous defenses around.

Given the Lions demoralizing loss on national television to the Bears and the struggles Stafford had, the Seahawks should be able to capitalize and put together a solid fantasy day defensively.

Green Bay Packers

Didn’t expect to see this unit on the list, did you? The Packers have been notoriously porous on defense in recent seasons, but c’mon, they’re playing the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jags starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert is going to be evaluated by Dr. James Andrews and star rusher Maurice Jones-Drew has already been ruled out of this Week 8 game.

Jacksonville already has the league-worst passing attack and now its two most important offensive starters might not even play. The Packers might not be anywhere near as good as their rival Bears unit, but they’re capable of shutting down a depleted, already mediocre offense.

It wouldn’t be wise to roll with the Pack D on many occasions this season, but given the state of the Jags: this is one of the times when owners can.

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