I don’t normally rank defenses, but I’ve fielded more questions at this position than any other. The position is a true scramble in Week 14 with very few enticing options, so I’m looking for pick-six upside here. Tracking the Sunday weather will also be important — Seattle will shoot up if we get a blizzard in Green Bay, for example.
Tier 1 – Elite Options
1) Minnesota Vikings @ JAC
2) Denver Broncos @ TEN
3) Cincinnati Bengals @ CLE
Tier 2 – Start ’em
4) Arizona Cardinals @ MIA – Crap those pants Ryan Tannehill.
5) Seattle Seahawks @ GB – Earl Thomas’ loss hurts, as does facing Aaron Rodgers at home
6) Detroit Lions vs. CHI – They just shut down Brees in the Super Dome… do you really think they’ll struggle with Matt Barkley at home?
7) San Diego Chargers @ CAR – Fumble six FTW
8) New England Patriots vs. BAL
9) Atlanta Falcons @ LA – Can’t believe I have this horrendous defense this high, but the matchups are that rough and the Rams are that bad. A pick-six here would be far from surprising.
10 Carolina Panthers vs. SD – Have gotten trounced the past two weeks, but have an enormous ceiling against a turnover prone Chargers team
Tier 3 – Last usable names
11) Indianapolis Colts vs. HOU – They have three 11 point performances and one 9 FP effort in their last six, and now get Brock Osweiler at home. The Colts might just be the desperation play that keeps you alive if Cincy, SD, and Atlanta are already scooped.
12) Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. NO – This seems psycho, but the Bucs have scored 24, 8, 19, and 12 in their last four + Detroit just shut down the New Orleans show at home. Not desirable, but an option.
13) Miami Dolphins vs. ARI
14) Pittsburgh Steelers @ BUF
15) Tennessee Titans vs. DEN
16) Baltimore Ravens @ NE
17) Kansas City vs. OAK – On a short week and at home, maybe I am just overthinking this one… the Raiders
One of those top 17 is going to be available, so the list ends here. Best of luck with defense roulette this week… it’s hideous.