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Article:Week 9 Defense/Special Teams Fantasy Rankings

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Must Starts:

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Kansas City Chiefs. Trust me, the Chiefs effort last week in New York was more a byproduct of the Jets horrific defensive play rather than a young team turning the corner (offensively). By all accounts, playing with Tyler Thigpen as your starting QB and Kobi Smith as your starting RB will lead to a lot of low scoring games, and we see another one this week. Look for Tampa to take away the running game early and then focus on pressuring Thigpen. They know that when under pressure, the young QB will turn the ball over and CB Ronde Barber and Co. will be ready for it. A top fantasy play this week.

2. New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys. If Romo were playing, this wouldn’t be such a safe pick, but as things stand now, the Giants are looking mighty tasty with QB Brad Johnson lining up behind center. The 40-year old is playing as if he’s 75, and that doesn’t bode well when facing a ferocious defense - it’s D-Line in particular - in their home park. We see the Giants getting up by at least 10 points in the 1st half and once they get a lead, they know what to do, as evidenced by their league leading 26 sacks. Look for a big fantasy effort by New York in this marquee football match-up at the Meadowlands.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Cincinnati Bengals. We can all agree that the 3-4 Jags have been a major disappointment this season - both fantasy wise and in general. But don’t worry, help is on the way. This week, Jacksonville tackles the lifeless Bengals, who are sitting at 0-8 and striving for eight more losses. With Fitzpatrick playing QB for Cincy, look for D Coordinator Williams to send pressure and force him into multiple turnovers and sacks.

4. Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets. The Bills are a completely different team when playing in Orchard Park. This year, they’re undefeated at home while their only two losses have come on the road. Look for Favre, and his league leading 11 INTs, to turn the ball over a couple of times in this game as he tries to force balls into places he shouldn’t. Additionally, the Bills should also be able to get a lot of pressure on #4 and rack up the sacks as he prolongs plays looking for his receivers to get open. A double digit fantasy scoring day by Buffalo is a safe bet.


1. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Washington Redskins. The Steelers come off a hard fought loss to the New York Giants last Sunday and head on the road to face the Redskins this week. If there’s always once constant for the Steelers, it’s the defense. This week, we like the Steelers top ranked rushing defense to take Portis out of the plan, and if this happens, we see Campbell being forced into turnovers against Lebeau’s pressure packed defense. They’ll also rack up a few sacks in the process. The top fantasy sleeper pick.

2. Philadelphia Eagles vs. Seattle Seahawks. The Eagles bring their blitz happy defense to Seattle this weekend and get to face a team playing with its back-up QB (Seneca Wallace). With the exception of last week, the Seahawks have been horrible this year and we see that trend continuing this Sunday. In a game that the Eagles should be able to jump out to a nice lead, look for DE Cole and Co. to make Wallace’s life miserable and force the QB into a few ill advised throws that result in interceptions. They should also be able to get a minimum of 3 sacks, resulting in at least 10 fantasy points.

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