Defenses (DEF) to Start in Week 7: Fantasy Tiers & Rankings (2024)

Defenses (DEF) to Start in Week 7: Fantasy Tiers & Rankings (1)

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Defenses (DEF) to Start in Week 7: Fantasy Tiers & Rankings (2)For those of you fantasy football owners out there who are streaming defenses, RotoBaller has got you covered with around-the-league analysis of the Week 7 NFL matchups. Week 7doesn't have all that many enticing defensive matchups, so be sure to stay on top ofyour league's free agency pool.

Just like every other week of the fantasy football season, we’re here to give you the insight to help make your defense streaming decisions and Week 7lineup decisions a bit easier. Some of these defenses may have good matchups, and be sleepers available on your league’s waiver wire, so make sure to take a look at your waiver wire options as well. Good luck in Week 7 RotoBallers!

Teams that have byeweeks in Week 7:Philadelphia Eagles & Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 7 Defenses: Tiers & Rankings

Tier 1: Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals

This week's first tier starts out like every other, gooddefenses with good matchups. The Seahawks travel to St. Louiswhere they'll look to shut down Austin Davis,Brian Quick, Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt and Zac Stacy. The Patriots host the Jets in what could easily be another New England blowout against Geno Smith, Jace Amaro, Chris Ivory and Eric Decker.

The Arizona Cardinals are still only owned in 66% of Yahoo leagues, and travel to Oakland for Week 7 to take on the Raiders. While the Raiders offense went off for 28 points against another good defense in San Diego last week, the Cardinals have a much better secondary and should be able to confuse Derek Carr more than the Chargers did. All three of these tier one matchups are must-starts for this week.

Tier 2: Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, San Diego Chargers

Tier 2 starts off with a couple ofteams owned in 80% of leagues with Houston and Denver. The Texans travel to Pittsburgh to take on Le'Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. The Steelers have been better than most expected offensively, putting up nearly 400 YPG, but only averaging 21 PPG. They also have 7 turnovers, and the Texans are tied for the league lead with 14 takeaways. Denver hosts the 49ers for the Sunday night game. With the Broncos already accumulating 15 sacks in their first five games, and going up against a middle-of-the-pack offensive Line in San Francicso, this could be an challengingnight for Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davisand others.

The Buffalo Bills host the Vikings this week. With the Bills already having 19 total sacks and 10 takeaways, they will look to showcase their defensive prowess against a team that has10 turnovers and is averaging just 17 PPG. It just seems like the Vikings can't protect Teddy Bridgewater, which is hindering his development personally, as well as with his offensive weapons in Cordarelle Patterson, Greg Jennings,Matt Asiataand the rookie McKinnon. The Lions sacked Bridgewater four times last week, and hit him six more times - the Bills front seven has the capability of continuing this trend.

San Diego will take on Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs at home this week, and will look to bounce back defensively after their less than stellar performance against the Raiders. The Chargers have racked up 12 sacks in their first six games, and the Chiefs offensive line has been average at best this season. San Diego, with their 9 takeaways, will look to take advantage of mistakes as the Chiefs have given upsix turnovers tothis point. Travis Kelce and Jamaal Charles may not have quiet games, but the Chargers defense will get their fantasy points in a few ways. Any of these tier two defensescan be started with confidence in mostleagues for Week 7.

Tier 3: Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers

The Cincinnati Bengals head to Indianapolis to take on Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Ahmad Bradshaw, Trent Richardsonand the Colts. It pains me to say that the Bengals defense has simply not been the dominant force they were expected to be this season. They're still owned in 90% of leagues, so they're more than likely not an option in your league, but are worth a flier if they are.

Another defense that falls into the same category is San Francisco, and their road doesn't get any easier as they take on Peyton Manning, Julius Thomas, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Ronnie Hillman and the rest of the Denver Broncos in Week 7. They will be looking for a bounce back week after giving up what they did to the Rams, but this isn't the safest week to bank on a rebound from the usually vaunted Niners defense. The high powered Denver offense is a never a good one to bet against.

The Baltimore Ravens host the Falcons, who have been somewhat boom or bust offensively through this point in the season. The Ravens have ten sacks so far, but are going up againsta top 10 offensive line from Atlanta. Baltimore will look towin the turnover battle as Atlanta has given up 12 turnovers so far, and the Ravens have caused nine themselves. The big test will be containing Roddy White, Julio Jones, Matt Ryan,Steven Jacksonand Antone Smith.

Cleveland will look to show why their defense was so highly regarded prior to this season, as they certainly haven't proven why through their first five games. Week 7 brings the Browns to Jacksonville though, to take on Blake Bortles, Cecil Shorts, and Allen Robinson along with the rest of the Jaguars. Jacksonville has been the worst offense in the league, and have given up 12 turnovers, along with 21 sacks.

Chicago hosts the Miami Dolphins this week, and while Miami hasn't been lighting it up offensively, Chicago's defense certainly hasn't been either. The Dolphins showed this past week that they can keep of with the high scoring offenses of the NFC North in their tight finish with Green Bay. The Bears have 12 takeaways, and Miami has given up nine, but the real contest will be Mike Wallace, Lamar Miller and Knowshon Moreno against Shea McClellin, Lance Briggs and Kyle Fuller.

The Carolina Panthers travel to Green Bay to face off against Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb, Eddie Lacy and Jordy Nelson. The Panthers defense has looked like a shell of what it once was, but they have shown the ability to create turnovers with 12 so far this season. They've also accumulated 13 sacks, and are going up against an offensive line that has given up 12 sacks through six games. On the other side of the ball, Green Bay makes for an interesting play againstCam Newton, Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen. The Packers have been somewhat overlooked, giving up 22 PPG with 13 takeaways and 13 sacks through their first six games. While this game may be high scoring, there will be plenty of opportunities for fantasy defenses to score their points.

First off, I guess I need to apologize to the Dallas Cowboys and their fans. Every week I've sat here and made fun of their defense, and judgedgood performances as merely a fluke. Well no longer, after their dominant showing against the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks, I'm finally ready to accept that Rob Marinelli has improved this defense tenfold from 2013. They take on Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Reuben Randle and Andre Willims this week hosting the Giants who were just shut out by the Eagles (another defense I may need to start giving some credit to). Now that I've instilled a small amount of faith in the Cowboys, it's probably a good idea to stay away from them as they're liable to give up 50+ when things are expected of them.

Finishing up the third tier, we come to Pittsburgh hosting the Texans on Monday night. Houston has been putting up 22 PPG, and has been relying on Arian Foster heavily in order to do so. Ryan Fitzpatrick will need to get the ball to Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins. The Steelers have been attempting to return to their Steel Curtain form, and will look to do so this week by taking away the Texans' best offensive player. The Texans have given up 10 turnovers so far, and five sacks, so this has the potential to be a great dayfor Ryan Shazier, Troy Polamalu and crew.

Tier 4:New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, St. Louis Rams, Kansas City Chiefs,Minnesota Vikings

The fourth tier is where desperation plays can be found, but not a whole lot else. The New York Jets have been solid with their run defense holding opponents to under 100 YPG, butthe game is in New England and could end up ugly for the Jets depleted secondary. Tom Brady willuse Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski to carve them up.

The Indianapolis Colts are at home against Cincinnati, who may or may not have A.J. Green back, buthave looked great offensively under Hue Jackson. The Bengals have only given up one sack all season, while the Colts have racked up 17 so far defensively. Cincy hasn't been turnover prone and will look to continue that against anIndy team that's collected 12 takeaways. It should be a fun game to watch. The Falcons head to Baltimore who have been putting up 27 PPG and are red hot coming into Week 7. Atlanta is letting up 28 PPG, and Baltimore has one of the better offensive lines in the league which should be able to keep the Falcon's front seven (7 sacks so far) in check. Joe Flacco should have time to get the ball to Steve Smith and Torrey Smith.

Detroit is at home against New Orleans, and if Jimmy Graham ends up not being active for this game I think the Lions move up to the third tier. But I have a hunch (some may call it hope) that the best tight end in the NFL will play this Sunday. The Lions have arguably beenthebest defense in the league giving up just 270 total YPG, less than 14 PPG, and are leading the league in sacks with 20. But Drew Breesis behind one of the league's best offensive lines and has a multitude of weapons (Brandin Cooks, Marquest Colston, Pierre Thomas) to pick apart any defense with. The St. Louis Rams come off an impressive performance against the 49ers, but this week is adifferent sort of test against another divisional foe in Seattle. The Seahawks will be looking to rebound in a big way after their loss to Dallas, and are a bigger test than San Franisco's offense.

The Chiefs travel to San Diego to take on NFL MVP front-runner Phillip Rivers and the Chargers. The Chargers are putting up 27 PPG and only have given away two turnovers through their first six games. Rounding out tier four are the Vikings, who find themselves in Buffalo against the new look Bill's offense with Kyle Orton at the helm. Minnesota has been giving up 24 PPG and only have five takeaways in their first six games.I wouldn't be starting any of these tier four teams unlessthere aren't any other options.

Tier 5: Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, New York Giants

Tier 5 teams are typically either terrible defenses, terrible matchups, or both. And this week is no different. The Titans take on the Redskins, and with both teams giving up a lot of points each week, along with a lot of turnovers, this is a game I'd pass on for both sides. The Dolphins continue on their AFC Eastrun after last weeks brutal loss to the Packers. They held Aaron Rodgers and crew in check for most of the game, but still gave up 27 with no takeaways in the loss. Expect Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, and Alshon Jeffery to continue in the Packers footsteps with another high-scoring affair.

Detroit's offense has been lackluster so far this season, and isn't expected to get better without Megatron playing. But week after week the Saints defense proves me wrong for instilling any amount of faith in them, so I'm not going to touch them this week against the Lions. Jacksonville hosts the Browns who are averaging 27 PPG, and if Jordan Cameron can consistently be a threat, this offense is looking a hell of a lot scarier than most people expected. The Raiders host the Cardinals who continue to get things done offensively even in their state of flux. With Carson Palmer returning, and being able to take first-team snaps this week, this isn't the week to start betting on the Raiders defense. The Giants take on the high-flying Cowboys who are coming off their big win in Seattle, and the Giants just got embarrassed by the Eagles. Another defensive matchup I'm not considering for Week 7.

Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.

Defenses (DEF) to Start in Week 7: Fantasy Tiers & Rankings (2024)


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