Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Defenses (DEF) to Start in Week 2: Fantasy Tiers & Rankings


For those of you fantasy football owners out there who are streaming defenses, or looking for help deciding which defenses to start, RotoBaller has got you covered with around-the-league analysis of the Week 2 NFL matchups. Week 2 has some enticing defensive matchups, so be sure to stay on top of your league’s waiver wire options.

Just like we will be 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 2 lineup decisions a bit easier.

Some of these defenses have good matchups, representing sleeper opportunity available in your league, so make sure to take a look at your waiver wire options, as well. Good luck in Week 2 RotoBallers!

 

Week 2 Defenses: Tiers & Rankings

Tier 1: Houston Texans, St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens

These are three solid defenses with great match-ups, which is all you can ask for when ranking defenses. The Texans fearsome pass rush goes up against a wide receiver-less Cam Newton and the lackluster Panthers offense. I don't see how J.J. Watt and company come away with less than three sacks, and with hands in his face all day Newton will definitely struggle to put points on the board.

The Rams are coming off an impressive upset of the Seahawks, and with Kirk Cousins coming to town they should impress again. With Desean Jackson injured (again) there are no big-play threats for Washington, and as long as the Rams can stop Alfred Morris they should coast to a victory. I expect plenty of sacks and at least an interception or two.

The Dolphins beat up that very Redskins offense on Sunday, and even returned a kick for a touchdown. While you can't count on the special teams play, you should be able to count on a couple interceptions and sacks again Blake Bortles. The Jaguars are definitely improving as an offense, but when I say improvement I mean like...28th-best versus dead last. Dolphins defense could have double-digit fantasy points again in this juicy matchup.

The Ravens held Peyton Manning's offense to a handful of field goals on Sunday afternoon, and while it remains to be seen if that had more to do with Peyton Manning's lackluster play than excellent defense, there's no denying the Ravens made life difficult for him. This week they'll get a crack at the Raiders, and with Derek Carr possibly being hindered by a hand injury there is nothing not to like here.

 

Tier 2:  Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers

The Cardinals held the Saints offense under 20 points in Week 1, and I expect they'll be able to repeat the feat against Jay Cutler and the Bears in Week 2. The Bears looked halfway decent against the Packers, but that is not an elite defense by any means. The Cardinals will be able to get to Cutler, and three or four sacks and a pair of picks is more than likely.

For as much hell as the Ravens gave Peyton Manning in Week 1, the Broncos made it even harder on Joe Flacco. They were in his face literally all afternoon, leading to two interceptions (one of which was returned for a touchdown). This week they'll face Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense, and I don't foresee him putting up another three scores. The key here will be whether or not they can stop Jamaal Charles and Travis Kelce in the short passing game.

The Panthers did not disappoint against the hapless Jaguars in Week 1, and I expect they'll be equally reliable in Week 2 against the Texans. Your guess is as good as mine as to who will be starting at quarterback for Houston, and with Arian Foster expected to be out at least another week, that offense doesn't have much to work with. Carolina will get their fair share of sacks, and shouldn't yield more than 17 points.

 

Tier 3: Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles

The Bengals were only okay against the Raiders in Week 1, and with Phillip Rivers coming to town I'm not a huge fan of them in Week 2. He put up 400 passing yards against the Lions, and while I don't think he'll do that again he should throw a lot against the Bengals secondary. This should lead to a few careless throws, and if the Bengals can capitalize they might eke out fantasy relevance in Week 2.

Those same Lions travel to Minnesota for a date with the Vikings in Week 2, and the game plan will be simple--stop Adrian Peterson. Even without N'damukong Suh, the Lions run defense is fierce, and with any luck they'll be able to keep Peterson in check. That means Teddy Bridgewater will need to beat them, and while he's a star on the rise that might be too much to ask. A few sacks and at least one turnover should be enough to warrant a fantasy start if you're streaming.

The Vikings might also be startable if Matthew Stafford looks as mediocre as he did in Week 1. Ameer Abdullah should already begin to supplant Joique Bell as the primary back in Detroit, and it will be important for the Vikings front to shut him down. The big issue will be Calvin Johnson, as I'm not sure the Minnesota secondary has enough to stop him. This matchup will come down to whether or not "good Matt Stafford" shows up.

The Titans warrant a start simply because they're going against a bad, bad, bad offense. They made the Buccaneers looks like garbage in Week 1, they should have no trouble doing the same to the Cleveland Poo...I mean, Browns.

The Eagles are startable because they'll be facing a Dez Bryant-less Cowboys team. I was less than impressed with the Cowboys run game in Week 1, and if the Cowboys rely on Romo to throw the ball the Eagles secondary will have some opportunities for takeaways. Here's hoping, right?

 

Tier 4: New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs

The Patriots/Bills matchup is going to be the one to watch in Week 1. I personally am a believer in Tyrod Taylor and the Bills offense as a whole, so I don't expect much from the Patriots in the way of fantasy points. Likewise, the Bills should be able to get to Brady several times and will not allow much in the run game, but they don't have anyone that can stop Rob Gronkowski. All of this aside, this should be a low-scoring fist-fight of a game, making both defenses worth a look.

The Jaguars held the Panthers relatively in-check in Week 1, and they have a decent chance of doing so in Week 2 against the Dolphins. The Miami run game was really bad against the Redskins, a combination of lack of volume and a stout Washington front seven. I expect similar conditions in Week 2, meaning Ryan Tannehill will need to beat the Jags. A few sacks and a pick perhaps, but I'm looking elsewhere.

The Saints only make the list because they're going up against Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers. Winston looked really bad in his first game, and the rookie learning curve looks like it'll be a real concern in the early stages of the 2015 season. Expect the Saints to take advantage, getting to Winston a few times and likely forcing an interception or two.

The Kansas City Chiefs are my desperation pick for Week 2--they play the Broncos, after all. However, watching Peyton Manning in Week 1 gave me the willies. He had plenty of lame-duck passes, adn didn't respond well at all to the pressure that the Ravens brought. The Kansas City pass-rush will likely follow the same plan, and Lord knows Peyton Manning isn't going to scramble to avoid sacks. The Broncos don't scare me right now, so stream the Chiefs if you're feeling bold.

 


Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!


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.




More Recent Articles

 

Quarterback Leaderboards At Midseason - NFL Next Gen Stats

We've consumed our first "double-digit week" set of games. That means we've entered the final part of the season and, in fact, the fantasy football playoffs are closer than you may realize. There are just three more weeks to go until we hit Week 14 and celebrate our presence in the run for the chip,... Read More


Fantasy Football Disaster Recovery: Cooper Kupp

Welcome to Disaster Recovery, where each week I'll examine why your studs played like duds. This isn't a place to find out why you should have sat a player for somebody else on your bench. Disaster Recovery is here to examine the guys who you didn't think twice about starting and to help you decide if you should... Read More


The Tape Tells All - Christian Kirk Fantasy Analysis

Welcome to another edition of "The Tape Tells All," where I break down some film of an NFL's player performance and try to draw some fantasy football conclusions from that film. This week, I'm looking at Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk, who broke out in Week 10, catching three touchdowns. Kirk seems to have... Read More


Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Darius Slayton, Christian Kirk, Kareem Hunt

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More


FAAB Bidding - Week 11 Waiver Wire Targets

Assisting our famous waiver wire pickups list, and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB). As a caveat, these prices do not by any means indicate how much these free agent players will... Read More


Week 11 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

It's crunch time, with precious few games left before the fantasy regular season ends. There aren't many new names emerging on the waiver wire at this juncture but the RB situations in Atlanta and Detroit bear watching, while the Jets passing game has shown signs of life. No, really. Each week, we will advise you... Read More


Deeper League Free Agent Pickups for Week 11

Rotoballers, if you're not active on the waiver wire this time of year, there are only two reasonable explanations: 1) You're sitting at 3-7 (or worse) and don't find it enjoyable to play spoiler to your league mates, or 2) You're 8-2 (or better) and have nothing but matchup-proof studs on your starting lineup and... Read More


Week 11 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Below are RotoBaller's Week 11 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 11 of the NFL and fantasy football season. In case you missed it, this is our seventh year now writing this weekly column. Our weekly tiered defense rankings are a guide to making waiver... Read More


Week 11 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

It's Week 11, and we're getting closer and closer to the fantasy football playoffs. The consistent options are getting more and more clear, especially at the kicking position. We're also going to start dealing with everyone's favorite factor, which is inclement weather, especially up north. The margin for error in these weeks is slim, and... Read More


Week 10 Surprises? We Must Overreact Immediately!

In Week 10, Christian Kirk, Darius Slayton, Tyreek Hill, and Michael Thomas all had beatable cornerback matchups and finished as the top-four wide receivers in PPR scoring. At running back, Derrick Henry exploited a poor Chiefs run defense and rumbled for 188 yards and two touchdowns, finishing as the No. 1 running back on the week. Ronald... Read More


The Cut List - Players on the Chopping Block (Week 11)

This is your weekly list of players to drop. I will do my best to limit this list to injured players and players you might consider holding. If you roster pure handcuffs or backups, obviously you can let them go at any time. The players on this list will, ideally, be guys that aren't clearly... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 11

The regular season continues to advance at a relentless pace as we have now entered the planning process for Week 11. Some of you are in the favorable position of only needing slight modifications to rosters that are destined to enter the fantasy playoffs. But many of you are still searching for the most effective... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 11

Did you survive the terrible, no good, very bad six-team bye week? If so, welcome to the other side, when roster building gets slightly easier going forward. If not, I'm sorry, but you still have time to get things back on the right path. Let's talk about some wide receivers who might be able to... Read More


Week 11 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

If your fantasy football squad is still in the playoff hunt heading into Week 11, then congratulations on not being the Pat Shurmur or Freddie Kitchens of your league. Fantasy football players will have to live without New York’s Evan Engram, Green Bay’s Jimmy Graham and Tennessee’s Jonnu Smith as their teams are on bye.... Read More


Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 11

We've got plenty to unpack at the quarterback position following an exciting Week 10. While no major injuries occurred in game, the revelation of Matthew Stafford's back injury was quite a surprise and left some owners scrambling just before lineups locked. So the year of the backup continued this week, as 16 of the 32... Read More