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Hi all! I thoroughly enjoyed writing my first article for SCFE. Trying to decide what defenses will over/under perform is not as easy as it looks. Overall, I was pretty pleased with the outcome, and I welcome you to the Week 10 edition of the Defense Rankings Reaction.

In Week 9, I learned that the Oakland Raiders are for real. In a highly entertaining game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, both offenses accounted for over 1,000 yards combined. While that call didn’t prove to be fruitful, a pick-six by Jordan Hicks put the Eagles D/ST into the Top 5 for Week 9.

Meanwhile, what in the world happened to the Falcons? They lost to Blaine Gabbert! That just goes to show you that anything can happen in the NFL and trying to predict this madness is a very difficult job.

In Week 10, I would like to highlight the Cincinnati Bengals as the D/ST unit to watch, as they get the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football. The Bengals rank among the best, giving up a stingy 17.8 points per game, and their days of struggling in prime time games have seemingly come to an end. I expect a repeat performance of their dominating victory on Thursday Night Football over the Cleveland Browns.

In that contest, Johnny Manziel and the Browns put the Bengals’ undefeated record in doubt. However, halftime adjustments were made and the Bengals held the Browns to just 32 total yards and two first downs in the second half. Ranked sixth by the SCFE Staff for Week 10, I see no reason why the Bengals can’t shut down the only threat the Texans have in DeAndre Hopkins and be the No. 1 defense in Week 10.

Week 10 Defense Rankings Reaction

 

Defenses I Like More

Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals

The SCFE staff ranked the Seattle Seahawks at No. 9 for the week, but I think we see a vintage performance by the “Legion of Boom” on Sunday Night Football.

The Cardinals offense has been excellent in 2015, and they have allowed opposing defenses to only score a shade under one Fantasy point per game. While they are the second ranked offense, remember that Arizona’s toughest test this year came from the St. Louis Rams. Outside of that, they have piled up points against mediocre squads.

We all know Seattle is no mediocre squad and despite their early-season struggles, they still rank second behind Denver in total yards allowed (2,279) and points per game (17.5).

The “12’s” will be rocking in Seattle and the Hawks need this one if they want to win their third straight divisional title. I just can’t see them going down without a fight and I expect a low-scoring affair with the Seahawks coming out on top.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The defensive side of the ball has always been the hallmark of the Baltimore Ravens. Unfortunately, Terrell Suggs tore his Achilles in the season opener and the Ravens defense has not been able to find a way to stop the bleeding. The SCFE staff placed Baltimore at No. 19 for Week 10, but I believe we will see a Top 10 scoring output from the Ravens D/ST.

Jacksonville is no longer a team you can take lightly, as Blake Bortles has improved tenfold over his rookie season and legitimate playmakers exist in T.J. Yeldon and Allen Robinson. However, the Jaguars are still a young team and a young team that makes many mistakes.

They have 14 turnovers on the year and have allowed opposing Fantasy defenses to finish with a double-digit result in five of eight games.

At home, this matchup might be just what the doctor ordered for the Ravens defense, who are tied for last with only four takeaways on the season. They probably will concede over 20 points, but I predict at least three turnovers for the Ravens D/ST.

 

Defenses I Like Less

New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills

The Jets come in as the No. 4 ranked defense by the SCFE staff in Week 10, and I think that is way too high against a very talented Buffalo team. The Bills seem to be back to full health and exploded for 33 points last week against the Miami Dolphins.

Even though LeSean McCoy was banged up in the win, the Bills also have impressive rookie running back, Karlos Williams, who is over his scary concussion symptoms. Tyrod Taylor and Sammy Watkins both returned to action as well and connected on a 44-yard touchdown.

Compared to their first four games, the Jets have been pretty ordinary, giving up an average of 13 more points in their last four contests. Even Jacksonville seemed to have no issues moving the ball on them in Week 9.

With all of Buffalo’s key players healthy and Rex Ryan looking for some revenge on the team that fired him last year, expect the Bills to play hard for Rex’s homecoming and upset the Jets on the road.

Oakland Raiders vs. Minnesota Vikings

Earlier, when I said the Oakland Raiders were for real, I was clearly not talking about their defense. The SCFE staff has the “Silver and Black” at No. 15, but I’m not sure they can be depended on in their Week 10 contest versus the Minnesota Vikings.

This depends on the status of Vikings quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, who would need to complete the NFL’s concussion protocol to play. If Bridgewater is under center, the Raiders D/ST will need to be left on the waiver wire.

Oakland will be playing home, but there is just no upside in this matchup. The Vikings are a clock-controlling team that doesn’t take many risks and are tied for fifth, with only nine giveaways.

Last week, the Raiders allowed 32-year-old DeAngelo Williams to rush for 170 yards and two touchdowns. This week, they have the difficult task of trying to contain Adrian Peterson. Enough said.

So good luck to everyone in Week 10 and I hope you will be back next week for some more Defensive Rankings Reaction.

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John Pitucci

A passionate New York Giants and Yankees fan, John has become just as enamored when it comes to Fantasy Sports. His love of Football, Baseball and the Management aspect was what drew him in...and he's never looked back. In fact, I don't think a day goes by where Fantasy is not on his mind.
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