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It’s playoff time! Nothing is more exciting then when you make the dance regardless if you play for profit, a shiny trophy or just bragging rights amongst your friends. The best of the best remain in the hunt and now more then any part of the season, every point matters.

In about a decade or so of playing Fantasy Football, I have seen championships decided by defenses. When this has happened, it always seems to be because someone took the DST slot for granted, so don’t be that person.

Anyway I’m not sure if I want to recap last week as I did not have my most successful outing. The Seahawks absolutely trounced the Vikings, shutting out their offense, only giving up a score on a late kickoff return. The Chiefs also gave Derek Carr some fits and were a yard away from having two DST touchdowns on the day.

My Texans pick went awry as the Bills dropped 30 points leading to a negative output but at least I helped someone out when I said to stay away from the St. Louis Rams! That has to count for something, right?

Well hopefully I can have a better week since we have reached the postseason, so here is the Week 14 edition of the Defense Rankings Reaction.

Week 14 Defense Rankings Reaction

Defenses I Like More

New England Patriots @ Houston Texans

Often when I’m deciding on a defense, I factor in outside variables. There are many things you can consider that don’t or shouldn’t really mean much in Fantasy. Last week I talked about how St. Louis seemed to be falling apart and head coach Jeff Fisher was letting his frustrations get the best of him.

It is why this week I can say with the utmost confidence that New England will dominate the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football. I have one question for everyone? How many times have the New England Patriots lost three games in a row under Tom Brady and Bill Belichick? Once, and it came in 2002, Brady’s second year as the starting quarterback.

Last week was also a fluke for New England as they gave up three DST touchdowns; one on a blocked punt returned for a TD, a punt return by Darren Sproles and the most shocking one, a coast-to-coast pick-six thrown by Brady.

The Patriots are angry and they get a team with no offensive weapons outside of DeAndre Hopkins. They also know Texans head coach Bill O’Brien very well so I’m sure Belichick will have his team prepared for what to expect with the offense. Then you have Malcolm Butler who, outside of a couple of plays by amazing talent in Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown, has locked down the opposing teams No. 1 wide receiver the whole year.

The SCFE staff has New England ranked No. 7, but I would rank them No. 2 behind only Seattle, as I believe Butler deactivates “Nuk” and the Patriots make a statement, stomping all over the Texans for the whole world to see.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Indianapolis Colts

Here’s one for the deeper leagues. The SCFE staff almost left Jacksonville off the list with a No. 21 rank, but I think the Jaguars can give you a shot at a Top 10 defensive performance versus the Indianapolis Colts in Week 14.

There are many question marks with the Colts after they were embarrassed by Pittsburgh last week. Back-up quarterback Matt Hasselbeck left the game with some shoulder and neck injuries making way for Charlie Whitehurst to finish the game. Hasselbeck looks to be ready for this contest but it will be interesting to see if he has anything left in the tank.

The Jaguars run defense has played very well this season as well, holding opponents to an average of 3.6 yards per rushing attempt, which is third-best in the NFL. Opposing teams have picked on their secondary but Jacksonville held down the Colts, with Matt Hasselbeck, to just 16 points in their first meeting at Indy.

While they have been giving up an undesirable number of points, Jacksonville has done a better job of creating turnovers and generating sacks. They only had seven total takeaways in their first eight games, but have the same number over their last four. The Jaguars defense also has 10 sacks over their last three games while the Colts’ offensive line has allowed their quarterback to be hit 93 times on the season, second to last in the NFL.

If you are scrimmaging at the bottom for a DST for Week 14, consider Jacksonville as a shot to get you a decent total.

Defenses I Like Less

Buffalo Bills @ Philadelphia Eagles

I didn’t believe in the Bills last week, but they proved me wrong. This week I am after their defense though and I don’t believe they can even crack the Top 15, despite being ranked at No. 8 by the SCFE staff.

In the last three games combined, the Bills DST have put up a big donut and haven’t made much impact the whole season. In fact, they haven’t had more than two sacks in any single game and have only manhandled some of the weaker NFL teams.

They are on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles, a week removed from their shocking win over the Patriots. The game also features a huge storyline as running back LeSean McCoy plays in Lincoln Financial Field for the first time as the enemy.

I think the big win over New England gives the Philly a huge confidence boost and you know they will be licking their chops at the thought of stuffing Shady. Sam Bradford is back and even though he hasn’t been the best, Mark Sanchez was a turnover machine in his three weeks of relief.

This is another call I have a feeling on but with the NFC East still up for grabs, the Eagles will find a way to put up some points and beat the Bills at home.

St. Louis Rams vs Detroit Lions

I’m not sure there is much to say about this. I mean I already stated my case against the St. Louis Rams last week. I was going to pick Detroit as a defense I liked more, but then I saw the Rams sitting at No. 10 in the SCFE staff rankings.

Last week, the Rams were blitzed by the Arizona Cardinals and finished with a score of negative four. That’s really all the needs to be said on their end because when you don’t have a capable quarterback in the NFL, your whole team is hindered.

The Detroit Lions come into town and even though they suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Packers on a untimed Hail Mary, the team has played a ton better since their bye week. The offense has done a great job taking care of the ball, only losing one fumble and throwing one interception in the last four games.

The Lions have limited opposing Fantasy defenses to just an average of two points in the stretch as well, and even though they are on the road, I see them putting up at least 24 points on the Rams. If not, then I would be pretty shocked.

I’ll leave you with one statement as we wrap up another season of the Defense Rankings Reaction:

Do Not Play The Rams D/ST!

I hope you all enjoyed another edition of the Defense Rankings Reaction. Good luck to everyone in Week 14 and the rest of the playoffs! Hopefully it ends with a championship!

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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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