Heading into Week 2, some of the league’s elite defenses face great matchups. These are 5 “must-start” fantasy football defenses.
Week 1 was a strange week for defenses in fantasy football. None of the league’s premier defensive units ranked among the top fantasy-scoring defenses.
This is something fantasy owners should come to expect, as matchups are key in picking your starting defense. The most dominant defenses may not always be the highest in fantasy scoring, as a bad offensive performance can lead to fantasy points for any defense.
If you don’t like your defense’s matchup, you can almost always find a defense available with a better one. Never take the risk of playing a defense facing a tough offense, as they could even result in negative points for your team.
Keep an eye on the waivers for Week 2 and watch for matchups against a weak offense. By making a habit of this, you may end up with a new starting defense each week, ultimately resulting in production for your team from this position. Here are the top five to consider starting heading into Week 2 action.
Next: 5. Oakland Raiders
5. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders defense, by no means, will be a stand-out fantasy defense this year. Coming as little surprise, they’re available in over 80 percent of ESPN leagues. But for Week 2, you may be able to find a “one-week wonder” in the Raiders defense.
The Raiders defense will be facing a New York Jets offense that showed an extreme lack of identity in Week 1. Much to our expectations, as their starting quarterback, Josh McCown, has had little time to work with most of his receivers.
Not only does this Jets offense lack chemistry, but they also failed to get their feature back, Bilal Powell, moving the ball effectively in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills. Furthermore, a lack of chemistry and an inability to move the ball will create chaos for the Jets offense. We saw during Week 1 how pressure on the quarterback affected the Jets, leading to near-turnovers.
Perhaps the most glaring weakness in the Jets offense lies on their offensive line. The offensive tackles of the Jets looked like a position of weakness leading up to the season, and this proved true during Week 1. Front seven players like Khalil Mack, Mario Edwards, and Bruce Irvin will be a mismatch nightmare against the Jets offensive line. Expect this to lead to pressure on McCown and of course, sacks and turnovers, ultimately resulting in big points for your fantasy team.
Next: 4. Kansas City Chiefs
4. Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs have become notorious for being one of the most well-coached teams in all of football. Head coach Andy Reid had his squad ready for action in Week 1, as they took down the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots 42-27.
The New England offense is no easy unit to stop. The fact that they allowed only 27 points to Tom Brady and the New England offense is something to be proud of. The Chiefs defense successfully halted Brady and the Patriots offense, making Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense a far easier matchup.
Wentz and the Eagles looked impressive in Week 1, though they did so against a Redskins defense that doesn’t even compare to that of the Chiefs. While Wentz has consistently impressed us and looks like a promising young player, he is still a second-year quarterback with a lot of learning left to do. Perhaps Wentz was able to get away with a few mistakes against Washington, but Reid is far too savvy to allow a young quarterback to get over on them.
While the season-ending injury of star safety Eric Berry is a tremendous loss, we can expect a veteran head coach like Reid to have the next man up ready for action. Besides, they’ve still got plenty of star power in guys like Justin Houston, Marcus Peters, and Bennie Logan. After asserting their dominance in Week 1 against the GOAT, expect the Chiefs defense to continue their reign of terror against a far less-experienced Eagles team in Week 2, making them a great start for your fantasy team.
Next: 3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quietly made vast improvements to their defense over the past few years. Devante Bond, Lavonte David, and Kwon Alexander could potentially make up the best linebacking-corps in the league.
Aside from great linebackers, the Buccaneers defense features a star defensive lineman in Gerald McCoy. Recent draft picks such as Vernon Hargreaves and Noah Spence will only help this unit continue to improve.
This team should be fresh and ready for action come Week 2 against the Bears, as they’re coming off a bye-week induced by Hurricane Irma. Not only will this team be fresh and ready to rock, but a matchup against Chicago should make fantasy owners eyes light up.
The Chicago offense is a unit loaded with question marks. They’ve got a quarterback controversy between Mike Glennon and Mitch Trubisky, and now some questions as to who will be their RB1, as Tarik Cohen vastly outperformed projected starter Jordan Howard. This Bears offense lacks identity, which will take them some time to find. The rise of the Tampa Bay defense supplemented by a confused Chicago offense will ultimately yield big points for the Buccaneers defense, making them a great start for Week 2.
Next: 2. Seattle Seahawks
2. Seattle Seahawks
Last week, the Seattle Seahawks defense faced what may have been their toughest matchup of the year. The “Legion of Boom” failed to make any big noise against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Although, they did manage to hold the Packers prolific offense to only 17 points, only scoring 6 fantasy points in doing so.
More from Jets Fantasy Football
- New York Jets 2019: Ranking the 53-man roster — #25 CJ Mosley
- 2019 Fantasy Football Outlook: Jets Defense/Special Teams
- 2019 Fantasy Football Outlook: Jets IDPs
- 2019 Fantasy Football Outlook: Jets RB Ty Montgomery
- 2019 Fantasy Football Outlook: Jets WR Quincy Enunwa
In Week 2, the Seahawks are poised with a great opportunity to bounce back from a Week 1 loss. Seattle will face a 49ers offense with little-to-no firepower. They’ve acquired Brian Hoyer to start at quarterback, though it’s hardly an upgrade over Blaine Gabbert.
Hoyer, who is clearly a “bridge-quarterback” in San Fransisco, won’t have much at his disposal this season. The only acquisition they’ve made to help him out in wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who will be the WR1 for the 49ers, but doesn’t possess the skill-set of a true WR1.
The match-up of the 49ers offense against the Seahawks defense will be a “David vs. Goliath” type of mismatch. Now with the addition of defensive end Sheldon Richardson, the Seahawks defense becomes the most well-rounded defensive unit in the league. A weak 49ers offense matched up against the Seahawks stout defense will more than make up for the Seahawks lack of fantasy points posted last week. If you’re a Seahawks defense fantasy owner, consider them a “must-start” heading into Week 2.
Next: 1. Arizona Cardinals
1. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals defense is the Week 2 defensive start of the week and for good reason. Last week, Bruce Arians’ defense struggled against the gun-slinging Matthew Stafford and his Detroit Lions. The Cardinals allowed 29 points against in their Week 1 loss to the Lions, but they did have a pick-6, resulting in 7 fantasy points for the Cardinals defense.
Despite allowing 29 points (to a powerful offense), the Cardinals defense showed their big-play ability when Justin Bethel brought an interception back to the house for 6. For the Cardinals defense, Bethel isn’t even among their top weapons. Offensive coordinators also must game plan around defensive studs like Patrick Peterson, Chandler Jones, and Tyrann Matthieu.
It’s no secret that this Cardinals defense is loaded with firepower. Its also no secret that the Colts offense is a mess without their star quarterback, Andrew Luck. Without Luck, the Colts offense presents a great fantasy matchup to any opposing defense.
This is a Colts offense that allowed a sub-par Rams defense to rack up 29 fantasy points. In doing so, the Rams defense came up with two interceptions, a fumble recovery, and two defensive touchdowns. The Cardinals defense big-play ability combined with the Colts lack of offensive firepower makes their defense the top start of the week heading into Week 2 fantasy football.