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2012 Fantasy Football Week 5 Defense Rankings: Texans, Bears, 49ers, Ravens, Giants and More

1.  Houston Texans (@NYJ) – The Texans’ defense continued their dominance against the Titans last week while the Jets’ offense seems to have gotten worse each week.  The Jets can’t run the ball against anyone, and things will only get tougher against the Texans.  Mark Sanchez is playing so poorly right now, and will be without his favorite target in Santonio Holmes.  Putting Houston at the top of the list may be the most obvious call of the year.

2.  Chicago Bears (@JAX) – The Bears’ DST scored 2 touchdowns, and neither of them was a Hester return.  While their 14 takeaways lead the league, I don’t have them above the Texans, because I think Jacksonville will not put Gabbert into too many situations where he can turn the ball over.  They will lean on MJD and let Gabbert try to complete short passes on third down.  I don’t think this strategy will be successful for the Jaguars, as I can’t imagine a scenario where the Bears give up many points in this game.

3.  San Francisco 49ers (BUF) – Buffalo’s offense is explosive enough that I don’t expect another shutout this week by the Niners.  I do, however, expect Fitzpatrick to give the ball up a few times.  In 4 weeks he has singlehandedly turned the ball over 9 times (7 ints, 2 fumbles).  If San Francisco can turn one of the upcoming turnovers into a defensive touchdown, they may finish the week even higher than third.

4.  Baltimore Ravens (@KC) – The Ravens probably won’t need the extra 3 days they got to prepare for the Chiefs, but It definitely won’t hurt.  It is probably overly optimistic to expect the Chiefs to turn the ball over 6 times for the second consecutive week, but there should be turnovers to be had for the Ravens defense.

5.  Arizona Cardinals (@STL)  – The Cardinals gave up a LOT of yardage through the air against Miami last week.  A big reason for this was they were determined to not let Reggie Bush beat them.  This led to less pressure on Tannehill and more open space down the field.  They won’t need to pay the same amount of attention to SJax, as he is not the homerun threat Bush is.  This should be another big week for the surprisingly undefeated Cardinals.

6.  New York Giants (CLE) – I expect the defending champs to come out angry at home against the Browns after losing in the final seconds on Sunday night to their rivals in Philly.  If the Giants can continue to get pressure on the quarterback without blitzing, I see a lot of mistakes thrown by rookie Brandon Weedon.  Jason Pierre Paul should have another monster game lining up opposite rookie Mitchell Schwartz(Go Bears!).

7.  Minnesota Vikings (TEN) – In week 4, we finally gave the Arizona defense the credit they had deserved.  This week it’s the Vikings’ turn.  They’re in the top 8 in both yards/game(8th) and pts/game(7th).  They are at home against a Titans team who is missing their starting quarterback, has no run game, and whose most talented receiver missed week 4 due to injury.  

8.  New England Patriots (DEN) – I don’t think the Patriots will shut down their old rival, as I expect Peyton to throw for a lot of yardage.  I do however expect the Patriots to continue to take the ball away from their opponents.  So far this season they have taken the ball away 12 times, which trails only the Bears.  While Peyton has looked better the past 6 quarters, there are still signs that his arm strength may not be all the way back which has led to some bad interceptions.  

9.  St. Louis Rams (ARI) – I like the Rams in this spot as they will get the Cardinals on short rest at home.  I don’t think the Rams can provide enough firepower to win this game, but I think with a lead Arizona will be content to try to run the clock and let their defense hold on.  

10.  Seattle Seahawks (@CAR) – The Seahawks last in St. Louis last week, but their defense still did an excellent job.  They allowed 19 points and less than 300  yards.  They were often put into poor positions to succeed by Russell Wilson’s 3 interceptions.  I think their defensive line can get a good amount of push on Carolina and their big corners should be able to bull Steve Smith.

11.  Pittsburgh Steelers (PHI)
12.  Atlanta Falcons (@WAS)
13.  Philadelphia Eagles (@PIT)
14.  Cincinnati Bengals (MIA)
15.  Green Bay Packers (@IND)
16.  Carolina Panthers (SEA)
17.  Buffalo Bills (@SF)
18.  Jacksonville Jaguars (CHI)
19.  Miami Dolphins (@CIN)
20.  New York Jets (HOU) 
21.  Tennessee Titans (@MIN)
22.  Kansas City Chiefs (BAL)
23.  Cleveland Browns (@NYG)
24.  Denver Broncos (@NE)
25.  San Diego Chargers (@NO)
26.  Washington Redskins (ATL)
27.  New Orleans Saints (SD)
28.  Indianapolis Colts (GB)

Written by Ilyn Yeh exclusively for

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