A look at team defenses for Week 7 in fantasy football leagues, including rankings and units whose stocks are rising and falling.
THREE UP: The Indianapolis Colts offer hope for production based on matchup alone. They get the Buffalo Bills at home, who are starting newly-signed backup quarterback Derek Anderson. Indy is tied for No. 10 in the NFL with 10 takeaways and should add to that number in Week 7. … the Texans defense is heating up and travels to Jacksonville to face a Jaguars team that has the second-most giveaways (14) and second-worst turnover margin (minus-9) in the NFL. Houston has seven takeaways and two return touchdowns in its past three games. … the Chargers get their third straight subpar offense, this time in London against the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee has some ingredients, but they aren’t coming together with much consistency. And that includes giving up 11 sacks and picking up just seven first downs in a 21-0 loss to Baltimore last week. Ride the wave.
THREE DOWN: The Jacksonville Jaguars are Exhibit A why drafting a defense early in fantasy is a mistake. This group was dominant last season and went into 2018 as perhaps the only defense in fantasy that could be set in lineups and forgotten. But the Jags haven’t played to their upside, and they got embarrassed last week by a suspect Cowboys offense. Houston is an OK matchup on paper, but last week’s circus damaged trust and dropped them to the No. 15 unit in fantasy. … the Ravens once again rank among the elite defenses in fantasy, but even they warrant a turn on the bench facing a balanced Saints offense that has topped 40 points in two straight games and three of five. … the Titans travel to London and get one of the hottest offenses in the NFL in the Chargers, who rank No. 5 in scoring and come off scoring 38 points on the road against a sound Cleveland Browns defense. They’re worth avoiding.
WAIVER WATCH: The Buffalo Bills go into Week 7 as a top-5 fantasy defense with double-digit points in three of their past four games. It’s a group that is overachieving in all kinds of ways, but particularly as a defense with 12 takeaways, tied for sixth-most in the NFL, and 19 sacks, tied for third-most. The Bills have a shot to post another big number on the road against a Colts offense with precious few playmakers surrounding Andrew Luck. Perhaps the bigger storyline to watch is the Bills offense and whether Derek Anderson can sustain drives, protect the ball and keep the Bills D out of short-field situations.
TOP 20 RANKINGS
1. Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco
2. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston
3. Los Angeles Chargers vs. Tennessee
4. Houston Texans at Jacksonville
5. Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis
6. Denver Broncos vs. Arizona
7. Philadelphia Eagles vs. Carolina
8. Arizona Cardinals vs. Denver
9. Chicago Bears vs. New England
10. Miami Dolphins vs. Detroit
11. Detroit Lions at Miami
12. Minnesota Vikings at New York Jets
13. Baltimore Ravens vs. New Orleans
14. Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia
15. Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo
16. Washington Redskins vs. Dallas
17. New York Jets vs. Minnesota
18. Dallas Cowboys at Washington
19. Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay
20. Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Chargers