In the first part of this article, we looked at the defenses that you would want to start your fantasy players against. In this article, we will look at the defenses that you will want to sit your fantasy players against.
Let’s start off by looking at the five best defenses against the run:
1. Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens were second in the league last year in rushing defense allowing 75.9 yards per game. Opposing rushers averaged a meager 3.3 yards per carry. Expect this trend to continue with Ray Lewis patrolling the middle. I would look to sit any marginal running back against the Baltimore defense unless you have no other options.
2. Minnesota Vikings- Minnesota was the stingiest team in the league against the run last year allowing only 61.6 yards per game and 2.8 yards per carry. Minnesota might not jump out at you as a tough defense since their pass defense is so poor. Do not make the mistake of leaving your running back in against them by just looking at the total defense rankings.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers are tough up front and allowed only 88.2 yards rushing a game against them last year. I would not expect that to change under new coach Mike Tomlin as he came from a Minnesota team that was number two on this list.
4. New England Patriots- New England was one of 6 teams to hold opponents under 100 yards per game rushing last year. Expect them to have a lead in many games which will force teams to go to the air. Your running back is likely to have fewer rushing attempts against the Patriots.
5. Chicago Bears- The Bears have one of the best all around defenses in the league and have a great group of linebackers that fly to the ball. With Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs leading the charge, the Bears will once again be one of the top teams in the league against the rush.
What teams should you sit your quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends against? Here are the top 5:
1. Baltimore Ravens- Yes the same team that was the toughest in the league against the run is also the toughest against the pass. They were the best in the league last year in opponents completion percentage holding opposing quarterbacks to a 54.8 percent completion rate. The lesson learned here is to sit any marginal fantasy starter against the Ravens solid all around defense.
2. Oakland Raiders- The Raiders led the league in pass defense last year allowing only 150.8 yards per game against them. Remember how poor Oakland should be again this year. Teams will likely be running the ball as they will be holding a big lead and running out the clock. This will also hurt your passing attempts and receptions for your quarterback and receivers.
3. Chicago Bears- The Bears have one of the best pass defenses in the league and held opposing quarterbacks to a 56.2 completion rate against them last year. Sit your QB’s, WR’s, and TE if possible against Chicago.
4. Miami Dolphins- The Dolphins continue to have one of the better all around defenses in the league. They put good pressure on the quarterback with Jason Taylor which leads to interceptions from opposing teams. The Dolphins allowed 187.9 yards per game through the air last year which was good enough for 5th in the league.
5. Carolina Panthers- The Panthers round out this list and help opponents to 187.5 yards per game through the air last year while holding the opposing quarterbacks to a 58.2 completion rate. If you have better options sit your quarterback and wide receivers against the Panthers.
I hope this helps when making those tough start them vs sit them decisions this year. Those decisions can make the difference between winning it all or missing the playoffs.