2012 Fantasy Football Week 15: Team Defense Rankings and Projections

Sean E. DouglasSenior Writer IIIDecember 10, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 09:  Richard Sherman #25 of the Seattle Seahawks scores a touchdown on a interception return against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field on December 9, 2012 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Kevin Casey/Getty Images)
Kevin Casey/Getty Images

While the Seahawks lost Brandon Browner to a four-game suspension last week, fellow corner Richard Sherman had a terrific game against the Cardinals with a fumble recovery, three pass deflections, two interceptions and a touchdown.

Sherman set the tempo for what turned out to be the Seattle’s biggest victory in franchise history as they steamrolled Arizona 58 to 0. For those of you that have stayed with the Seahawks' defense all year, you’ve been waiting for a game like this, and it clearly paid off in the first round of the fantasy playoffs.

Now the question is, if Sherman receives his suspension this week, should we trust the Seahawks in a road game against the Bills?

The Seahawks are a different team on the road, but even if Sherman is out, this team appears to not only have its eye on the playoffs, but also that huge game against the 49ers in two weeks that could give Seattle the division championship.

I don’t believe they will look past the Bills and this game will have an interesting twist as the matchup is set to be played in Toronto, not Buffalo. Furthermore, the Seahawks will be helped by the injury of Fred Jackson (knee) who was placed on injured reserve on Monday.

We also need to keep in mind that head coach Pete Carroll used to be a defensive backs coach for the Jets (coached under Bill Parcells) before he was a head coach with the New England Patriots.

That means the secondary is his specialty and it should be no surprise that Walter Thurmond stepped in and shut down Larry Fitzgerald last week, as he filled in for Brandon Browner. Let’s also not forget that Seattle has two pro bowl caliber safeties in Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.


I’m willing to roll with the Seahawks next week based on the way they dominated the Cardinals and that they have so much to play for down the stretch. Give them top-five consideration this week as we have another week of tough matchups for top-flight defenses.


What Did We Learn From Week 14?

 The Bengals defense played a good game, but Cincinnati’s offense failed to help them much in the second half and left the defense on the field one too many times at the end. With a quick turnaround this week, the Bengals should have opportunities against a young Eagles' offense featuring a struggling offensive line.

While the Jets have their problems at quarterback and receiver, the defense has played well over recent weeks. Over the past two weeks New York has allowed a total of 16 points to their opponents and a Monday night matchup against the Titans should mean low points once again.

It all depends on how Jake Locker plays as the young quarterback has had a tough sophomore season. I expect Locker to lead the Titans to more than 10 points in a prime time game at home, but he’s struggled against 3-4 base defenses, especially ones like a Rex Ryan defense that give deceptive multiple looks intent on confusing the young quarterback.

Sean’s Week 15 Watch List


 If Cecil Shorts is out again (concussion) this week, look to the Dolphins as one of the top plays for team defense. Back at home, they will face a Jaguars' offense that is decimated with injuries. Even if Shorts plays you should like the Dolphins as a top-five defense, but without him we could see a monster performance by Miami and it’s worth picking them up off the waiver wire.

I would hope the Cardinals will pick themselves up off the turf and play a competitive game against the Lions in Arizona this week. If not, expect Detroit’s defense to have a field day and you should walk away with a top-flight defensive fantasy performance.

It should be a productive game for the Lions defense anyway as the Cardinals are struggling mightily on offense, no matter who is at quarterback or running the football.

1 Dolphins Jaguars
2 Lions @ Cardinals
3 Seahawks @ Bills
4 Jets @ Titans
5 Bengals @ Eagles
6 Packers @ Bears
7 Raiders Chiefs
8 Broncos @ Ravens
9 Patriots 49ers
10 Rams Vikings
11 Panthers @ Chargers
12 Vikings @ Rams
13 Redskins @ Browns
14 Texans Colts
15 Bears Packers
16 Steelers @ Cowboys
17 Titans Jets
18 49ers @ Patriots

Week 15 Standard Rankings – QB | RB | WR | TE | K |