Looking to exploit favorable fantasy matchups in Week 9? In this article, I list the worst rushing and passing defenses in the league through the first eight weeks of the season, their opponents, and who may benefit and produce great fantasy performances.
Worst Run Defenses
|Rank||Team||Games||Yds. Allowed||Yds/game||Rush TDs|
|26||Kansas City Chiefs||7||917||131.0||6|
|27||San Diego Chargers||7||925||132.1||7|
|28||St. Louis Rams||8||1078||134.8||12|
|30||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||7||1137||162.4||7|
Matchups in Week 9
24 Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints (Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell, Reggie Bush)
25 Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Jamaal Charles)
26 Kansas City Chiefs @ Jacksonville Jaguars (Maurice Jones-Drew)
27 San Diego Chargers @ N.Y. Giants (Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw)
28 St. Louis Rams BYE WEEK
29 Oakland Raiders BYE WEEK
30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Green Bay Packers (Ryan Grant)
31 Cleveland Browns BYE WEEK
32 Buffalo Bills BYE WEEK
Worst Pass Defenses
|Rank||Team||Games||Yds. Allowed||Yds/game||Pass TDs|
|28||San Francisco 49ers||7||1765||252.1||9|
|29||Kansas City Chiefs||7||1765||252.1||13|
Matchups in Week 9
26 Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Matt Cassel, Dwayne Bowe)
27 Detroit Lions @ Seattle Seahawks (Matt Hasselbeck, Nate Burleson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Deion Branch, John Carlson)
28 San Francisco 49ers vs. Tennessee Titans (Vince Young, Justin Gage, Kenny Britt)
29 Kansas City Chiefs @ Jacksonville Jaguars (David Garrard, Mike Sims-Walker, Torry Holt, Mike Thomas)
30 Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens (Joe Flacco, Derrick Mason, Todd Heap)
31 Atlanta Falcons vs. Washington Redskins (Jason Campbell, Santana Moss)
32 Tennessee Titans @ San Francisco 49ers (Alex Smith, Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Isaac Bruce)
Now squarely at the halfway point in the season, Week 9 marks the last week where six NFL teams will be on bye — unfortunately, many of the worst rushing defenses are on bye which take away some tasty running back matchups. With four of the five worst rushing defenses idle, we’ll have to dig a little deeper for a favorable matchup.
The best matchup of the week goes to Ryan Grant facing the only remaining winless team in the NFL, the Bucs, who will likely start a rookie at QB. After a banner day against Cleveland two weeks ago, Grant was stonewalled by Minnesota’s Williams wall last week, but should rebound nicely in Week 9.
In other matchups, look for both Giants running backs to excel against a leaky Chargers D, as Eli Manning has struggled in recent weeks and the coach will likely want to keep this game on the ground and the Chargers explosive aerial offensive attack off the field. MJD will be hard-pressed to match his outrageous stats from last week, but his outlook is still favorable. Due to the suspension of Larry Johnson, Jamaal Charles gets his first start this week and with a favorable matchup against a team that just got burned to a singe by Chris Johnson. However, it’s not known how much Kolby Smith will participate and limit Charles’ upside. And finally, all three of the Saints RBs make good flex plays.
As for this week’s passing defenses, the matchups are favorable but unless you have bye week issues, it’s better not to try to take advantage of them. The Washington offense has been brutal, and without Cooley, I wouldn’t have a lot of faith starting any of their players on the road against an angry Falcons team. Vince Young performed admirably in his first start last week, leading his team to victory, but will likely stick to the same formula of mostly handing the ball off against the 49ers. The Jacksonville and Kansas City offenses seem to alternatively flourish or sputter in various weeks and can’t be trusted. On paper, the Seahawks should prosper against a weak Lions secondary but watch the weather forecast; some forecasted inclement weather could ground the Hawks.
<i>Jeff LaGrassa is a Steelers fan and a Cafe regular, and a proud new dad. In his free time (yeah right!) he enjoys disc golf, skiing, and playing the electric bass. You can catch him posting in the Cafe forums as</i> The Lung.
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