Fantasy Player Projections

 
Defenses
RankTeamProjectionOpponent
1giants

2 INTs, 5 Sacks

Dallas' rag-tag offensive line doesn't have a prayer against the Giants' front seven. Fantasy owners can expect New York to protect its secondary by bringing plenty of heat in an attempt to duplicate the team's six-sack effort from Week 17 last year.

vscowboys
2panthers

2 INTs, 4 Sacks

The Panthers were sporadic defensively last season, and they're facing a revamped Buccaneers offense that added G Carl Nicks, WR Vincent Jackson and rookie RB Doug Martin. In two games last season, the Panthers allowed the Bucs just 35 total points, with five sacks and five turnovers.

atbuccaneers
3texans

2 INTs, 4 Sacks

Considering the Texans are hosting what is expected to be one of the most anemic offenses in the NFL, they should get the start on your team. Also, return man Trindon Holliday gives them a weapon they've missed on special teams.

vsdolphins
4patriots

2 INTs, 3 Sacks

The coaching staff says the unit is greatly improved from the one that bled so often last year. Tennessee hardly serves as a test, but the front seven should be able to get in the head of unproven QB Jake Locker.

attitans
5saints

2 INTs, 3 Sacks

Rookie quarterbacks make mistakes; New Orleans will bait RGIII into a few poor decisions in Week 1. That, coupled with the game’s expected fast pace of this game could result in lots of scoring opportunities for New Orleans’ defense and special teams units.

vsredskins
6seahawks

2 INTs, 3 Sacks

This looks to be a nice start for the Seahawks defense, which is facing a weak Cardinals offense led by a quarterback who barely won the job in preseason and two brittle running backs. Seattle should get to the QB often.

atcardinals
7jets

2 INTs, 2 Sacks

The Jets are still the Jets on defense. They will make life miserable for QB Ryan Fitzpatrick this week, and do their part in leading the team to victory. Fantasy owners will walk away satisfied.

vsbills
8bears

2 INTs, 2 Sacks

The Bears DST faces a relatively easy matchup, as it goes up against a rookie quarterback, with a rookie tight end and several other replacement players from a team that was just a few years removed from the Super Bowl.

vscolts
9ravens

2 INTs, 2 Sacks

The Ravens have had a great defense for years, although the collective age is starting to creep up there. They gave up an average of 20 points in two games against the Bengals last season -- and QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green are now sophomores.

vsbengals
10bills

INT, 3 Sacks

The Bills’ rebuilt front line will make Mark Sanchez pay on occasion for holding the ball too long, and Buffalo’s underrated secondary will benefit from the pressure created upfront.

atjets
11eagles

INT, 3 Sacks

Jason Babin appears ready to go (calf) and although the linebacking corps is full of fresh meat, it showed a great deal of potential in camp. In the style of the late Jim Johnson, this group will attack, attack and attack until there is little left of the Browns backfield.

atbrowns
12buccaneers

2 INTs, Sack

Tampa Bay gave up 86 points to the Panthers in two games last season. The Bucs recorded three sacks in both games, but they've done some work to upgrade their defense this past offseason.

vspanthers
13cardinals

INT, 3 Sacks

The Cardinals' defense just isn't worth considering as a fantasy option just yet. Look elsewhere until Arizona puts together a string of solid efforts. The Seahawks do have a rookie QB, but they also have a solid running game.

vsseahawks
14colts

INT, 3 Sacks

This Colts defense allowed 19 rushing touchdowns a season ago, which ranked 31st in the NFL. Very few fantasy owners should be considering the Colts DST in their lineup.

atbears
15chiefs

INT, 2 Sacks

Few AFC defenses are as good. The front seven can create pressure, and as long as Brandon Flowers is healthy the secondary (with Eric Berry back) can make plays. The only deterrent in this contest is an Atlanta front line that allowed just 26 sacks last year.

vsfalcons
16cowboys

INT, 2 Sacks

The Giants do a wonderful job of closing off the edges and preventing DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer from creating havoc (the duo has 3.5 sacks combined against New York over the past three seasons). As usual, Rob Ryan will craft an aggressive gameplan, resulting in a big play or two.

atgiants
17falcons

INT, 2 Sacks

The Falcons will force at least one Matt Cassel mistake (a given) but there will be little else for fantasy owners to appreciate. Kansas City does a good job upfront of keeping opponents’ out of the backfield.

atchiefs
18jaguars

INT, 2 Sacks

The 2012 offseason might suggest otherwise, but the future of this franchise is on defense. The unit gave up the sixth-fewest yards last season, and registered 28 takeaways. More of the same this week.

atvikings
19lions

INT, 2 Sacks

Detroit’s dirty, risk-taking unit has some cleaning up to do, but fantasy owners have to like the potential for this week against a Rams club that scored just 12.1 points per game last season.

vsrams
20vikings

INT, 2 Sacks

Jared Allen will find his way to Blaine Gabbert at least once in this game, that’s a given. The concern is the Vikings back seven, which lacks playmakers and experience.

vsjaguars
21bengals

INT, 2 Sacks

The Bengals had a tough time with Ray Rice last season, allowing him to rush for 295 yards. They still had an above-average rush defense in 2011, however. The Ravens' offense is poised for a huge season -- starting in Week 1.

atravens
22broncos

INT, 2 Sacks

The Broncos' defense got better as the season wore on last year, but still finished ranked 22nd in the league in rushing defense. Luckily, Denver is facing a mediocre rushing attack in Week 1.

vssteelers
23chargers

INT, 2 Sacks

The Chargers were average against the pass but ranked 20th against rushing attacks, allowing more than 122 rushing yards per game. They are, however, coming off a pretty good preseason.

atraiders
24dolphins

INT, 2 Sacks

The Dolphins are going to have their hands full trying to stop the best running back in the NFL in Arian Foster, and one of the best wide receivers in the NFL in Andre Johnson. This is a below-average fantasy unit.

attexans
25packers

INT, 2 Sacks

Like many good fantasy defenses, the Packers take advantage of the mistakes made by teams trying to climb back in a blowout. Alex Smith was ultra-conservative last year, though.

vs49ers
26raiders

INT, 2 Sacks

The Raiders are shifting defensively from a strong pass defense to a stronger rushing defense. This defense allowed 55 total points in two games against the Chargers last season, but San Diego is a little banged up entering Week 1.

vschargers
27steelers

INT, 2 Sacks

The Steelers always shows up, and fantasy owners love them for that. They allowed less than 100 yards rushing per game last season, and Peyton Manning still has to gel with his new team/offense. Fantasy owners need more turnovers out of this D.

atbroncos
28browns

INT, Sack

Most defenses salivate at the thought of facing a “running quarterback.” For the Browns, it will amount to one long afternoon of chasing the wind.

vseagles
29redskins

2 Sacks

The Redskins will have ample opportunity to generate sacks against a Saints offense that throws the ball as much as any other team in the league. But beyond that, Washington is a risky fantasy play this week, especially in leagues in which defenses are docked for points allowed.

atsaints
3049ers

2 Sacks

Just your luck -- you drafted the top defense in fantasy, and in Week 1 it gets to face Aaron Rodgers and Co. The Niners will get some sacks, but the turnovers will have to come from fumbles. Only one other team (SF) threw fewer picks last season than Green Bay.

atpackers
31rams

Sack

Call the Rams a promising defense with a pair of good young pass rushers (Chris Long and Robert Quinn) and a shutdown corner (Cortland Finnegan). Call the Rams an up-and-coming unit. Just don’t call on the Rams to help your fantasy team this week.

atlions
32titans

Sack

The Patriots make few mistakes and Tom Brady rarely leaves himself vulnerable. It’s not the ideal team for a fantasy defense to face.

vspatriots
 
 
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