Uh-huh. I told you. I said in this very space last week that the Patriots defense was good, but not that good. I had the Patriots defense/special teams (DST) ranked six slots lower than the rest of the fantasy football consensus did last week. My heart and gut wanted to lower them even more, but my head just wouldn't allow it. Just as that same head was shaking as the talking heads acted like this was one of the best defenses of all time. I've been saying all year that they are good. But not great. And yes, Randal from Clerks, it feels so good to be right.
Thus, I am rewarding the Ravens DST for shutting down TB12 and 666 by giving the Ravens the top spot in the Week 10 rankings. Yes, the Ravens are on the road. Yes, the Ravens often struggle against Cincinnati when the Bengals are the more rested team. And this game screams whatever your vernacular preference is — "let down game," "trap game," "reading their own press clippings," etc. That being said, the Bengals really are as bad as their winless record says they are. But if you own the Ravens DST, games like this are the reason you do.
Since there is little else that is noteworthy, can we talk about my favorite defensive player from Monday night's game? No, I don't mean this game. I mean this one, featuring No. 14 on your roster, but No. 1 in my heart. Yes, it was a gazillion light-years from an NFL game. It was the annual PVHS powder-puff game. Yet on both kickoff coverage and as the team's starting middle linebacker, No. 14 played pretty well. And when the game went into overtime, I couldn't have been a prouder papa as the stadium announcer called out her name for making the key stop at the 5-yard line on their opponent's final drive.
If your DST decision this week can make you even half as happy as that brief moment did me, it should be a good fantasy football week!
Teams on bye: Denver, Houston, Jacksonville, New England, Philadelphia, Washington
NFL DST Rankings: Week 10
— Rankings by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.