My Week 12 fantasy defense/special teams (DST) rankings come with an admission of fault. I really thought the Cleveland Browns would be better this year than they are. I did not expect to see them at the bottom of the AFC North entering Week 12, but here we are.
They are barely middle of the pack in total touchdowns. And I thought Baker Mayfield might take a big step forward this year, but the Browns have the seventh-fewest receiving TDs. Are you really surprised I like the Ravens more than the ECR (Expert Consensus Rankings) this week?
They are not the Ravens defense of yore that we are used to seeing. For example, they only have five interceptions so far this season. Only two other teams have fewer forced fumbles or recoveries. But Cleveland often seems to sputter when the team visits Charm City. Over the last five years, the Browns are averaging just barely over 17 points a game at Baltimore.
At least Nick Chubb should be healthy and should be able to do the heavy lifting, right? Not so fast. Chubb has struggled against the Ravens, averaging just 63 rushing yards per game.
The Ravens DST has fallen flat at times this season. Other times they look like world-beaters. I suspect they will look more like the latter this weekend.
NFL Defense/Special Teams (DST) Rankings: Week 12
Teams on bye: Arizona, Kansas City
— 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.