I'll be honest with you — I am still uneasy with my Week 3 fantasy defense/special teams (DST) rankings. I took even more time this week than the usual longer-than-the-industry average amount of time to rank them. And decided I need to just step away for a while So I let them "simmer" for a little while. I came back and made a ton of changes. Still, something felt wrong and I made a bunch more changes. And I feel like I might make a dozen more changes between now and Thursday night's game, but a deadline is a deadline.
My DST rankings are usually more accurate than most in the industry because of the amount of DST research I do, but my spidey senses are tingling big time. It's not that I think I have one team a half-a-dozen slots too high or low. But I've had at least three different teams atop my Week 3 DST rankings. And within each "cluster" of teams, I feel like an improvement can be made.
But I'll tell you a defense where improvements really need to be made — Atlanta. OK, I like Detroit less this week and I don't have a lot of faith in Jacksonville either. But those two units are facing two of the better quarterbacks in the league right now in Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray respectively. And yes, Daniel Jones is off to a fine start, but the Giants are not exactly an offensive powerhouse. The aforementioned pair of quarterbacks' teams are the second- and third-ranked offense in the league in yards per game and generally are a top-five offense in nearly every category. However, the Giants are pretty much in the bottom half of the league in every category including yards and points per game.
Yet I still have Atlanta near the bottom this week. They have been horrendous. Atlanta is giving up a league-worst 40 points per game! Along with six other teams they have zero interceptions. Maybe it's a lack of discipline. Only two other teams have committed more penalties than the Falcons, who have already committed 18 this season.
This is all just a long way to say those who stream defenses and are thinking about using the Falcons this week, don't. Just don't.
NFL Defense/Special Teams (DST) Rankings: Week 3
— 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.