So not a lot of separation in my Week 4 fantasy defense/special teams (DST) rankings from most of the others out there. I love the Cincinnati Bengals and thought they might be a sneaky pick, but apparently, many of the other experts also have them in the top dozen.
But there is another very sneaky pick that I like much more than the rest of the so-called experts. Most of you can probably continue to sit back and just play whoever you already have slotted to play. However, those of you deep-leaguers who are stuck streaming, lean in a little closer. Because yes, I've got the Detroit Lions as one of my top 20 DST units this week.
The paucity of turnovers is what is keeping them under the radar. But the Lions have eight sacks already, which puts them inside the top 10. They also have a Sack Percentage of 8.7 (7th in the NFL), putting them ahead of much more popular defenses like Denver and Buffalo. They also shut down the Baltimore offense last week keeping them under 20 points, something neither Kansas City nor Las Vegas could do.
If they were going against another talented offense like the Rams or say the Packers, who they faced in Week 2, I'd simply ignore them. However, Detroit is playing Chicago this week. And I'd say the Bears' offensive game plan left a lot to be desired last week, but that assumes they were really good the first two weeks. Chicago is dead last in the league in yards per game, at a pitiful 192 per game. Their scoring margin is fifth-worst in the league as well. Only the Jets have scored fewer points through three games. The Bears also are tied for worst in the league in most sacks given up per game. By any metric, the Bears are not a good offense.
You would be crazy to start the Lions DST over some of the top options like the Bills, but I'd bet the value of whatever real estate Justin Tucker buys in Detroit that the Lions will easily be a top-20 if not top-12 fantasy DST this week.
NFL Defense/Special Teams (DST) Rankings: Week 4
— 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.