As I was putting together my Week 8 defense/special teams (DST) rankings, something was gnawing at me. I couldn't figure out why the fantasy football experts had the Packers and Panthers ranked so low. But then I remembered they are two teams that have no recency bias. The Packers had not played since Thursday and the Panthers are coming off a bye. Outta sight, outta mind, right?
Let me remind everyone just how good they are. We will start with Green Bay, who I have three slots higher. Green Bay is third in the league in interceptions. The Packers are tied for ninth in forced fumbles. But it's not just turnovers either. They've given up the 12th-fewest points. And they now take on the Patrick Mahomes-less Chiefs. They are well worthy of my lofty ranking.
I actually have Carolina too low, to be honest. Carolina is actually the third overall fantasy defense so far this year! And that ranking is not being propped up by any special teams touchdowns. The Panthers are providing steady reliable performances week in and week out. Through six games they have nine interceptions and six fumbles. They have 27 sacks. That's four a game. They are ninth in points allowed. Sure, they play the undefeated 49ers this week. But the 49ers are not exactly an explosive offense and are just 25th in the league in passing.
With popular defenses like the Cowboys and Ravens on bye, it might not be such a bad time to grab the Panthers!
Teams on bye: Baltimore, Dallas
NFL DST Rankings: Week 8
— 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.