I'm on a bit of a roll with my fantasy defense/special teams (DST) evaluations coming into the Week 8 rankings.
Last week I told you that Kansas City has been particularly bad and I liked them far less than the ECR (Expert Consensus Rankings). They promptly gave up 27 points to the Titans and managed just one measly sack. The previous week I told you how much I loved the Rams, and they crushed the Giants, holding them to 11 points.
So who are the notable DSTs this week? Most of the experts dislike Minnesota, having the Vikings down in the mid-DST2 range, but I like them even less. It is not so much that I dislike the Vikes' personnel-wise, rather it's Vikes DST. Rather it's the matchup against a rested Dallas team coming off of a bye. The Cowboys should be pretty healthy (Dak Prescott's calif injury is definitely worth watching) and it's possible Michael Gallup will be activated from injured reserve for this game as well. But even without Gallup, this offense has been on a roll. Dallas is leading the NFL in total AND scoring offense.
Even at home, this is a horrendous matchup for Minnesota. On the other hand, Tennessee's is more appealing. Indianapolis is certainly not terrible (see what they did in horrible conditions on the road against San Francisco this past Sunday night), but the Colts are outside of the top dozen teams in three of the four main offensive categories (ninth in rushing offense).
Furthermore, I am definitely starting to buy into this Titans team. They are ninth in sacks. This defense hasn't produced many turnovers so far (eight), but the unit's "bend don't break" style is working well, including last week when Tennessee held Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to just three points. The Titans have allowed the third-most trips to the red zone, but have the sixth-lowest percentage of touchdowns allowed. I still have Tennessee outside of my top dozen DSTs, but I'm starting to like the Titans a lot.
NFL Defense/Special Teams (DST) Rankings: Week 8
Teams on bye: Baltimore, Las Vegas
— 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.