A reoccurring theme in my fantasy positional rankings for Week 9 might as well start with defense/special teams (DST). And that theme is that I believe we see the Patriots sweat it out this week. I'm not saying the Patriots will lose. But ask any Patriot fan what team they would least like to face and more often than not, it will be the Ravens.
I've discussed the Tri-Lambda-like strength of the Patriots' opponents this year already. But that was more about the defenses they faced. But the offenses they have faced are not world-beaters either. In addition to the weak AFC East offenses, the Patriots D has been forced to face the 28th-ranked offense (Steelers), 30th (Redskins), 24th (Giants), and 20th (Browns). Are we really surprised the New England D has been this dominant?
Well, this week is the first true test for the Patriots D, as they face Baltimore, second in the NFL in yards per game and fourth in points. So yeah, I'm lower on the Patriots D this week and have no qualms about doing so.
Teams on bye: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans
NFL DST Rankings: Week 9
— 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.