Fantasy Football 2013 Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 1

Jerod Mayo and the Patriots' D gets Buffalo rookie quarterback EJ Manuel to start the season

In Week 1 of the 2013 fantasy football season, opportunity knocks for the New England Patriots' and Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defenses. Both of these teams will be facing rookie quarterbacks making their NFL debuts, which is why both DSTs are top-five fantasy options to open the season. Seattle, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago and Cincinnati all should remain solid weekly starts, but it's the Patriots who appear to have the best matchup in Week 1, which is why they come in at No. 1 in Athlon Sports' defense/special teams rankings.

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

2013 NFL Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams

1New England Patriotsat BUFPats' opportunistic D vs. rookie QB.
2Seattle Seahawksat CARHawks D vs. Cam will be fun.
3Houston Texansat SD (Mon.)Texans' D gets Cushing back, maybe Reed?
4Tampa Bay Buccaneersat NYJBucs' new secondary could torment Geno.
5Cincinnati Bengalsat CHIBengals 2nd in sacks last season.
6Chicago Bearsvs. CINBears ready to show their not old just yet.
7Pittsburgh Steelersvs. TENIs the Steel Curtain fraying?
8San Francisco 49ersvs. GB49ers will have hands full w/ Rodgers and co.
9Indianapolis Coltsvs. OAKOakland's offense does not scare anyone.
10St. Louis Ramsvs. ARIRams looking to abuse Cards' O-line.
11Cleveland Brownsvs. MIABrowns' D could be sneaky solid.
12Denver Broncosvs. BAL (Thurs.)Broncos will miss Von Miller.
13Green Bay Packersat SFPack couldn't stop CK last time out.
14Kansas City Chiefsat JACCan the Chiefs' D bounce back?
15Arizona Cardinalsat STLCards' D has new coordinator.
16Baltimore Ravensat DEN (Thurs.)Will the Ravens' "new" D hold up in Denver?

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

Additional Week 1 Positional Rankings

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends


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