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
New England Patriots
Pats' opportunistic D vs. rookie QB.
Hawks D vs. Cam will be fun.
at SD (Mon.)
Texans' D gets Cushing back, maybe Reed?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bucs' new secondary could torment Geno.
Bengals 2nd in sacks last season.
Bears ready to show their not old just yet.
Is the Steel Curtain fraying?
San Francisco 49ers
49ers will have hands full w/ Rodgers and co.
Oakland's offense does not scare anyone.
St. Louis Rams
Rams looking to abuse Cards' O-line.
Browns' D could be sneaky solid.
vs. BAL (Thurs.)
Broncos will miss Von Miller.
Green Bay Packers
Pack couldn't stop CK last time out.
Kansas City Chiefs
Can the Chiefs' D bounce back?
Cards' D has new coordinator.
at 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