Carolina does not lead Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 8 defense/special teams rankings, but the Panthers have certainly been among the most productive DSTs this season. The Panthers are second in the NFL in both yards and points allowed and have forced 14 turnovers in six games. They are fifth in fantasy points and on Thursday will face Tampa Bay rookie quarterback Mike Glennon and a rushing attack that will be without Doug Martin (shoulder).
Kansas City is still No. 1 on our list, as the Chiefs lead the league with 35 sacks and are at home this week against a Cleveland offense that will start Jason Campbell at quarterback. The Seahawks also get the luxury of facing a backup quarterback on Monday night with the Rams turning to Kellen Clemens following Sam Bradford's season-ending injury (torn ACL), which he suffered against the aforementioned Panthers last week.
No Baltimore or Chicago DSTs this week mean some may be looking for a replacement. While the statistics say otherwise, a possible under-the-radar option could be Atlanta. The Falcons looked better on defense last week against the Buccaneers and Sunday face an Arizona offense that is not having a lot of success moving the ball or scoring points and has turned it over 17 times, including 13 interceptions by Carson Palmer.
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 8 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams
Teams on bye this week: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego, Tennessee
Kansas City Chiefs
Chiefs lead NFL with 35 sacks, Browns have given up 27.
at STL (Mon.)
Kellen Clemens is 4-8 in 12 career starts. SEA No. 2 vs. pass.
San Francisco 49ers
vs. JAC (London)
49ers have 10 total takeaways, allowed 12.8 ppg over last 4.
at TB (Thurs.)
Panthers are 2nd in ypg, ppg and face Martin-less Bucs O.
Green Bay Packers
Vikings mustered 7 pts., 206 yds. last week vs. lowly Giants.
Bengals' D has been a different animal at home.
New Orleans Saints
Saints allowing 10.3 ppg at home, rested coming off of bye.
New England Patriots
Pats' D allowed 295 yards to Jets last week w/o 4 starters.
No. 4 pass defense vs. No. 32 pass offense.
Browns tied for 9th vs. rush, Jamaal Charles No. 3 in rushing.
Cardinals have 11 sacks and 7 takeaways in 3 home games.
New York Jets
Jets are 4th in ypg, but 19th in ppg and only have 4 takeaways.
Had 3 INTs vs. PHI last week, 4th straight G w/ at least 1 pick.
Cards are 29th in yards, 25th in points and have 17 TOs.
St. Louis Rams
vs. SEA (Mon.)
Rams' D has 8 sacks, 7 takeaways and 1 TD in 3 home games.
No. 1 vs. rush, but last vs. pass. Offense's TOs not helping.
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 8 Positional Rankings