Cincinnati is not No. 1 on Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 9 defense/special teams rankings, but no DST was more dominant last week than the Bengals. Not only did the defense take two Geno Smith interceptions back for touchdowns, the unit had four sacks and held the Jets to just three long field goals in the 49-9 rout. This week Cincinnati heads to Miami to face a Dolphins offense that hasn't scored any more than 23 points in its last four games and is led by a quarterback (Ryan Tannehill) who has more turnovers (10) than touchdowns (7) in that same span.
Seattle and Kansas City are the two DSTs ahead of Cincinnati in this week's ranks. The Seahawks get the nod despite an uneven performance (9 PA, 2 INTs and 3 sacks, but also 339 yards allowed, including 200 rushing) on the road against St. Louis because they are back at home facing a Tampa Bay team that is winless and struggling mightily. Kansas City is on the road in Buffalo where the Chiefs will look to add to their league-leading sack total (36) against a Bills offense that is 30th in passing and a banged-up backfield.
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 9 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams
Teams on bye this week: Arizona, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, New York Giants, San Francisco
Only 9 PA and 2 INTs, but gave up 200 yards rushing to Rams on MNF.
Kansas City Chiefs
Chiefs giving up 12.3 ppg overall, just 4 TDs in 3 road games.
at MIA (Thurs.)
Bengals had two pick-sixes, 4 sacks last week vs. Jets.
New Orleans Saints
Jets averaging 20.3 points at home, Saints allowing 20.7 on road.
Panthers have given up 15+ points once this season.
Keenum making 2nd career start, Texans RBs banged up.
New England Patriots
Patriots allowing 14.3 ppg at home, Steelers 17.9 ppg overall.
Green Bay Packers
vs. CHI (Mon.)
Packers won't have to worry about facing Cutler on MNF.
Steelers' fourth-ranked defense needs some help from the O.
Cowboys had no answers for Megatron, Lions late last week.
Browns sacked Alex Smith six times last week.
Browns tied for fourth-most sacks allowed (28). BAL has 25.
St. Louis Rams
Rams' D-line punished Russell Wilson (7 sacks) on MNF.
Texans' No. 1 defense ready to make last stand?
Giving up just 17 ppg at home, 10th in NFL in ypg.
Defense playing better lately, 18.3 ppg over last four.
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 9 Positional Rankings