Week 2 DST & K Rankings, Projections and Analysis
Week 2 DST Sleepers
Week 2 Start N' Sit
Week 3 Waiver Wire Tips

defense title bar graphic
Cardinals DST
Photo of Arizona Cardinals defense © Greg Buch
Legal Disclaimer
If you keep more than one DST on your roster, it's important not just to look at how each unit performed last year but also how stingy their opponent was toward opposing defenses. If you've got one of the elite units, you probably won't want to risk exposing them to waivers. However, if one of your DSTs are just so-so, you may want to consider picking up one of the units that are high on our list. Since most fantasy players keep just one kicker on the roster, it's usually a good strategy to just roll with who you have regardless of the match-up. But if you don't have one of the elite kickers, playing the waiver wire each week based on the match-up can be a rewarding strategy. Just click on the links to read our rationale behind each ranking. The DST rankings are based on a standard league where fumble recoveries and interceptions count for 2 points each and sacks count for 1 point with a typical sliding scale for points and yardage allowed, while the K rankings are based on field goals counting for 3 points (with 5 points awarded for 50+ yard FGs) and extra points counting for 1 point.

  1. Arizona Cardinals
  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  3. Houston Texans
  4. Buffalo Bills
  5. Miami Dolphins
  6. Green Bay Packers
  7. San Francisco 49ers
  8. Denver Broncos
  9. New England Patriots
  10. New Orleans Saints
  11. Pittsburgh Steelers
  12. Washington Redskins
  13. St. Louis Rams
  14. Tennessee Titans
  15. Seattle Seahawks
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars
  17. Oakland Raiders
  18. Cincinnati Bengals
  19. Carolina Panthers
  20. Baltimore Ravens
  1. Stephen Gostkowski
  2. Mason Crosby
  3. Matt Bryant
  4. Phil Dawson
  5. Dan Carpenter
  6. Dan Bailey
  7. Mike Nugent
  8. Adam Vinatieri
  9. Steven Hauschka
  10. Blair Walsh
  11. Justin Tucker
  12. Shayne Graham
  13. Ryan Succop
  14. Brandon McManus
  15. Cody Parkey
  16. Chandler Catanzaro
  17. Shaun Suisham
  18. Caleb Sturgis
Jaguars DST
If you own one of the top-ranked DSTs, you're not going to expose them to waivers just because of a bad match-up, but if you keep two DSTs on your roster or own just one borderline one, it can sometimes be worthwhile to scour the waiver wire and pick up a less-highly regarded team defense with a better match-up. This week a lot of the premier DSTs face high-powered offenses, so there are some options on waivers that may be worth considering.

Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals DST
Photo of Arizona Cardinals defense © Greg Buch
Legal Disclaimer
The Cardinals DST had a rough outing against a high-powered San Diego offense, scoring only 3 points in standard leagues. Never fear, relief is on the way! This week they face the turnover-prone New York Giants, who allowed the most fantasy points to opposing defenses last year. Eli Manning & Co. have taken up right where they left off, struggling all pre-season and allowing the Lions DST to pick off two passes in Week 1. They're our start of the week and shame on anyone who leaves them on the bench!

Houston Texans
Texans DST
The Texans DST appears to have returned to fantasy relevance. Last week they scored 20 fantasy points against a mistake-prone Redskins offense. This week they get another turnover-prone offense: the Raiders allowed the 7th most fantasy points to opposing DSTs last year and have a rookie QB starting. That's a recipe for success from your fantasy DST. The game is in Oakland and Jadeveon Clowney is out with a knee injury but his back-up Whitney Mercilus is experienced and should be able to pick up the slack. The Texans should build up a lead in this game, which will give their excellent secondary some opportunities to pick off Derek Carr.

Kansas City Chiefs
Chiefs DST
The Chiefs were the highest scoring fantasy defense last year thanks partly to a cupcake schedule. They didn't look particularly good against the Titans in Week 1, allowing 26 points and scoring only 4 fantasy points. This week won't provide a cure to what ails them, as they face the Broncos top-scoring offense in Denver. This isn't the week to bet on a return to prominence for this DST - keep them on your bench.

St. Louis Rams
Rams DST
The Rams, who had one of the highest scoring fantasy DSTs last year, may be victims of an ineffective offense this year. Last week the Vikings rolled them for 34 points and the defense, which was unable to get a breather, was clearly gassed by the second half. This week they play in Tampa against an offense that ranked dead last in offensive yards per game last year. However, the Bucs underwent some upgrades on offense, adding QB Josh McCown and rookie Mike Evans, which should pay dividends once the offense gets on the same page, and Doug Martin should be healthier this week. We wouldn't trust this DST until the offense gets in sync, especially not with DE Chris Long out with an ankle injury.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Buccaneers DST
The Bucs host a St. Louis team with a journeyman back-up QB this week. The Rams were manhandled by the Vikings defense, which recorded 5 sacks, 2 INTs and a defensive TD en route to scoring 22 fantasy points last week. They're our sleeper pick of the week and should be started over DST stalwarts like the Seahawks, Panthers and Bengals, who have tough match-ups.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Jaguars DST
The Jaguars aren't known as a stellar fantasy DST but they're a deep sleeper this week if you're sorely in need of a DST to start. They face a mistake-prone Redskins offense that has continued to have the same kind of problems they had last year. Last week the Texans hosted them and limited their offense to 6 points, scoring a defensive TD and piling up 20 fantasy points. We're not saying the Jaguars are in the same league as the Texans but 10-15 points are certainly possible if RGIII continues to have problems with his accuracy.

Cleveland Browns helmet
By Frank Mineophoto of journalist Frank Mineo
Frank is a communication and public relations graduate of Edinboro University and a life-long Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Frank has been playing fantasy sports for over 15 years.
Don't get too discouraged if your draft didn't work out as you planned. Fantasy success isn't the exclusive result of a solid draft - often it's the in-season waiver wire moves that determines who makes it to the post-season. We've got some hot tips for you that should help you improve your roster and catch up to those lucky sons-of-guns who always seem to draft the right players:

Defenses to Add

Cleveland Browns
The Browns got off to a rocky start to the season against Pittsburgh but from the 2nd half in that game and through all of week 2 against a dynamic New Orleans Saints offense they have looked very good. Through 2 weeks they have 5 sacks, 2 interceptions, a fumble recovery, and a defensive touchdown. The Browns have a home match-up against the Ravens this week and the Ravens have struggled offensively at times this season. The Browns defense should be familiar with the Ravens offense as their offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is a disciple of new Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.

Indianapolis Colts
Is the Colts defense particularly good? No, they are not but this is the classic fantasy advice of recommending whoever is playing the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags offense is mistake prone, sloppy, and not that talented. They allowed 10 sacks last week and while the Colts likely don't have a pass rush effective enough to come close to that, they should be a decent plug and play defense for a week.

Dallas Cowboys
Do you have the guts to make this move? I am going to plug and play them at least this weekend for sure against a struggling Rams offense. The Cowboys defense looked okay in week 1 against San Francisco and surprisingly good against Tennessee in week 2. It's a risky move but could pay off for fantasy owners who don't have a top-rated defense at their disposal.

Defenses to Drop

Pittsburgh Steelers
Those of you who may know me should realize how hard this is to admit. Being a Steelers fan, I can honestly attest that this defense is not very good right now and it is particularly bad from a fantasy standpoint. Over the past two seasons and first two games of this season the Steelers defense has the fewest turnovers in the league over that span. Look for Pittsburgh to be a below average fantasy defense again this week against a conservative Carolina Panthers offense.

Green Bay Packers
Another once dominant defense with loads of big names and talent that has yet to live up to the expectations. They go into Detroit this week and play a hungry Lions team that was drubbed last week. It wasn't surprising that they struggled at Seattle in week one but red flags are abound after allowing the NY Jets to put up over 300 yards of offense at home.

Kickers to Add

Cody Parkey
Philly's new kicker has looked solid and had his first game winner on Monday night. He has the leg to kick long field goals and the Eagles have had some problems in the red zone, which will give Parkey field goal opportunities throughout the season.

Greg Zuerlein
Zuerlein is another young guy with a huge leg and plays for a team with an offense that is going to struggle to get into the end zone. I like Zuerlein as he plays in a dome and as the weather gets worse he will look better and better compared to cold weather outdoor kickers.

Kickers to Drop

Nate Freese
He has missed 3 out of his 5 field goal attempts on the year and even if you are planning to stick by him, the Lions might not. Freese is a rookie and perhaps Detroit gives him one extra week to get himself right but it's probably not worth your time keeping him on the roster.

Mike Nugent
This one comes courtesy of our webmaster, the resident Bengals fan. Nugent won a very close kicking competition in which he was outperformed by rookie Quinn Sharp and had a fine week one where he made 5 of 6 field goals against the Ravens (the miss was actually blocked). Week 2 was a whole different story, as he missed 3 of his 4 attempts (from 38, 49 and 55 yards). He's also averaging under 30% touchbacks on his kick-offs, an area Sharp excelled in. Coach Lewis has come out in support of "Nuge" but he's undoubtedly on a short leash, as a team with playoff aspirations simply can't afford to keep a kicker who can't be counted on to convert field goals. The Bengals offense has been terrific, which has created opportunities for Nugent; however, they're banged up entering week 3 and will be missing their starting RG, #2 TE, and possibly their star WR A.J. Green.