These rankings are for the purpose of predicting how many fantasy points defenses will allow to offensive players this week.We are now using only 2012 data. But there are some big changes relative to last year. The most improved defenses by these rankings from 2011 to 2012 when it comes to allowing fantasy points by the opposition are the Lions (up 74 ranking points), Buccaneers (plus-61), Packers (plus-53), Vikings (plus-52) and Patriots (plus-41). The defenses that have fallen the furthest measured the same way: Titans (minus-74), Ravens (minus-65), Steelers (minus-64), Jaguars (minus-62), Saints (minus-53). The key takeaway here is that you do not want to go out of your way to matchup marginal guys against 2011 easy marks Detroit and Tampa Bay. Similarly, there's no longer any need to sit your regular starters against the Ravens and Steelers. If you have other questions relating to matchups, feel free to ask them via Twitter @MichaelSalfino. I cannot emphasize enough that these defensive rankings have nothing to do with which defense to play in fantasy. This week's highlighted matchups follow after the chart. But first a word about the categories. Only "Red Zone" is a little tricky. We're not talking efficiency there, but rather red zone possessions allowed. Red zone possessions have proven over many years to be more useful in predicting future defensive performances. RYPG is rushing yards per game. RTD/G is rushing TDs per game. PYPG is passing yards per game. PTD/G is passing TDs/per game. Yardage allowed is more reliable than touchdowns allowed for predictive purposes. Ideally, the two correlate. But some teams really can be break but don't bend, e.g., teams that blitz a lot. Defensive Power Rankings
Teams are sorted by cumulative rankings in all categories. Lowest total number is best; highest is worst.
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation