1. Chicago Bears vs. DET
It's almost humorous that the team that has four interception returns for touchdowns in the last two weeks faces off against the team that has allowed the most defensive and special teams touchdowns so far. Well that's what you get when the Bears host the Lions this week. The Bears aren't available in your league (unless someone dropped them during the bye) but they should be every fantasy player's first choice this week.
2. Carolina Panthers vs. DAL
Here are the last four weeks of play for the Panthers' defense. Week 2: two picks and a touchdown against the Saints. Week 3: only two sacks and no turnovers against the Giants. Week 4: seven sacks and a pick on Matt Ryan and the Falcons. Week 5: two sacks, three takeaways and a touchdown against the Seahawks. Tony Romo has thrown one interception in every game that he hasn't thrown five, and the rushing game took a major hit with DeMarco Murray's injury, so look for the ball to be in the air a lot.
3. Cleveland Browns at IND
The Browns give up a ton of points. They haven't held a team under 23 since Week 1. At the same time they're forcing turnovers. In the two games in which Joe Haden has played this season, the Browns have forced nine turnovers and scored twice. I kind of like those odds against a Colts team that looked like scared children last week in New York. Andrew Luck has been sacked eight times in the last two weeks and the Colts have coughed the ball up five times in those games.
4. Minnesota Vikings vs. ARI
Do you know why Kevin Kolb is not playing this week? Yes, it's a rib injury, stemming from being sacked 22 times in the last three weeks! It's feasible to think that the Vikings could set a single game sack record this week by recording 13 sacks against the immobile John Skelton. In fact I placed a bet on it in the office. Hey, they gave me 10-to-1 odds.
5. Buffalo Bills vs. TEN
If you want to place a bet on a team to score very few points, Tennessee would be on your short list of candidates. The Titans have topped 14 points just twice this season in six games. While the Bills defense has not been anything special so far, they've recorded two or more turnovers in four of six and have had four or more sacks three times this season.
6. Arizona Cardinals at MIN
The Cardinals are teetering on being an elite fantasy defense in the league, but poor showings points-wise against the Rams and Bills in the last two weeks have left many fantasy owners searching elsewhere. Don't give up on them yet. They have not allowed more than 21 points to an opponent this season and have recorded two or more takeaways in four of six contests. This week they face a Vikings team that let Madieu Williams run for a pick six last week. Ouch.
7. New England Patriots vs. NYJ
The New England Patriots have now been sponsored by Dyson after every fumble is seemingly getting sucked right to their mitts. The Pats have recovered 10 fumbles in six games to go along with six picks as well. In the last three regular season games against the Jets, the Pats have intercepted five Mark Sanchez throws and returned one for a score. The Jets have been held to 27 total points against their three opponents who made postseason appearances last year, and last I checked the Patriots played in a few playoff games last season.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers at CIN
Injuries up and down the Pittsburgh defense have made them much less fearsome than in years past. The Steelers have still recorded a turnover in every game this season and have had three sacks in each of the last two weeks. This week they face the Bengals, a team they've owned for years. In their last four meetings with Cincinnati they've forced two or more turnovers in every outing.
9. Green Bay Packers at STL
You can't expect for the Packers defense to do anything pretty. I mean they've got A.J. Hawk for God's sake! The Pack have allowed opponents to score 24 or more points four times this season and failed to recover a fumble all season. But if you catch them on a good day, they can come up with multiple picks (like they did against the Bears and Texans this year). A voyage to St. Louis sounds easier than it is. The Rams have held opponents to only three turnovers and six sacks over the last three weeks (with a makeshift O-line).
10. San Francisco 49ers vs. SEA
This should serve as a lesson to you. Do not spend anything more than a last or second-to-last round pick on a defense. The 49ers, the prohibitive preseason favorite at the position, have only sacked the quarterback nine times this season. J.J. Watt has more than the whole 49ers team! If you're a Vikings fan (which many of you who visit this site are) you'll also note that two of their nine turnovers recorded this season were flat out replacement referee mistakes (Toby Gerhart anyone?).