The New York Giants D/ST hosts the scuffling offense of the San Francisco 49ers in an advantageous Week 5 matchup.
The 49ers offense has scored one touchdown in the last two games and is 31st in the NFL in total yards per game, averaging just 289 yards per contest. The success of the Giants' defense against the run could force San Francisco to lean on quarterback Colin Kaepernick in this game, which would be great for those fantasy teams starting the Giants D/ST. DC Steve Spagnuolo's group will be a top-10 play this week in a plush matchup.
The Arizona Republic credits DE Calais Campbell and CB Patrick Peterson with contributing to the early success of the Cardinals defense.
"End Calais Campbell has dominated games. Cornerback Patrick Peterson struggled in the first month of last season, but not this year. Peterson has played well, and the Rams barely challenged him last Sunday," said Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. The Cardinals D/ST has been a top fantasy performer through four weeks and the group is second in the NFL in interceptions this season. Facing the Detroit Lions in Week 5, the Cardinals D/ST will be a top-flight option once again.
The Seattle D/ST will have its hands full in Week 5 as they travel to Cincinnati to face the surging Bengals offense.
The Bengals have yet to score less than 24 points in a single game and are second in the NFL, averaging 422 total yards of offense per game. While the Cincinnati offense is clicking, the Seahawks are one of three NFL teams without an interception on the 2015 season. This is a top-notch defense coming off two outstanding performances, but they won't be a top-five group this week due to the tough road matchup.
The Chicago Bears face the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5, who have allowed an NFL-high 19 sacks in four games.
The Chiefs have allowed opposing defenses to sack quarterback Alex Smith at least five times in each of the last three games. While Chicago hasn't been a pass rushing force this season, this matchup is a good spot for the Bears to find success in the sack column after the departure of recently traded DE Jared Allen. Despite the sack potential, the Chicago D/ST won't be an advisable fantasy start this week.
The Houston Texans have forced just two turnovers through four games, which is tied for the lowest mark among NFL teams.
The cure could be coming soon for the Texans, who face the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday. The Indianapolis offense has turned the ball over 12 times in four games, which the highest total in the league. The Houston D/ST is a tough group to start in fantasy leagues right now, but if Andrew Luck (shoulder) is ruled out once again, the Texans could be used in a spot-start on Thursday.
The Indianapolis Colts will face the Houston Texans and struggling quarterback Ryan Mallett in Week 5.
The Thursday night matchup may be what the Indianapolis defense needs to get back on track, as the group has struggled to begin the 2015 season. Although Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Marcus Mariota, and Blake Bortles haven't been the most fearsome opposition for the Colts through four weeks, Houston's Ryan Mallett has three interceptions in just over three games and has an absurd 51.8 percent completion rate. The Colts will be a middling Week 5 option despite the nice matchup.
The Carolina Panthers will see a tough slate of opponents after their Week 5 bye.
The Panthers D/ST has been a productive fantasy option through four weeks, but the competition will get tougher starting in Week 6. After Carolina comes out of the bye, they will face Seattle, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and Green Bay. While the Panthers D/ST and star cornerback Josh Norman can certainly overcome tough opposition, the future schedule of Carolina may be enough for fantasy owners to drop this defense during their bye.
The Minnesota Vikings are allowing 4.7 yards per carry to opposing rushers, the fifth-worst mark in the NFL.
The Minnesota defense has had an up-and-down start to the 2015 season in terms of defending the run. San Francisco and Denver combined for 5.9 ypc against the Vikings, while DC George Edwards' group held San Diego and Detroit to a combined 2.9 ypc average. Stud running back Jamaal Charles and the Kansas City Chiefs are waiting for Minnesota after the Vikings enjoy their Week 5 bye, so the front-line defense of this defense will be tested once again.