Mike is babysitting 45 kids on a field trip this week.
Needless to say, his hands are full. Q&A will return in full
This Week’s Question
A reader named Colin contacted me this week about the idea of using
defenses defensively. His question speaks for itself, and rather
than slanting responses a certain way by indicating my own thoughts
here, I’ll submit it to readers just as I received it:
Would you mind asking your readers to weigh in
on my league’s idea for making fantasy defenses serve an
actual defensive purpose? If fantasy football teaches us anything,
it’s that weak defenses make for strong performances by
opposing offenses. There are defenses out there that consistently
make opposing quarterbacks look like clowns. There are defenses
that make marginal running backs look like stars. So why is it
that no matter how good my fantasy defense is, its productivity
has no effect on my fantasy opponent’s offensive score?
Almost every fantasy league I know of treats defenses as if they
are just another offensive skill player. You add points for what
the defense does just like you add points for what the tight end
That makes no sense.
Wouldn’t it be more in keeping with the NFL if we adjusted
offensive scores in response to defensive productivity? My league
is trying out this sort of model this year. We play in a head-to-head
league (obviously this wouldn’t work in a points-only league),
and we don’t actually add points to any fantasy team’s
score based on what that team’s defense does, but we use
defensive ranking to adjust the offensive scores of opponents.
We wait until all the games have been played and the rankings
for the defenses have come in. Then we adjust the offensive scores
according to the following formula:
If you have a top-5 defense for the week, 20% of your opponent’s
offensive score is deducted. If you have a bottom-5 defense for
the week, your opponent’s offensive score receives a 20%
bonus. If your defense ranks 6-10, 10% of your opponent’s
offensive score is deducted. If your defense is ranked 10th-worst
to 6th-worst, your opponent receives a 10% bonus. All other defenses
are ignored. So if you start a defense that finishes near the
middle of the pack, your opponent’s score is unmodified,
but his defense may affect your final score.
Anyway, this system makes a lot of sense to us, and we wonder
why this sort of thing isn’t more popular?
#3: Arizona at Oakland (5-1 Season):
Is this the week that the Raiders finally win a game? I don't
think so. The Cardinals are favored by 3 and I'm not so sure how
many more chances you will get to use them for your pool. Matt
Leinart seems to be stepping up his game and while Edge may have
averaged less than 2 yards per carry against the Bears, he should
fair a lot better against the 30th ranked run defense.
#2: Seattle over Minnesota (6-0 Season):
The Seahawks escaped St. Louis with a win last week but at home
against the Vikings, Deion Branch will find that he is welcomed
with open arms as Hasselbeck will continue to strike through the
air. Minnesota might be ranked 5th in overall defense but they
are 16th against the pass. If you haven't used the hawks yet,
this is the week, unless of course you want to wait until they
play Arizona again.
#1: Jacksonville over Houston (5-1
This game has all the makings of a big time knock out game for
Survival Pool players. Houston has only one win, against an average
Miami team. The Jags seem like the better team on paper, are favored
by almost 10 points, and have a defense that can shut down almost
anyone. This is a divisional game that I am very hesitant about
picking but do so because they are such favorites. Don't look
for Jacksonville to cover the spread though.
Well the Bears avoid the Monday night upset by the Cards to keep
our top two selections undefeated on the season. An exciting game
to watch (the 4th quarter anyway) if you stayed up for it. Anybody
else hit the bed accepting you were out of your pool only to find
out Tuesday morning you had another life?
3 - (4-2) - Jags over Texans -
Indianapolis against Washington might be a more popular choice,
but after the near disaster the Colts had two weeks ago against
the Titans, let's see how they bounce back first. Also, the Colts
have probably been selected by many Survivors in earlier weeks,
so let's look for some other choices we might need to start using.
Jacksonville has a solid running game going for them to grind
it out against Houston's weaker defense. The passing game is maturing
to provide a versatile attack. The Jag D has had some injuries,
but will be good enough to keep Houston in check.
2 - (6-0) - Chargers over Chiefs -
San Diego is in a groove on both sides of the ball. Let's see
how Phillip Rivers handles a hostile environment. But having the
luxury of being able to lean on a guy named Tomlinson and one
of the top defenses in the league might help a little bit. Those
factors should be enough to cause problems for Kansas City.
1 - (6-0) - Eagles over Bucs -
Tampa shocked the Bengals to get their first win, while the Eagles
lost on a last second field goal to the Saints after the emotional
victory against Dallas and TO. Philly had been cruising and I
am going to believe their loss will get them to refocus and take
the Bucs seriously. Tampa Bay also may not be as desperate after
getting that first win.
For responses to this week's fantasy question or to share your
LMS picks, please email
me no later than 10 a.m. EST on Wednesdays during the football
Readers who want to have their fantasy questions answered live,
on the air, by Mike Davis are invited to tune into FFEXradio
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programs are also available.