The fantasy football season is almost halfway over, and there are a lot of things to talk about. There are injuries, quarterback controversies, and the Kansas City Chiefs are the only undefeated team. I could go on and on, but I won’t. The biggest thing is the ever-changing ranking of fantasy football defenses.
Entering Week 1, everyone knew who the top defenses were and went after them fairly early in fantasy drafts. However, throughout these past seven weeks, owners have added and dropped defenses quicker than ever before. Three of the top-five scoring defenses according to ESPN standard scoring were not ranked in the top 20 in the preseason.
The Chiefs and Tennessee Titans were two of those teams, and the other is the Carolina Panthers. With six teams on a bye in Week 8, including three top fantasy defenses, the Panthers are worth an add in all leagues and are still available in 58.9 percent of ESPN leagues.
The Panthers have scored at least 10 fantasy points in the last four games, including a 17-point game last week. While the easy part of their schedule may be over, the Panthers can still get pressure to the quarterback and disrupt passes. They have 19 sacks and nine interceptions, tied for 13th and sixth respectively.
They are the second-best overall defense, only allowing 13.83 points per game. Chase Blackburn and Mike Mitchell have been great additions for this Carolina team, and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn is playing at a high level yet again.
The Panthers play division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week. The Bucs are the second-worst scoring offense, averaging just 14.5 points per game, and with running back Doug Martin out for multiple weeks, the Carolina Panthers could be a top defense in Week 8 and beyond.