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Fantasy Sports Fantasy Football

2014 Fantasy Football Week 1 Rankings: Top 10 Defenses

2014 Fantasy Football: Top 10 Defenses for Week 1

Carolina Panthers Defense
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Football season is finally back! The drafts are done, and now it's time to make sure you've got the best possible lineup in place. Smart fantasy owners know that picking the right defense each week can mean the difference between glorious victory, and utter dejection. To help ensure that you're putting out the best team possible, let's take a look at how the defenses stack up in Week 1.

(All stats courtesy of espn.com)

10. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers Defense
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10. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers Defense
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The Steelers' D scored just five total fantasy points through their first four games last season, but turned things around to put up a respectable 8.2 per game over their final 12. They'll get a weak Cleveland Browns offense in Week 1 that scored the sixth fewest points per game in 2013, and turned the ball over 27 times.

9. Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders Defense
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9. Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders Defense
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The Raiders don't have a very good defense, but I bet the New York Jets make them look like one this week. Geno Smith is a terrible quarterback who is a turnover machine, and opposing defenses scored the fourth most points per game against the J-e-t-s, Jets, Jets, Jets last season.

8. Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks Defense
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8. Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks Defense
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Last season's top fantasy defense has a great shot at retaining that title in 2014, just don't expect them to carry your team in Week 1 against the always dangerous Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

7. New England Patriots

New England Patriots Defense
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7. New England Patriots

New England Patriots Defense
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The Pats' defense ranked 9th overall last season in fantasy points, but some of that had to do with a 26-point outburst in Week 16. They should be able to get off to a fine start this year as they'll face a Miami Dolphins offense that ranked 27th in the league last year in total yards, and turned the ball over 26 times.

6. Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions Defense
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6. Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions Defense
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The Lions will have the luxury of facing Eli "Turnover" Manning in Week 1. The Giants offense stunk it up last year by scoring the fifth fewest points per game in the league, and led all NFL teams with a whopping 40 turnovers. The Detroit defense makes for a sneaky smart play this week.

5. Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles Defense
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5. Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles Defense
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The Philadelphia defense was one of the worst in football last season, but they'll take on the equally awful Jacksonville Jaguars offense this week. The Eagles are likely to be up big in this one, and with the ball in the hands of Chad Henne, the turnovers could pile up quickly. A defensive score isn't out of the question either, so Philly makes for a high reward option.

4. Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs Defense
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4. Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs Defense
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The Chiefs defense blew expectations out of the water last season by finishing with 179 fantasy points, third to only Seattle and Carolina. A nice Week 1 should be in store for them as they'll take on a Tennessee offense that ranked 22nd in the league in yards per game last year, and have very few offensive weapons at their disposal.

3. St. Louis Rams

St. Louis Rams Defense
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3. St. Louis Rams

St. Louis Rams Defense
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The Rams like to bring pressure on opposing QBs, and Minnesota starter Matt Cassel hasn't exactly dealt with pressure well in his career. The Vikings are going to lean heavily on Adrian Petersen in this one, but when Cassel is forced to throw the ball around, sacks and turnovers are likely to ensue, making the Rams a high upside defense.

2. Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals Defense
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2. Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals Defense
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Cincy's defense is going to, once again, be very stout this year, and they'll kick off the 2014 campaign against a team they scored 31 fantasy points against in two meetings last season. That team is the Baltimore Ravens, and similar results can be expected, especially with Ray Rice suspended for this one.

1. Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers Defense
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1. Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers Defense
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The Panthers have brought back a very scary defensive unit, and will unleash the fury against a weak Tampa Bay Bucs offense in Week 1. Tampa averaged by far the fewest yards per game as a team in 2013, and allowed the 10th most fantasy points per game to opposing defenses.

Brian Davis is a fantasy writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SportsGuyBrian, ”Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.