Week 3 of the NFL season starts Thursday night with a showdown in Foxboro as the New England Patriots host the Houston Texans in a much-anticipated game.
It’s also the start of a new fantasy football week. Check out our list of must-start defenses below.
The Cowboys are facing the Bears on a short week after Chicago was soundly beaten by the Philadelphia Eagles on “Monday Night Football.”
Chicago is expected to be without starting quarterback Jay Cutler, who suffered an injury versus the Eagles. The Bears also have scored the third-fewest points and tallied the second-fewest total yards in the league.
This is a struggling offense that is turnover prone and without a quality quarterback, making Dallas’ defense a good play in Week 3.
The Panthers have a good matchup agains a Vikings offense that has scored just two touchdowns all season (zero rushing TDs). They’re the only team with less than 100 rushing yards through two games, and All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson might not play in Week 3 because of an injury. Minnesota’s also playing on the road in Carolina.
The Broncos have allowed the sixth-fewest yards per game and have several playmakers in their secondary, led by cornerback Aqib Talib, who had an interception return for a touchdown in a Week 2 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Reigning Super Bowl MVP linebacker Von Miller and the vaunted Denver pass rush shouldn’t have too much trouble against a Cincinnati Bengals offensive line that has allowed the most sacks in the league through two games.
The Texans might luck out and face the New England Patriots’ third-string quarterback in rookie Jacoby Brissett instead of Jimmy Garoppolo. The Patriots struggled to score and move the ball after Garoppolo left last week’s game in the second half because of a shoulder injury. The Texans’ defensive front likely will load the box to stop running back LeGarrette Blount and dare the Patriots to throw the ball. This easily could be a low-scoring game.
The Seahawks are lucky to not be 0-2 after two horrible offensive performances, but their defense hasn’t been bad at all. Seattle has allowed only one touchdown and a total of 19 points through two games, and its Week 3 matchup against an average San Francisco 49ers offense is a good one for fantasy owners. Let’s not forget the Seahawks have one of the best home-field advantages in the league.
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