Offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships.
You may not pay a ton of attention to which defense you're playing every week, but identifying the right matchups and capitalizing on them in your starting lineup could win you a matchup
So that's where we come in by ranking the top 20 defense/special teams units in the NFL before Week 7 games begin.
2021 FANTASY FOOTBALL D/ST RANKINGS: WEEK 7
1. New England Patriots (vs. Jets)
Zach Wilson threw four interceptions the last time he played the Patriots. While it'd be unreasonable to expect a similar showing this week, even if the rookie quarterback fares better against Bill Belichick, the New England defense is a must-start in this matchup.
2. Los Angeles Rams (vs. Lions)
Jared Goff gets a chance to get revenge on his former team for shipping him off to Detroit for Matthew Stafford. Unfortunately for him, this likely won't go the way he wants it to. The Rams are going to win this game and win it big.
3. Arizona Cardinals (vs. Texans)
Davis Mills impressed the last time he played in a short week and will need to do even more this time against the undefeated Cardinals. Arizona's defense isn't a top-10 unit in the league, but if they're going to have a big week defensively, this is the one to do it.
4. New Orleans Saints (vs. Seahawks)
Geno Smith and the Russell Wilson-less Seahawks put up a good fight in an overtime loss to the Steelers last week. Still, they only put up 20 points and failed to move the ball against a capable Pittsburgh front. Expect similar difficulties for the Seattle offense this week, especially if they can't get their run game going against a stout New Orleans run defense.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Bears)
The Bucs already know what it looks like to play a mobile quarterback in an offense ill-equipped to highlight his strengths after playing Jalen Hurts last week, so they should have a good time against Fields in Week 7.
6. Carolina Panthers (vs. Giants)
The Panthers may be reeling after a 3-0 start, but the Giants are one of the worst teams in the league this season and are the perfect get-right game for Matt Rhule's group.
7. Baltimore Ravens (vs. Bengals)
The Ravens forced Joe Burrow into his worst game as a rookie last year and will look to give him an equally hard time at home in Week 7. Burrow is a better player now than he was and has Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite Ja'Marr Chase making plays on the outside for him. This should be a fun game to watch.
8. Las Vegas Raiders (vs. Eagles)
Nick Sirianni doesn't appear to have a solid plan in place to utilize his quarterback's ability to run the ball, so until he does, don't expect the Eagles' offense to do anything of note on Sundays.
9. Denver Broncos (vs. Browns)
Baker Mayfield is as of now a game-time decision for Week 7 against the Broncos. If he can't go, the Broncos are probably worth a start over a few defenses in front of them. If Mayfield plays, he'll still have a serious shoulder injury to deal with throughout the game.
10. Miami Dolphins (vs. Falcons)
The Dolphins suffered an embarrassing overtime loss to the Jaguars in Week 6, moving them to 1-5 on the year and in crisis mode if they still want to make the playoffs. The Falcons are an offense they need to keep in check. If they can't, it might be time to start looking to next year in South Beach.
11. Cleveland Browns (vs. Broncos)
12. Green Bay Packers (vs. Washington)
13. Indianapolis Colts (vs. 49ers)
14. Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Raiders)
15. San Francisco 49ers (vs. Colts)
16. New York Giants (vs. Panthers)
17. Atlanta Falcons (vs. Dolphins)
18. New York Jets (vs. Patriots)
19. Seattle Seahawks (vs. Saints)
20. Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Ravens)