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Fantasy Football: Week 5 Kicker and Defense Rankings

By Alex Butler
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Fantasy Football: Week 5 Kicker and Defense Rankings
New England Patriots defensive end Chris Long (95) reacts as a measurement is challenged by the Buffalo Bills in the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on October 2, 2016. The Bills defeated the Patriots 16-0. Photo by Matthew Healey/ UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Week 5 is a great time to stream defenses. Some of the top ranked units for the week were likely undrafted.

By looking at how a defense/special teams unit has played so far this season and how the opposing offense has faired against previous competition, you can find extra points for your weekly fantasy football lineup.

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Here are my top 20 defense/special teams units and top 15 kickers this week. You can also view my add/drops for the week and more positional rankings in the links below.

TOP SHELF

The New England Patriots are going to obliterate the Cleveland Browns in Tom Brady's DeflateGate return. Brady is coming back for his first game of the season and Bill Belichick has had a week to think about being shutout in Foxborough. I expect a gaudy amount of touchdown passes from Brady and an even more insane fantasy point output from the future Hall of Famer gunslinger. All of that likely means the Cleveland Browns will be play catch-up. The Browns need to get the ball to Terrelle Pryor to be successful. I can see Belichick putting the clamps on Pryor with his best cornerback, leaving Cody Kessler at the whim of the Patriots' pass rush.

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Mason Crosby should have another solid day kicking for the Green Bay Packers in a home battle against the New York Giants. I am leaning toward a blowout in this match up, with the Giants' running game suffering and Odell Beckham Jr. not yet finding his mojo. Eli Manning looked rattled in a Week 4 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers' defensive line will get after him for several sacks if the Giants are in catch-up mode, putting Crosby in great field position.

SNEAKY PLAYS

The Philadelphia Eagles are trying to go 4-0 this season after facing the Detroit Lions on the road. In Week 3, the Eagles held Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and the Pittsburgh Steelers to 3 points. I see the Lions secondary struggling against breakout rookie Carson Wentz and the Eagles posting another solid defensive performance.

Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano should be a benefactor of his team's struggling offense. If Cam Newton is ruled out of the contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I expect Gano to play an even bigger role in the Monday Night Football battle.

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RANK NAME TEAM OPPONENT
1 Mason Crosby Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants
2 Stephen Gostkowski New England Patriots at Cleveland
3 Adam Vinatieri Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago
4 Brandon McManus Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta
5 Graham Gano Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay
6 Dan Bailey Dallas Cowboys vs. Cincinnati
7 Chris Boswell Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Jets
8 Josh Brown New York Giants at Green Bay
9 Blair Walsh Minnesota Vikings vs. Houston
10 Josh Lambo San Diego Chargers at Oakland
11 Chandler Catanzaro Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco
12 Dustin Hopkins Washington Redskins at Baltimore
13 Mike Nugent Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas
14 Sebastian Janikowski Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego
15 Matt Bryant Atlanta Falcons at Denver

LONGSHOTS

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As noted previously, the Packers should put up some points at home against the Giants. I don't see the struggling Giants keeping up the pace. The Packers should have plenty of chances to get after Eli Manning and capitalize on the Giants' mistakes.

San Diego Chargers kicker Josh Lambo faces the Oakland Raiders. Lambo has five field goals and five extra points in his last two contests. There should be no shortage of scoring in this AFC West battle. I see another double-digit fantasy point performance from Lambo in Week 5.

RANK TEAM OPPONENT
1 New England Patriots at Cleveland
2 Minnesota Vikings vs. Houston
3 Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta
4 Los Angeles vs. Buffalo
5 Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay
6 Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit
7 Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco
8 Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas
9 Baltimore Ravens vs. Washington
10 Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles
11 Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants
12 Miami Dolphins vs. Tennessee
13 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Jets
14 Dallas Cowboys vs. Cincinnati
15 Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego
16 San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona
17 Tennessee Titans at Miami
18 Chicago Bears at Indianapolis
19 New York Jets at Pittsburgh
20 Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago
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