Carolina Panthers' Star Lotulelei (98) zeros in on a fumble by San Francisco 49ers QB Brian Hoyer in the first quarter Sunday at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Our top 20 defense and top 15 kicker rankings focus on quality matchups in Week 2 of your fantasy football season.
It doesn't matter if you are trying to start the fantasy football season 2-0 or trying to get your first win of 2017, you need every point you can get.
One way to gain a quick edge on your opponent is starting the right defense in a good matchup. This week offers several examples of streaming defenses to plug-and-play and also some rising and falling units. There are also a few games with shootout potential, meaning kickers could play a big part in wins and losses in the second week of the NFL season.
Here are my top 20 defense/special teams units and top 15 kickers for Week 2. You can visit other positional rankings in the links below.
The Arizona Cardinals are my top defensive/special teams unit for Week 2 with a matchup against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Look for this unit to rebound in a big way after its Week 1 loss to the Detroit Lions. The Seattle Seahawks are my No. 2 defense this week with a great matchup at home against the San Francisco 49ers. I'm expecting some forced turnovers from the "Legion of Boom."
Atlanta Falcons veteran Mattt Bryant is my top kicker this week against the Green Bay Packers and Will Lutz is my second ranked kicker against the New England Patriots. I'm expecting both of these matchups to be shootouts. Each kicker should have plenty of extra point opportunities and be able to connect on one or two field goals.
Some of the best defensive matchup plays this week are the Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders. The Ravens face the Cleveland Browns and are my No. 3 defense for the week while the Raiders face the New York Jets and are my No. 4 defense.
Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker is ranked No. 5 at the postion this week against those Browns in what I expect to be a close game. With depleted offenses on both sides, I expect to see plenty of field goal attempts. Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey will prove vital in a tough matchup against the Denver Broncos. When the Cowboys stall on drives, expect Bailey to come through with some clutch kicks.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers begin their 2017 season slate in Week 2 against the Chicago Bears. I expect the Buccaneers to get a lead early on, forcing the Bears to play comeback. Tampa Bay could score off of a turnover in this contest when the Bears get desperate. Chicago is my No. 9 defense for Week 2. The Jacksonville Jaguars already looked like a proven defense in Week 1 against the Houston Texans. Look for another lesson in grinding down the game clock and shutting down the big play iin Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans. The Jaguars might be a top-end starting defense this season and are ranked No. 12 for me this week.
Oakland Raiders kicker Giorgio Tavecchio will benefit from plenty of kicks in Week 2 against the New York Jets. He is ranked my No. 10 kicker because of this great matchup and the offensive success of his team. Kansas City Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos is also worth starting this week against the Philadelphia Eagles in what could be a close game.
Week 2 Defense/Special Teams Rankings