Week 9 fantasy football rankings: Defense/special teams

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Below are this week's D/ST rankings and tiers based on matchup, overall talent and recent performance. Still have a tough start/sit question? Ask us anytime on Twitter @FantasySourceFB, or stop by our Sunday chats from 11 a.m. ET until kickoff on Facebook!

MORE WEEK 9 RANKINGS: QB | RB | WRTE | K

FIVE STAR

1. Seattle Seahawks vs. Oak. There aren't many great defensive matchups this week (or great defenses, for that matter), but the Seahawks at home against the lowly Raiders certainly qualifies as a must-start. 

2. San Francisco 49ers vs. StL. Yes, the 49ers D is struggling, but so is the Rams' offense. Oh, and the Rams are allowing the second-most FPPG to defenses. Expect the 49ers to be fired up coming out of the bye week, especially if they get Aldon Smith back. 

FOUR STAR

3. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Jac. The Bengals D has been extremely disappointing this season, but it doesn't get much better than a home matchup against Jacksonville. The Jaguars are allowing the most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to defenses, so we're expecting the Bengals to finally get on track this weekend. 

4. Kansas City Chiefs vs. NYJ. The Jets are allowing the fourth-most FPPG to defenses and who knows what their QB situation will look like by the end of the game. Turn the Chiefs D/ST loose. 

5. Cleveland Browns vs. TB. The Bucs are allowing the third-most FPPG to defenses, which makes a so-so Browns D much more attractive in a dicey week for D/STs. 

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THREE STAR

6. Arizona Cardinals @ Dal. The Cardinals are likely without star corner Patrick Peterson (concussion), but we still like Arizona's pass rush against an injured Tony Romo or a healthy Brandon Weeden. Well, not "like like," but "kinda like."

7. Minnesota Vikings vs. Was. Even with Robert Griffin III starting, the Vikings are worth a shot this week. After all, they are a top-10 fantasy unit and the Redskins are allowing the sixth-most FPPG to defenses.

8. Philadelphia Eagles @ Hou. The Eagles are still fantasy's top-scoring D/ST even after last week's flop at Arizona, and Houston isn't a scary matchup. Hopefully Philly can keep the big plays (i.e. TDs) coming. 

9. Houston Texans vs. Phi

10. Indianapolis Colts @ NYG. Banking on a bone-headed play from Eli Manning and Co. 

11. San Diego Chargers @ Mia

12. Washington Redskins @ Min. The Redskins D/ST isn't all that good, but Teddy Bridgewater has been a turnover machine. Worth a gamble here. 

13. Miami Dolphins vs. SD. Fantasy's No. 2 defense takes a dive with Philip Rivers and Co. coming to town. 

TWO STAR

14. Dallas Cowboys vs. Ari

15. Baltimore Ravens @ Pit. The Ravens D/ST has been a little better than the Steelers D overall this season, so we're giving them the slight edge in Sunday night's AFC North showdown. 

16. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Bal

17. St. Louis Rams @ SF

ONE STAR

18. New England Patriots vs. Den. The Patriots have the No. 3 fantasy D, but you can't trust it against the Broncos. 

19. Denver Broncos @ NE. Same goes for the Broncos D/ST vs. a red-hot Tom Brady. 

20. NY Giants vs. Ind

21. NY Jets @ KC

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Cle

23. Carolina Panthers vs. NO

24. New Orleans Saints @ Car

ZERO STAR

25. Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cin

26. Oakland Raiders @ Sea

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