Defenses are one of the most, if not the most, overlooked positions in fantasy. They go on your queue during the draft and you think they’ll make it one more round so you give Tony Romo that one last chance as your third string quarterback only to drop him two weeks later because he tears what is left of his shoulder. “Defense wins championships,” right? No. Though you may have heard that growing up from your dad after you didn’t get that starting quarterback position you wanted and they slapped you back at free safety, that does not apply here. A defense in fantasy cannot win you championships, but a solid defense in the world of fantasy football can go a long way. So Romo can wait. A stout defense is much more essential.
Seattle seems as if they will always be known as the dominant defense in the NFL. The Seahawks have finished among the top five teams in points in each of the past five seasons. Seattle has allowed the fewest points in the league four years running and have finished no worse than second in yards allowed for three straight seasons. Don’t expect anything to change this year, as the receiver’s worst nightmares Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor remain intact. As long as Sherman is in Seattle, you can find them in my top three.
The Panthers were the sleeper defense of last year’s fantasy season. They were one of those, “Crap, I got the panthers” picks, but lucky for you they turned out alright. The Panthers led the league last season with 24 interceptions, 22 forced fumbles and 15 fumble recoveries. Though they lost a few players and are at risk of a downward spiral this season, the Panthers are going to be hungry for what they couldn’t reach last season, which should flow over to the defense.
The Cardinals seem to have become a reliable choice, having finished no worse than 13th in fantasy points the past six seasons. That includes last year’s third-place ranking, when they led the league in non-offensive touchdowns with seven, and in forced fumbles with two. The Cardinals also ranked among the top five teams in interceptions, fumble recoveries and yards allowed, and with the unreliable offense they seem to have, wins are going to have to come from somewhere.
Denver was last years fantasy leader in points with 182. That being said, if you saw how they did it, you know how inconsistent the Broncos were. One week they would hold the high powered Chargers offense to 10 points, ripping Phillip Rivers for 2 interceptions, then the next they would allow the Raiders to score 40. I have faith Arizona will find that consistency this year, and with a guy like Von Miller leading the way, there should be no problems with sacks.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs were nothing short of dominant last season after taking the first few weeks to find themselves defensively. The Chiefs scored six defensive touchdowns, ranked second in interceptions and were third in points allowed last season. Kansas City actually managed to end the season with the second highest point total of all the defenses, but are going to have to work for it this season with the departures of Sean Smith, Mike DeVito and Tyvon Branch, as well as Justin Houston, who tore his ACl.