While not nearly as bad as kickers, fantasy defenses are often times hard to gauge at the beginning of the year. Because of that, it’s never been a good idea to reach for the top-rated defense in your drafts. In fact, I’ve had a great deal of success ignoring the quality of my fantasy defense and instead focusing on the quality of their opposition. In most leagues, only 12-14 defenses are owned at a time, leaving half the available options in a given week in free agency. Treat that stable of defenses as your own Wheel of Doom, picking up and dropping units on a weekly basis while playing matchups, and you’ll have a good shot at getting just as much value as the owners that grabbed an elite name early. Obviously strategies shift based on league settings — in fact, I was the second guy to take a defense in my 32-team league (went with the Packers, our co-leader). If you can’t fight the urge to roll with one defense and one only, review our rankings below.
|2||Green Bay Packers||GB||2.38|
|4||New York Jets||NYJ||4.25|
|6||New England Patriots||NE||7.00|
|10||New York Giants||NYG||10.75|
|11||New Orleans Saints||NO||11.38|
|13||San Diego Chargers||SD||12.75|
|17||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||TB||19.00|
|20||San Francisco 49ers||SF||21.00|
|21||St. Louis Rams||STL||22.75|
|23||Kansas City Cheifs||KC||22.88|
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and Razzball and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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