Often team defenses are overlooked in fantasy, one of the biggest errors that fantasy owners make. Make sure to check your league’s scoring system, but in the meantime, here are my top five defenses heading into the 2014 season :
The Seahawks allowed the fewest points (14.4) and yards per game (273.6) last season and once again are loaded for bear in 2014. A year ago, they forced the most turnovers and finished a respectable eighth in sacks. Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Michael Bennett – three key components of the Super Bowl winning side – were all signed to long term extensions in the offseason. They are a clear cut choice as the #1 defense in fantasy going into the new season. They’re #1 with a bullet.
2. SAN FRANCISCO
The Niners may be down on some people’s lists, but not mine. NaVorro Bowman is out till midseason with a knee injury and Aldon Smith may be suspended for a few games, but that doesn’t change my ranking. They are still loaded on the defensive line and play an aggressive style of defense that generates sacks and a lot of interceptions. They’re #2 with good reason.
The Panthers led the league with 60 sacks last year and were second to Seattle in PPG allowed. Greg Hardy’s 15 had something to do with that huge total, and despite looming disciplinary action, this unit is still strong top to bottom. Luke Kuechly, Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short help make up a tough, nasty front seven that features the aforementioned Hardy along with Charles Johnson rushing off the edge. They’re #3 and deep as any team in the league.
4. KANSAS CITY
The Chiefs pass rush was one of the best if not the best in the NFL before injuries struck late in the season. Justin Houston and Tamba Hali weren’t healthy for the last quarter of the season, but they’re ready to go from day one in 2014. The Chiefs added the MVP of the Senior Bowl down in Mobile, Dee Ford of Auburn, and he’ll add even more depth to an already strong unit. Eric Berry is a Pro Bowl safety, and if their corners can hold up, this is a top five defense nine times out of 10. They’re #4 and are better than you probably think.
The Broncos offense was the more glamorous unit a year ago, but with the additions of Aqib Talib and Demarcus Ware and the return of such players as Von Miller, this is a team that is loaded up once again for a Super Bowl run. Expect this unit to be near the top of the league in sacks and grab a fair share of interceptions late in games as teams will be chasing all those points Peyton and company put on the board. They’re #5 but could easily finish the year in the top three.