August 29, 2018

NFL FANTASY PREVIEW: Top 25 defences

by Dan Bilicki In: Fantasy, Football

Looking for a reason to wait on grabbing your defence? Well, 48% of top-5 DEFs finished outside the top 12 the next season and just 20% repeat their top-5 status.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

262 points allowed, 55 sacks, 21 INTs, 12 fumbles recovered, 8 TDs, 207 points.

Had the second most sacks and interceptions and scored the most TDs. This young unit should easily be in the top five.

2. Minnesota Vikings

250 points allowed, 37 sacks, 14 INTs, 5 fumbles recovered, 1 TD, 117 points.

A perfect example of great defence not translating to fantasy points: The Vikes allowed the fewest points last year, but were the 14th-best fantasy defence.

3. Los Angeles Rams

317 points allowed, 48 sacks, 18 INTs, 10 fumbles recovered, 6 TDs, 172 points.

The big question mark is Aaron Donald, a defensive player of the year candidate that’s very unhappy with his contract.

4. Philadelphia Eagles

283 points allowed, 38 sacks, 19 INTs, 12 fumbles recovered, 5 TDs, 170 points.

Super Bowl winners only got better over the off-season and should remain a top-five DEF.

5. Houston Texans

416 points allowed, 32 sacks, 11 INTs, 5 fumbles recovered, 4 TDs, 83 points.

Injuries to many of their key defenders led to disastrous results, but expectations are high for 2018.

6. Denver Broncos

354 points allowed, 33 sacks, 10 INTs, 7 fumbles recovered, 4 TDs, 110 points.

Forced just eight fumbles last year, but addition of first-rounder Chubb reloads their awesome pass rush.

7. Los Angeles Chargers

262 points allowed, 43 sacks, 18 INTs, 9 fumbles recovered, 4 TDs, 160 points.

Pass-rushing duo of Bosa and Ingram should wreak havoc on opposing QBs once again.

8. Carolina Panthers

315 points allowed, 50 sacks, 10 INTs, 11 fumbles recovered, 3 TDs, 138 points.

As long as Luke Kuechly is in the middle of the Cats defence, they’re among the league’s best units.

The Baltimore Ravens will miss defensive back Jimmy Smith for the first four games of the season while he’s suspended. (AP PHOTO)

9. Baltimore Ravens

291 points allowed, 41 sacks, 22 INTs, 12 fumbles recovered, 7 TDs, 187 points.

Led the league in both interceptions and total turnovers last season, but top CB Jimmy Smith will miss four games.

10. New Orleans Saints

314 points allowed, 42 sacks, 20 INTs, 5 fumbles recovered, 5 TDs, 150 points.

How’s this for bad luck: The Saints only recovered five of the 19 fumbles they forced last year.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers

296 points allowed, 56 sacks, 16 INT, 6 fumbles recovered, 2 TDs, 138 points.

Led the league in sacks last season, but were well down the list in fumbles recovered.

12. New England Patriots

278 points allowed, 42 sacks, 12 INT, 6 fumbles recovered, 1 TD, 127 points.

The Pats were fifth-best in the league in points allowed per game, but fourth-worst in yards allowed.

13. Atlanta Falcons

303 points allowed, 39 sacks, 8 INTs, 8 fumbles recovered, 2 TDs, 99 points.

A young, fast defence that created just 16 turnovers last season, tied for fifth lowest in the league.

14. Kansas City Chiefs

331 points allowed, 31 sacks, 16 INTs, 10 fumbles recovered, 4 TDs, 125 points.

Trading away ball-hawk CB Marcus Peters hurts, but top safety Eric Berry returns after playing just one game last year.

15. Seattle Seahawks

322 points allowed, 39 sacks, 14 INTs, 11 fumbles recovered, 5 TDs, 142 points.

The Legion of Boom as all but dead, with only Earl Thomas remaining – and who knows for how long.

16. Chicago Bears

306 points allowed, 42 sacks, 8 INTs, 14 fumbles recovered, 5 TDs, 138 points.

Addition of first-round pick Roquan Smith in the middle instantly beefs up the Bears defence.

17. Green Bay Packers

372 points allowed, 37 sacks, 11 INTs, 11 fumbles recovered, 2 TDs, 95 points.

Made some changes in the defensive backfield after getting abused through the air too often.

18. New York Giants

382 points allowed, 27 sacks, 13 INTs, 6 fumbles recovered, 2 TDs, 89 points.

A bounce back from last year’s disastrous season could very easily happen.

19. Tennessee Titans

332 points allowed, 43 sacks, 12 INTs, 9 fumbles recovered, 1 TD, 111 points.

Not a lot of big-name talent, but this fairly average group did improve over the off-season.

20. Detroit Lions

346 points allowed, 35 sacks, 19 INTs, 13 fumbles recovered, 7 TDs, 159 points.

Former Pats DC Matt Patricia takes over a team that created 32 turnovers last year.

21. San Francisco 49ers

377 points allowed, 30 sacks, 10 INTs, 10 fumbles recovered, 1 TD, 79 points.

Could be in position for a big jump after adding young talent over the past few years.

22. Arizona Cardinals

335 points allowed, 37 sacks, 15 INTs, 6 fumbles recovered, 2 TDs, 112 points.

A few good pieces remain, but this isn’t the same team that led the NFL in sacks in 2016.

23. Cincinnati Bengals

343 points allowed, 41 sacks, 11 INTs, 3 fumbles recovered, 3 TDs, 100 points.

This is no typo: The Bengals forced a league-low four fumbles last year.

24. Buffalo Bills

347 points allowed, 27 sacks, 18 INTs, 7 fumbles recovered, 3 TDs, 104 points.

With a big question mark at QB, the Bills defence should see a lot of the field this season.

25. Dallas Cowboys

302 points allowed, 38 sacks, 10 INTs, 11 fumbles recovered, 2 TDs, 115 points.

Led the league with an astounding 27 forced fumbles, most in the NFL by six.

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