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Top Fantasy Defenses to Target

top fantasy defenses

Draft season is here and after you’ve filled out most of your roster, many of you are panicking because you forgot to research the defenses! Incidentally, you end up just taking the one that has the most projected points when you’re up in the teen rounds. Let’s fix this last minute unpreparedness. I’m giving you four top fantasy defenses that you need to have queued up for the last few rounds in your fantasy draft.

Buffalo Bills

  • 2019 Finish: 12th
  • Schedule:
    Week 1 vs NYJ
    Week 2 @ MIA
    Week 3 vs LAR
    Week 4 @ LV

Buffalo beefed up an already dangerous defense by adding defensive linemen Mario Addison and Vernon Butler from Carolina. The two combined for 15 sacks last season. 2018 1st round pick Ed Oliver should also build on an impressive six sack season from last year. In the secondary, the Bills have one the league’s most feared corners in Tre’Davious White who recorded six interceptions and two forced fumbles last season. They also have one of the league’s easiest schedules to start the season with match-ups against the Jets, Dolphins, and Raiders who all ranked in the bottom-10 in scoring last season. This is one of my top fantasy defenses to target for a streaming defense early in the NFL season.

 

San Francisco 49ers

  • 2019 Finish: 3rd
  • Schedule:

Week 1 vs ARI
Week 2 @ NYJ
Week 3 @ NYG
Week 4 vs PHI

It’s hard not to love a D/ST that finished Top-10 in fewest points allowed and top-1o in sacks, while also boasting 1st round picks at every defensive line spot. Rookie Javon Kinlaw will work to fill the void left by DeForest Buckner. Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, & Dee Ford should continue to dominate with their combined 25.5 sacks from 2019. The 49ers have a lot of continuity on their defense and still have defensive coordinator Robert Saleh despite being courted for multiple head coaching jobs. With an offense that likes to chew up the clock with a strong rushing attack, this defense should be primed for another Top-5 D/ST finish.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • 2019 Finish: 2nd
  • Schedule:

Week 1 @ NYG
Week 2 vs DEN
Week 3 vs HOU
Week 4 @ TEN

Pittsburgh changed it’s defensive identity once Minkah Fitzpatrick came to town in Week 3. After giving up 61 points and six passing touchdowns in the first two weeks, Pittsburgh beared down and only allowed an average of 18 points and just over one passing TD per game. T.J. Watt (14.5), Bud Dupree (11.5), and Cameron Heyward (9) led the way for the NFL’s top pass rush with 54 total sacks. All of their first four opponents have tons of question marks across their respective offensive lines and could be a gold mine for defense sack points. This squad is probably a favorite to be the top D/ST and you will have to pay up for them if you want to get them as they have an average ADP of 10.07. I usually don’t reach for a D/ST, but if they fall into the 12th round, they need to be on your squad at that value.


Indianapolis Colts

  • 2019 Finish: 14th
  • Schedule:

Week 1 @ JAC
Week 2 vs MIN
Week 3 vs NYJ
Week 4 @ CHI

One of the up and coming defenses in the NFL got a whole lot better this season after getting DeForest Buckner from the aforementioned 49ers. Add his pass rushing ability to Justin Houston and his 11 sacks in 2019, and this team will likely be Top-10 in taking down opposing QBs for 2020. Darius Leonard and Malik Hooker are both healthy again after missing a handful of games in 2019. They combined for 9 defensive takeaways and I would expect that number to rise if they are on the field for all 16 games. Finally, Indy’s schedule is a nice cherry on top. They face three teams who were bottom-7 in points per game in 2019. This is a D/ST you could stream for the first month of the season and they are going undrafted in most leagues.

 

Thank you for checking out my article and don’t forget to check out my 2020 fantasy football projections as well as our seasonal redraft rankings to get you fully prepped for your drafts!

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