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As we wrap up our position by position rankings from the “So-Called Fantasy Experts” we turn to defense. Over the last week we’ve covered quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, and kickers and will be posting an overall top 100 shortly.

David Gonos, Sarah Lewis, Jack Delaney, Mike Tomlin, and I have worked tirelessly through the week to put together the most accurate list the internets can provide; based on pure speculation, however lunch feels in our gut, and attempts to interpret messages from our pets.

We feel that with this tried and true methodology you will be well on your way to fantasy glory when using these rankings.

Regarding the drafting of team defenses, first let me say that while you may be tempted to take that cool defense in round seven hopefully our other positional rankings provide convincing alternatives.

Defenses are for the last round or two, even after that other guy takes Seattle’s D before his second wide receiver. Chuckle softly to yourself and continue to take skill position players rather than buckle to the urge to snap up a defense before they are all gone!

Examining the 2015 Fantasy Football Defense/Special Teams Rankings

Did you know the Eagles scored 11 defensive touchdowns last year? They rode this to finish second place in total team defense using ESPN’s standard scoring system. Who wants to guess what their touchdown total will be this year?

The point here is that touchdowns and therefore defensive scoring can be nearly impossible to predict year over year. While I would argue some defenses are more likely to generate fantasy points and deserve an earlier draft pick it’s still a crap shoot year to year as to who will have the good fortune to jump three or four slant routes for easy pick sixes.

We can however take into account some of these variables when looking at defenses to target. For example, attacking defenses tend to generate more turnovers which in turn increases the chance of a defensive score. Defenses that are able to put a lot of pressure on the quarterback get sacks, force bad throws, and increase turnover chances.

When drafting a defense know your scoring system.  Defensive scoring varies widely now from league to league. If your league gives points for yards and points allowed in addition to sacks, turnovers, and defensive TDs the importance of the position should get bumped up depending on how many points are out there. Some leagues don’t actually count special teams, so don’t go running to draft the team with an elite kick returner if it doesn’t matter.

Differing Opinions on 2015 Fantasy Defenses

When looking at the individual rankings we all stuck together for the most part near the top with Seattle, Houston, and St. Louis all ranked in the top five for each of us. After that we started to drift apart. Three experts ranked Seattle at the top, while Buffalo and Houston each got a vote for the best fantasy defense.

While Seattle very well could finish the season as the best defense I like Buffalo a little better this year. Seattle looked average to start the year in 2014 although they turned it up and eventually finished as the third ranked defense in fantasy land. They have the core of their defense returning and should still challenge again for the top spot.

Regardless of what I think about Rex Ryan’s personality or offensive incompetence, he runs an aggressive point generator for fantasy on defense. Buffalo already has a dominating front that finished first in the league last year with 54 sacks. Additionally, it was Buffalo, not Seattle that actually finished first overall in standard ESPN scoring last year. Throw in Rex and his scheme and I think Buffalo could be a real problem for offenses.

While everyone agreed that the Texans and Rams also belong in the top five, there were some differences of opinion including:

  • Delaney and Lewis ranked the Jets D/ST at second while Briggs had them down at tenth.
  • Gonos and Delaney liked the Cardinals defense at fifth while the rest of us ranked them between ninth and 14th.
  • Tomlin and Lewis like the Lions at seventh while Gonos and Briggs had them falling out of the top 12.
  • Briggs liked the Broncos better than others ranking them fifth on his list.
  • Delaney liked Buffalo less than the rest pushing them down to seven on his list.

2015 Fantasy Football Defense/Special Teams Rankings

Rankings are based on standard scoring, if that exists for D/STs with six points for defense TDs, a point for sacks, and two points for recovered fumbles or interceptions. Additionally many leagues now give some reward for limiting opponents score.

Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros

Here are the links to our other 2015 Fantasy Football Rankings:

We will be updating these ranks routinely as the preseason progresses.

Make sure to check back frequently for the latest updates on all our fantasy football rankings.

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