- Category: Cushard: Gaming the Game
Looking at some Fantasy Football sleeper team defenses
Team Defenses can score points, but so much changes - we're talking about a team of 11+ rotational players + special teams. One good kick returner can change everything, not to mention the more than crucial matchups dictate value. Defenses vs. Aaron Rodgers don't fair as well as defenses who play Christian Ponder.
Baltimore Ravens (ADP 188, Round 17) – So far The Ravens are going off the board as the 10th Defense. Of course they would drop this year, Why wouldn’t they after losing a future Hall of Famer in Ray Lewis and also losing Ed Reed? But with those key departures, The Ravens added some younger and faster talent to their Defense, the main being Elvis Dumervil. Both Dumervel and Suggs are in the top 20 in sacks for active players so this tandem is pretty scary on paper. Look at what the aging defence did in the post season in winning the Super Bowl. Overall I can’t see you going wrong grabbing Baltimore in the final rounds to help carry your Fantasy team to greatness.
Projection: Finish the season 4th for Team Defense
Pittsburgh (ADP 190, Round 17) – The key to Pittsburgh’s defense will be depending on how healthy Troy Polamalu can stay. Did you know that Pittsburgh’s defense finish only 21st overall in fantasy points last year? So you ask yourself, how did a team who allowed the fewest Points Per Game (19.6) and fewest Yards Allowed Per Game (275.8) finish so low in points? A lot had to do with “ Luck “ or lack of it I should say. Pitts Defense only scored 1 total Touch Down all season long and forced only 20 turnovers. I don’t see them being as unlucky and should be a top 10 Defence this year.
Projection: Finish 8th for Team Defense
Atlanta Falcons (ADP 214, Round 19) - The Falcons finished 11th overall in Defense but seem to be going off the board later than most. A couple of key additions in the off season were Osi Umenyioya and first round pick Desmond Trufant. These additions should only improve on the already decent D-Core that the Falcons have. Last season the Patriots and Falcons finished with very similar stats when it came to defense but the Pats are getting drafted around 10th in defense while the Falcons are falling to around 16th. So my draft advice would be to wait for the Patriots to go off the board before drafting the Falcons. If you can sneak the Falcons in with your last pick of the draft, I think you’d be laughing.
Projection: Finish 9th For Team Defense
Tampa Bay (ADP 203, Round 18) – Tampa Bay is another case like the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bucs finished 23rd overall in Team Defense even though they had one of the best run defense in the game. Bucs only had two games where they allowed 100+ running yards and that was against Adrian Petterson and Alfred Morris. But with that, The Bucs secondary was close to the worst in the league allowing 309 Passing Yards Per Game. So what did the Bucs do? They went out and traded a draft pick to get one of the best Cornerbacks in the game Darrelle Revis. Mind you, Revis is recovering from a torn ACL. He is still going to be a huge and I mean huge upgrade in what they had. Also the Bucs signed Free Agent Safety Dashon Goldson who has 9 interceptions in his first 2 seasons to date.
Projection: Finish 11th for Team Defense
Green Bay (ADP 185, Round 16) – Packers finished 14 overall last season and top 4 in sacks even though Clay Matthews missed 4 weeks of the season. Packers were also pretty stellar at intercepting the opposing teams when the ball was in the air as they finished 8th in that category. Biggest problem was the points allowed. Green Bay allowed 336 points which was 16th worst in the league. Packers addressed this issue by drafting Defensive End Datone Jones in the first round of this year’s draft. Jones did just sprain his ankle a few days ago but is expected to be ready for the start of the season. All in all, I think Matthews comes back healthier and stronger this year putting Green Bay in first in sacks. Another thing I’m liking and relying on is Green Bay being able to run the ball more this year since they finally have some talented backs in their system. More ball possession means opposing teams will have less chance to put up those big points against them.
Projection: Finish 12th for Team Defense