Another day, another assertion of just how sexy defenses will be for your fantasy football experience. Some of the speculation is over…Josh Allen is franchised, Antoine Winfield Jr. is franchised, and Chris Jones is a mighty extension—none of those named above dull the free-agent reactions of this year’s free-agency period. So, whether you play in IDP leagues or you draft a defensive team, this year’s free agent frenzy had to get you excited.

It’s still early, but quality defensive free agents are still available. However, some teams took advantage of the “legal tampering phase” and improved. Your fantasy hopes and dreams may just come true (mine did)!

Top 3 Free Agent Acquisitions and Fantasy Football Rankings

🏈 Player: Christian Wilkins

🏈 Team: Formerly of the Miami Dolphins, NOW Las Vegas Raiders

🏈 My Rankings: Raiders bounce up to 7th defensively; Dolphins fall to 15. Maxx Crosby is a must-have IDP pickup. (ECR Dolphins #3, Raiders #18)

The Raiders defensive line is looking good. Wilkins comes in after having a career-high nine sacks last season. He added 10 tackles for loss. Pro Football Reference credits him with 30 pressures, 23 quarterback hits, six hurries, and 14 quarterback takedowns.

Opponents now have to decide who to double-team: Wilkins or Crosby? And then there is Malcolm Koonce, who finished last season with eight sacks, 23 pressures, 17 quarterback hits, seven hurries, and eight quarterback takedowns. Second-year defensive end Tyree Wilson rounds out the group that should be putting fear in the AFC West and all opponents next season.

🏈 Player: Patrick Queen

🏈 Team: Formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, NOW Pittsburgh Steelers

🏈 My Rankings: The Steelers bounce up to #8, and the Ravens remain #3. The Ravens lost Queen but finalized a deal with Justin Madubuike. (ECR Ravens #1. Steelers #14)

The Steelers now have an every-down inside linebacker who can blitz and get to the quarterback. The most important part of that sentence may be the “every down” part. Queen has not missed a game in his four seasons in Baltimore. That is the complete opposite of last year’s Steelers linebacker corps. It was a group that was so decimated by injuries that three of the starting linebackers at season’s end weren’t even on the team at the beginning of the season.

Now Queen will immediately solidify the inside linebacker spot, bringing with him his 2023 career-high 133 tackles. He also had one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, 18 quarterback pressures, 3.5 sacks, six passes defended, one interception and six quarterback hits.

It’s also just a little bit intriguing that he stays in the AFC North, jumping to play the Baltimore Ravens biggest rival.

🏈 Player(s): Danielle Hunter, OLB; Azeez Al-Shaair, LB; Denico Autry, DE; Mike Ford, CB; Jeff Okudah, CB; and re-signed Desmond King, CB.

🏈 Team: Houston Texans (OH MY)

🏈 My Rankings: Texans are leapfrogging the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys to move up to #5

The Texans aren’t playing y’all. I would be remiss if  I did not mention the extension of tight end Dalton Schultz.

While I am holding out my IDP hope, if you are playing defensive teams, this is one group you want to notice.

Head coach DeMeco Ryans has Hunter bookend with reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson. The secondary has an upside with the addition of Okudah and Ford and the re-signing of King. It’s not a secondary you will seek during your IDP drafts, but again, it’s a complete defense you want to grab in your fantasy team’s drafts.  

Early decision making time: What defensive team are you grabbing for your fantasy team? Why?


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Hey, we are just getting started. Stick with Razzball for all your fantasy needs, and remember that defenses are sexy, and knowing your defensive units may just win you yet another fantasy football season.

For more from Gladys and her Razzball content, find her on Twitter @gladysLtyler.