So I know this has to be done just like the kickers have to be done but I’m gonna be honest…I don’t want to!  So that means instead of a top 20 like most positions get, these teams and kickers are getting a top 10.  Sorry, we’re meeting in the middle about this.  It’s like you and your significant other arguing about where to go for dinner and deciding on a place both of you are familiar with but don’t really like all that much.  In the end, the nachos are ok and they have a decent beer selection but neither of us are going to be happy and when we get home we’ll watch re-runs of Law & Order off of Netflix in separate rooms on our iPhones despite having a snazzy 55″ flat screen in the living room.  Wait, where was I?  Oh yeah, let’s rank these bad boys and get it the heck over, shall we?  I’m only covering some basic stats as they are common across most leagues.  Oh and I’m lazy, of course…ok, the real reason is the touchdown scoring is – in many ways – quite fluky.  I like anchoring my beliefs on the core stats.  The TDs are a nice bonus when they happen but drafting because of them is foolhardy in my book.

Scoring is based on the three basics: Sacks, Interceptions & Fumble Recovery

1. San Fransisco 49ers – This is the beginning and the end of the first tier and it’s called the ‘I play in a weak division and am a great defensive team to boot’ tier because that’s what they are and that’s where they play.  Do you really need more info than that?  Ok, here’s another tidbit: they were the top ranked defense in 2011 despite only having one defensive touchdown.  I can see you understand now.  Glad to have you on board!  2012 Projections: 40/25/15

2. Houston Texans – This is the start of the second tier and drifts down to the Seahawks.  I call this tier the ‘trio of terror’ because there’s three teams in it and it sounds scary…right?  Well, whatever, Houston was the fifth best defense according to ESPN in 2011 and I see them getting better.  I also have seen ‘The Crying Game’.  It’s clear I have no fear.  2012 Projections: 45/20/10

3. Philadelphia Eagles – Sure, they got off to a really rough start but they had 50 sacks in 2011 and I’m not referring to undercarriages.  They still finished 6th in ESPN scoring for defenses.  Dream Team, schmeam team they’re still a good defensive ball club.  2012 Projections: 45/18/10

4. Seattle Seahawks – They’ve got the cool thing the number one defense has going on: plays in an offensively challenged division and is a good defensive squad as well.  The only thing not going for them is being as good as San Fran.  2012 Projections: 35/25/10

5. New York Jets – This is the start of the next tier and goes to the Bears.  I call this tier the ‘wait, where are the Ravens and the Steelers!’ tier because I’m sure you’re livid you haven’t seen them yet.  Don’t worry, you will.  I’m pairing these two defenses because – outside of touchdowns – these two teams had very similar years.  Don’t believe me? Fine, go look for yourself!  Sorry, got a bit adamant there.  2012 Projections: 35/20/10

6. Chicago Bears – They finished second in defensive scoring on ESPN’s player rater in 2011 because they scored 6 touchdowns.  Hard to believe in that and I believe I have nice hair.  2012 Projections: 35/20/10

7. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens are the start of the next tier and it goes to the Steelers.  I call this tier the ‘oldies but goodies’ because they seem to be in the top 10 every year and it’s rare they disappoint, even as the teams have aged.  I have them 7th because of losing Terrell Suggs and that’s really the only reason.  If they sneak back into the top 5 by season’s end, I wouldn’t be surprised.  2012 Projections: 40/15/10

8. Pittsburgh Steelers – Their 227 points against are what really anchored them last year as they stuffed your category stockings (35 sacks, 11 INT, 4 fumble recoveries) with lumps of coal and a Megadeth tape…and you don’t even own a tape player!  I wouldn’t be surprised to see this team slide outside the top 10 this year but until it happens, I refuse to buy into the (un)hype.  2012 Projections: 35/15/10

9. Detroit Lions – This is the final tier and goes through the top ten and into the void thereafter…ok, it stops at the Cowboys.  I call this tier the ‘big sacks’ tier because I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt in the points against area.  Ok, you can read that as I’m completely ignoring their points against if you want to.  Overall, I almost had the Falcons up here but the enlarged medulla oblongatas of Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh scared me out of it.  2012 Projections: 40/20/10

10. Dallas Cowboys – Their secondary was flat out terrible last year and led to some ugly weeks for fantasy owners.  Some off-seasons moves should improve these areas.  I think those moves were the tango and the cat daddy, but I can’t be sure.  Either way, I’ll take their 42 sacks in 2011, carry it over in 2012, multiply it by 10, divide it by 2 and then subtract 170.  Hrm, I just gave them less sacks and they were still shaky in points against.  Yeah, this might blow up in my face.  2012 Projections: 40/15/10

  1. Ringo says:

    So what are your prices for these DEF’s in auctions?

    • Sky

      Sky says:

      We’re working on it.

  2. Randy04 says:

    In general, do you believe in drafting a defense to play all year, or rotating based on matchup? I tried doing it based on matchup last year, but there was a trend in my league of guys hoarding defenses (sometimes two or three at a time). This really limited the defenses you could choose from over time, and I found myself regretting not holding onto a more solid defense over the course of the season.

    • Sky

      Sky says:

      Your league will always dictate how you play, of course. I’m more for rotating defenses early in the season while keeping my eyes peeled for a team that might be worthy of keeping

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