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Now that the 2023 NFL fantasy season is ending, it is time to look forward. And what we are looking at could be complete chaos…chaos, my friends. Three of the top fantasy-scoring defenses will have new defensive coordinators next season. The change in defensive coordinators could cause a catastrophic shift in the defensive landscape.

Below is a list of three of my potential top-10 defenses for 2024. It is especially poignant because all of these defenses will have new defensive coordinators next year. I have also included my way to early defense rankings and the ECR rankings as of the time of this writing.

And away we go.

Way to Early 2024 Defensive Rankings

 

  • Team: Dallas Cowboys
  • New Defensive Coordinator: Mike Zimmer
  • 2024 Ranking: #6 (ECR #5)

Fantasy Points per game: 10.5 (#1) / Points Allowed per game: 20.2 (#9) / Yards per Game Allowed: 306.1 (#7)

Dismissing the meltdown that was the Cowboys’ defense in the playoffs, the Cowboys were a top-10 defense and the number-one scoring defense for the season.

Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is gone, and the Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones says he plans a “home-run hire” to replace him.

The question is, will we see the playoff Cowboys or the Cowboys during the regular season?

According to Athlonsports.com, three names are in the running to be the Cowboys’ new defensive coordinator. They are Aden Durde, Ron Rivera, and Mike Zimmer.

Durde: Durde is the defensive line coach for the Cowboys. He has been with the Cowboys since 2021. His specialty is the front seven.

Rivera: This would be an in-conference swap, as Quinn is not the head coach for Washington.

Past Rivera’s defensive schemes have relied on dropping seven back in coverage and rushing four, not prioritizing blitzing.

Zimmer: Zimmer was a defensive assistant and coordinator for the Cowboys between 1994 and 2006.

Zimmer’s defenses are typically very good against the run and aggressive in their creative pressure packages.

 

  • Team: Baltimore Ravens
  • New Defensive Coordinator: Zach Orr
  • 2024 Ranking: #2 (ECR #1)

Fantasy Points per game: 10.2 (#2) / Points Allowed per game: 16.2 (#1) / Yards per Game Allowed: 297.6 (#5)

Orr will replace Mike Macdonald as the defensive coordinator in Baltimore. Last season, Orr was the Ravens’ inside linebacker coach since 2022. Elevating from within should be a sign the Ravens’ defensive scheme remains the same.

The choice of defensive coordinator does not take the Ravens out of top-five defenses for 2024.

  • Team: Buffalo Bills
  • New Defensive Coordinator: Bobby Babich
  • 2024 Ranking: #2 (ECR #4)

Fantasy Points per game: 9.4 (#3) / Points Allowed per game: 18.7 (#4) / Yards per Game Allowed: 310.9 (#8)

Babich was the Bills linebackers coach for the past two seasons and has been with the Bills since 2017.

It is unclear whether head coach Sean McDermott will continue calling defensive plays or that responsibility will be given to Babich. Either way, it does not appear that the promotion will significantly alter the Bills’ defensive schemes.

The Rankings!

For the first of many rankings for the 2024 season, I have the Ravens’ defense ranked second, the Dallas Cowboys ranked sixth, and the Buffalo Bills ranked 10th. The defensive coaching changes are still in flux in Dallas. The Ravens and Bills have elevated from within, so they should remain top -10 defenses statistical-wise and top-five defensive fantasy points.

But we have a way to go: free agency, the 2024 NFL Draft, and schedules. Stay with Razzball in the off-season and ride this crazy wave with us.

Download Table as CSV
Note: Filters and sorting in the table below apply to the output

#NameTeam
Kansas City ChiefsKC
San Francisco 49ersSF
Baltimore RavensBAL
Cleveland BrownsCLE
New York JetsNYJ
Dallas CowboysDAL
Houston TexansHOU
Pittsburgh SteelersPIT
Las Vegas RaidersLV
Buffalo BillsBUF
Miami DolphinsMIA
New England PatriotsNE
Atlanta FalconsATL
Chicago BearsCHI
Green Bay PackersGB
New Orleans SaintsNO
Minnesota VikingsMIN
Denver BroncosDEN
Detroit LionsDET
Indianapolis ColtsIND
Los Angeles RamsLAR
Jacksonville JaguarsJAC
Tampa Bay BuccaneersTB
Seattle SeahawksSEA
Cincinnati BengalsTEN
Tennessee TitansCIN
Carolina PanthersCAR
Los Angeles ChargersLAC
New York GiantsNYG
Philadelphia EaglesPHI
Arizona CardinalsARI
Washington CommandersWAS

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Drop your teams in the comments below!

Look for my articles right here each week, and be sure to follow me on Twitter/X @gladysltyler. Also, tune into our Tuesday/Thursday @RazzballNFL podcast on YouTube at 6 pm PST/9 PM EST as we discuss all things fantasy football!