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Early Fantasy Football Team Defense Sleepers For 2024 - D/ST Draft Targets

Most fantasy football leagues have eliminated the defense position. However, some leagues still roster defenses, so if you fall under that category, you have come to the right place. 

Starting defenses in fantasy is always tricky because there is a chance that you could wind up with negative points at that position. That is a major reason why leagues have gone away from rostering defenses and replaced that spot with an extra flex. 

But, for those who still roster defenses, here are three underrated options heading into the 2024 fantasy season. Managers should target these defenses in the last round of your draft. 

Be sure to check all of our fantasy football rankings for 2024 fantasy football drafts:


Seattle Seahawks 

If you miss out on defenses like the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, or Baltimore Ravens, fantasy managers should then start to look at which defenses have a great Week 1 matchup. That makes the Seattle Seahawks a sneaky option in the last round of your draft. 

The Seahawks will not only play the Denver Broncos in Week 1, but they have a matchup against the New England Patriots in Week 2. Those two matchups make Seattle's defense a must-start to begin the season because it could face off against two rookie quarterbacks. So, target it as a sleeper option in drafts. 


Indianapolis Colts

While the Indianapolis Colts have some tough matchups on the schedule to open the season -- Week 1 against the Houston Texans and Week 2 against the Green Bay Packers -- the team does have some appeal in the later rounds. That's because it has finished as a top-12 fantasy defense in four straight years. 

In 2023, it scored the ninth-most fantasy points at the position while averaging 8.8 fantasy points per game. Indianapolis totaled the fifth-most sacks last year (51) and most of its defensive line returns for the 2024 campaign. It also just drafted Laiatu Latu in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, so fantasy managers should target this Colts defense in drafts. 


Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals defense might be my favorite sleeper option at the position heading into 2024 fantasy drafts. Despite finishing as the D/ST20 in 2023, it should be rostered a ton to begin the season due to some great matchups. In four of the first six weeks, Cincinnati's defense is a must-start option in fantasy. 

The Bengals play the New England Patriots in Week 1, the Washington Commanders in Week 3, the Carolina Panthers in Week 4, and the New York Giants in Week 6. Three weeks later, in Week 9, they play the Las Vegas Raiders, which could be another great matchup. With that great schedule to start 2024, don't sleep on the Bengals' defense in fantasy. 

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