Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Defense Tiered Rankings for Fantasy Football Drafts


Much like what we see with the tight end position in fantasy for the 2019 season, defenses are fairly top-heavy up at the top. Leading the way will be two of the top defenses in scoring over the last two seasons with the Bears and Jaguars. The decision that you will have to make during your drafts is if you are willing to bite on these teams, when is the right time? In standard 16-round drafts, the top defenses are coming off the board between rounds 11 and 12. Having a top scoring unit, much like drafting one of the elite TEs, can give you a leg up on the competition in your head to head matchups each week. So based on your strategy, it could certainly pay off by going after one of the top defenses early.

The other strategy that is in play for most owners during draft season is to wait until the bitter end to fill this position. In doing so, you put yourself in a spot where you might be more open to playing the waiver wire and matchups each week. In some cases, this can pay off as you may happen to stumble upon an under the radar squad that breaks out and becomes a starting fantasy defense each week. But if you stick to your rankings during the draft, you will know just when is the right time to pull the trigger on your Week 1 defense.

RotoBaller's expert rankers have gotten together to update our 2019 fantasy football rankings in order to prepare you for early drafts. This is part of our commitment to helping you all season long. You can find the latest rankings here. Now, let's talk defense.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

Updated Defense (D/ST) Rankings - Redraft Leagues

Below are RotoBaller's consensus staff rankings for the 2019 fantasy football season. These rankings are compiled by Nick Mariano, Pierre Camus, Scott Engel, Bill Dubiel, Dominick Petrillo, Spencer Aguiar and Kev Mahserejian.

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was the #11 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season, and #9 overall in 2017. Additionally, industry legend Scott Engel recently joined the RotoBaller team and provides his insights as well. Scott is an FSWA Hall Of Famer and award winner.

Position Rank Overall Rank Team Name Position Tier Overall Tier
1 139 Chicago Bears 1 9
2 150 Jacksonville Jaguars 1 9
3 152 Minnesota Vikings 1 9
4 157 Baltimore Ravens 1 10
5 165 Los Angeles Rams 2 10
6 167 Los Angeles Chargers 2 10
7 182 Buffalo Bills 3 11
8 186 Denver Broncos 3 11
9 191 Houston Texans 3 11
10 198 Cleveland Browns 3 11
11 209 Philadelphia Eagles 4 11
12 210 New Orleans Saints 4 11
13 234 Dallas Cowboys 5 12
14 238 Tennessee Titans 5 12
15 240 Pittsburgh Steelers 5 12
16 244 Seattle Seahawks 5 12
17 246 New England Patriots 5 13
18 279 Carolina Panthers 6 14
19 281 Indianapolis Colts 6 14
20 293 Kansas City Chiefs 6 14
21 296 Atlanta Falcons 6 14
22 304 Arizona Cardinals 6 14
23 310 Green Bay Packers 6 14
24 311 Oakland Raiders 6 14
25 340 Washington Redskins 7 15
26 349 New York Jets 7 16
27 354 New York Giants 7 16
28 363 Detroit Lions 7 16
29 367 San Francisco 49ers 7 16
30 393 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8 17
31 404 Miami Dolphins 8 17
32 405 Cincinnati Bengals 8 17

 

Tier 1  

Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens

Leading off Tier 1 is fantasy's top scoring defense from 2018, the Chicago Bears. The argument could be made that this team is in a class all to themselves as they paced the field in points scored last season (188 FP and 55 points ahead of the 2nd best team). The Bears led the league in virtually every key defensive statistic and is a lock to be the top unit off the board in all drafts. The Jaguars, 2017's best defense, will be looking to rebound this year after an uncharacteristic year finishing as one of the worst teams in the league. The talent is there, but this team must get back to creating turnovers to reestablish themselves in 2019. Both the Vikings and Ravens are defenses that won't wow you in a given week with a high point total, but they consistently get after the QB and allow points at a premium. All the teams in this tier will be off the board by the end of Round 13, so be prepared to spend draft capital early.

 

Tier 2

Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers

In Tier 2 we find the defenses from the same city with the Rams and Chargers. The Rams finished the 2018 season as the third best defense in fantasy finishing Top 6 in turnovers, blocks, and defensive scores. The team should be improved in the pass rushing department this season and should once again be a very valuable defense to own. The Chargers had what amounts to a down season by their standards in 2018 (96 FP). The team regressed in turnovers and sacks in 2018 and will be a point of emphasis to improve upon if they are to return their current draft value.

 

Tier 3

Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns

This tier is filled with defenses that we are accustomed to seeing among the top units in the league. Both the Broncos and Texans had solid campaigns in 2018 (Broncos scored 108 FP and Texans with 133). Both teams are consistently two of the top defenses in the league in getting after the QB and should remain that way in 2019. Vic Fangio will look to add a few wrinkles for a Broncos defense that was Top 10 in both sacks and interceptions. The new aggressive defensive mindset should help this team outperform it's current ADP. The Texans are sliding down the board a bit due to the losses in the secondary, but will remain a top scoring unit with it's impressive front seven. Both the Bills and Browns are young and hungry defensive units that will look to take a step forward this season. Both teams were excellent in creating turnovers a year ago but neither team could find the end-zone. That must change this season if they will warrant becoming weekly starting units in fantasy.

 

Tier 4

Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints

These two teams were mirror opposites of each other a year ago. The Eagles struggled on defensive and were a bottom tier unit in nearly every statistical category. The sacks were there (44) but they struggled in creating turnovers (17) and could not find the end-zone. While the Saints seemed to stay consistent throughout the year. They were among the league leaders in sacks (49) but saw a regression in interceptions (12) and defensive scores (1). Both of these teams should see a step in the right direction in 2019 and reclaim their spots among the league leaders in fantasy. The two teams end the tiers of units that you should consider as weekly starting defenses in fantasy.

 

Tier 5

Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks

Once you get to this tier, you are strictly looking for strong upside plays. Each of these defenses has their moments in certain weeks where they can win you a matchup, but they can also be the reason for a loss. The Steelers are consistently one of the top teams in the league sacks and should have another great year in that category. The Titans and Saints are consistent in what they do on the field and rarely will kill you in the stat column. But they aren't typically providing high scoring weeks either. The Cowboys are a better NFL defense than that of a starting-caliber fantasy defense. But their early-season schedule (Giants, Redskins, and Dolphins) is one to take advantage of as you can set up your matchup plays throughout the season.

 

Tier 6 and lower

The remaining the defenses in the rankings are teams that you will not typically see drafted in most 12 team leagues. Some may come off the board due to solid matchups early on, but for the most part, these are teams that will routinely be available on the waiver wire. Be used to seeing these names as they will be the grouping in which you will be choosing from is you are playing the matchups on a weekly basis.

More Fantasy Football Analysis


Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.




More Recent Articles

 

Week 11 Start/Sit: Monday Night Football Matchups Analysis

Welcome back to Mexico City. Last season, the Chiefs were supposed to take on the Rams in this game before field conditions moved the game to Los Angeles. Even though the game was moved, the fantasy output was amazing as both teams scored over 50 points and there was not an unhappy fan among us.... Read More


Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 11 Marlon Mack has been diagnosed with a broken hand and may be out several weeks. Emmanuel Sanders (ribs)... Read More


Week 12 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

This could be the most exciting installment of waiver wire adds in a while. Not that any of these choices are necessarily league-winners but at least we have a bunch of new names to ponder. Bye weeks are nearly over but this one will be particularly tough with the high-scoring Chiefs, Vikings, Chargers, and Cardinals... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 12 Lightning Round

We're onto Week 12, which means the last of the bye weeks approaches. The Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs and Vikings hit the hammocks as we can finally start to look at players without worrying about future offweeks. To help you look towards those precious playoff weeks, here is the waiver wire lightning round heading into Week... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 12

The regular season continues to advance at a relentless pace as we have now entered the planning process for Week 12. Some of you are concentrating on building lineups that will commandeer a spot in the fantasy playoffs, while others are making slight adjustments to teams that have already secured their place in the postseason.... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 12

Week 11 is behind us and we're getting closer and closer to the end of the fantasy regular season. For some of us, Week 12 represents the final chance to get into the postseason, while for others we have another week or two left. Here, to help you get ready for the playoffs, is a... Read More


Week 12 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

With fantasy football leagues only a couple weeks away from their playoffs, this is not the time for teams to be short a tight end. Not only do fantasy footballers have no Travis Kelce or Hunter Henry during this crucial week in their fantasy seasons, they do not get to take advantage of using a... Read More


Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 12

We saw some monster weeks at the quarterbacks position, with four quarterbacks topping 37 points, and ten scoring over 25 points. These weren't all big names putting up these points either, as low-owned quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, and even Jeff Driskel had some big numbers in Week 11. That means we've got plenty... Read More


Week 11 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More


NFL Matchup Ratings Tool - Weekly Player Projections

  If you see the red "Upgrade" button below, then you are not a Premium subscriber, or have not yet logged in. Learn more about our NFL Matchup Ratings and projections system. Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of... Read More


Week 11 Chat - Live Fantasy Football Game Day Q&A

It's Sunday Morning Week 11... Do You Know Who to Start? Each Sunday morning of the NFL season, RotoBaller's experts will be moderating the industry's leading live chat room and answering a bunch of your fantasy football questions, from around 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM ET. Come join in on the fun, and get your... Read More


Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 11

Welcome to our Week 11 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More


Wide Receiver / Cornerback Matchups To Target in Week 11

In Week 10, the Buccaneers defeated the Cardinals in a game that featured a whopping 57 points scored between the two teams. Christian Kirk was expected to exploit the Buccaneers weak secondary, and he exceeded all expectations by catching three touchdowns, finishing as the No. 1 wide receiver on the week. On the other side... Read More


Holiday Shopping - Who To Buy For The Playoffs Run

As the fantasy football season nears the home stretch, most owners should begin turning their eyes towards the remaining six weeks of the fantasy schedule. Either you're comfortably in the playoffs and need to see who you should be rostering in order to get the best matchups or you need that extra boost to qualify... Read More


Updated Week 11 PPR Rankings (Top 300)

Welcome to Week 11 RotoBallers. Below are our updated consensus Week 11 PPR rankings for fantasy football, including some running notes on relevant injuries, player news and rankings updates: Emmanuel Sanders is officially active. George Kittle (ankle, knee) has officially been ruled out. Matt Breida will not play in Week 11. Jay Ajayi was signed by the... Read More