Fantasy Football: The Best Defense is a good… Defense

With week one of the regular season just days away, Fantasy Football owners are probably freaking out at who to start at their flex.  My advice to you is, start the pass-catching running back in the flex and stop listening to the what-if’s. Trust your gut because you picked that player for a reason.  The real question that you need to ask yourself is why you picked your favorite team’s defense when you know they ranked in the bottom half of the league.  A defense can win or lose you your fantasy match up week in and week out.  I am here to remind you that a defense can win you your Fantasy Football Trophy.  Every week I will be putting out an article about the best defenses to start/add to your lineup.  A special shout-out to Michael Telford for the title, I probably could have done it without you.   

The Baltimore Ravens:

While I am a homer when it comes to the Baltimore Ravens I am not in the business of writing biased articles. The Ravens gave up the third-least amount of points, but they allowed 1,491 rushing yards last season. This number is not terrible, but was the weakness of this squad. Nick Chubb’s 165 yard, 3 touchdown performance in week 4, and Derrick Henry’s 195 yards in the playoffs gave a clear message to John Harbaugh and Eric Decosta.  MAKE THE RUN DEFENSE BETTER.  They did just that by letting Michael Pierce walk to Minnesota, moving Brandon Williams to his actual position at nose tackle, trading a 5th round pick for All-pro Calais Campbell, drafting speedy first-round middle linebacker Patrick Queen, and adding Derek Wolfe in Free Agency.  These jaw-dropping defensive line additions were too sure up the run defense while also helping out the pass defense.  The additions of Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe should put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks.  The pressure created will only enable an elite secondary, that gained its slot cornerback back from IR, to feast on opposing offenses.  Look for the Ravens defensive line to stuff Nick Chubb, and Baltimore’s secondary in Baker Mayfield’s terms to “(expletive) make him throw”.  

The Buffalo Bills:

The Buffalo Bills are known for having one of the better defenses in the league, having young defensive stars like Tre’davious White, Tremaine Edmunds, Ed Oliver, and a top-three safety duo in Jordan Poyer, and Micah Hyde.  Almost every player on the Bills defense can make a play on any down, and that makes them a strong fantasy defense.   The Bills play the Jets week one, and unlike the Browns, the Jets have an average, injured offense, run by the incompetent Adam Gase.  Le’veon Bell in 2017 might have given the 3rd overall defense in 2019 problems but not in 2020.  Look for the secondary to make Sam Darnold “…see ghosts” and their young, and quick front 7 take advantage of an inexperienced offensive line.  

The Indianapolis Colts:

This pick is less about the Colts as a defense and more about their week one opponent, the Jaguars.  The Jacksonville Jaguars have, by far, the worst roster in the National Football League this year.  Look for every team playing the Jaguars to be on my weekly short-list for the best defense to start.   Jacksonville is tanking for Trevor Lawrence, and they have made it evident.  The Colts, on the other hand, do not have a bad defense, it is honestly pretty good.  Indianapolis’ defense dawns stars all around the field acquiring Deforest Buckner from the 49ers in a blockbuster trade, having savvy veteran Justin Houston, and young stars Darius Leonard and Malik Hooker.  The Colts Defense will make Jacksonville fans sad, but fantasy owners who start them very, very happy.  

The Pittsburgh Steelers:

Let me start this off by saying the Steelers have a very, very good defense.  Young superstars by the names of Minkah Fitzpatrick, Devin Bush, and T.J. Watt creates excitement and flair, but players like Stephon Tuitt, Cameron Hayward, Joe Haden, Bud Dupree, and Mike Hilton make this defense great.  All around the Steelers have a solid top 5 squad, and whatever offense goes up against them should be worried.  The Steelers led the league in sacks last year with just over three a game.  The fact that the Steelers play a rebuilt, but inexperienced Giants offensive line and a fidgety, unproven passer in Daniel Jones make me believe that the Steelers are a great defense to start in, and even beyond week one.  

The Denver Broncos:

There is not one defense in the NFL that has improved more on paper than the Denver Broncos besides maybe the Miami Dolphins.  The additions of the underrated Jurrell Casey and A.J. Bouye has been swept under the rug and forgotten about.  These additions should not be forgotten about, but praised.  The Broncos paired these two stars with Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, Kareem Jackson, and my most improved player of the year last year, Justin Simmons.  The Broncos have a supremely talented defense and they will give the Tennessee Titans a hard time in the trenches. The Titans are a one-trick pony and rely on Derrick Henry too much.  If the Broncos can stop Derrick Henry, their secondary will force Tannehill to bring out his inner Miami Dolphin.  For those of you who don’t know, that is not a good thing.  The Broncos might make Vrabel regret paying Tannehill $118 million dollars.  

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