Defenses have a tough job in the NFL with pass happy offenses, and penalties that make it tough to defend. We largely have seen teams that focus on the defensive side be at the top of the rankings over the last decade or so. You have your Baltimores and Chicagos that continue to produce strong defenses. There are a few newer names now like the Rams and Jaguars who have entered the picture over the last few seasons. Below is a weekly updated rankings that also show rest of season projections and key defensive stats. If you are looking for Week 5 fantasy defense rankings and projections, go here.
Defensive Power Rankings Table
||Sacks||Fumble Recoveries||Interceptions||DEF/ST Touchdowns||Points Per Game Allowed||Passing Yards Allowed Per Game||Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game||Fantasy Points Per Game|
|1||New England Patriots||18||0||10||2||6.8||210.0||61.3||12.5|
|5||Los Angeles Rams||10||2||4||1||26.0||255.5||91.8||7.0|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||9||2||5||2||18.0||226.3||75.0||11.7|
|9||Green Bay Packers||12||4||4||0||17.3||207.8||142.3||7.0|
|10||New Orleans Saints||10||4||2||2||23.0||295.0||112.3||8.5|
|17||Los Angeles Chargers||9||1||3||0||18.5||241.5||102.0||4.3|
|20||New York Jets||5||3||4||3||23.3||299.7||88.7||13.0|
|21||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||11||5||4||2||29.3||338.0||59.3||10.3|
|22||Kansas City Chiefs||11||3||3||1||23.5||276.5||149.8||7.3|
|26||New York Giants||10||0||5||1||24.3||295.5||109.8||6.5|
We had our eyes set on Baltimore and Chicago come into the season. The Bears were the best defense in the league last season, and have already started out on a good note. Chicago produced a ton of turnovers, and were able to get to the quarterback with ease. Baltimore put up similar numbers, and putting fantasy aside, they are the top two defenses once again this season. There is a slight gap between them and the other defenses below. Some of this can be chalked up to teams like the Rams who play at a fast pace and tend to allow points just given the nature of their games. Minnesota had a lackluster year on both sides of the ball, but you have to say Minnesota is up there with the best of them. Harrison Smith is a world class safety, and they also have Xavier Rhodes, who has been a shut down corner.
Jacksonville has continued to build a strong defensive side, and the secondary starts with A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey. Their front seven is also very good, and this draft they were able to add another big defensive piece with Josh Allen. They also continue to play in a division with injury prone quarterbacks that give them a chance to feast on backups. While New England isn’t a power defense in fantasy, their bend don’t break style continues to work in terms of allowing real points. They are not the flashiest defense, but continue to get the job done. We also can note when the Chargers are fully healthy, which seems to be never, they have one of the best defenses in the league.
Which Defenses Can Make The Jump?
Both Dallas and Buffalo have built up some strong defenses, and they are on that outside looking in at the top tier. Both teams have easy divisional opponents, outside of maybe one. This gives them four games to put up big defensive numbers, and we have seen that already. Buffalo’s secondary has been tremendous, while Dallas has a really strong front seven. Given the ground games of both teams, they also play at a style that keeps their defense rested and doesn’t put them in bad spots. Detroit rotated a few names in the offseason, but also bring a fairly good defense that could make a jump this season. Their schedule should allow them to produce most weeks against some average to below average offenses. Overall the NFC North is filled with stout defenses, because Green Bay isn’t far behind.
Despite holding teams to under 20 points per game, Tennessee is not a team talked about often. That should change in 2019. They already had an excellent showing shutting down the all hyped Cleveland Browns. This is a very good secondary that is also filled with a front seven that can get to the quarterback. They also play a run heavy style of offense that can help them limit opposing offenses. The New York Jets invested in their defense this season, and also added Quinnen Williams through the draft. They have Leonard Williams and Henry Anderson already. The addition of CJ Mosley is also a big help to the linebacking core. While the secondary needs some work outside of Jamal Adams, this is a defense that is on the rise.
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