The top tab is going to get you to your current season, or if you want to look prior seasons, select the dropdown. All scoring formats are going to be very similar when it comes to defense, unlike other positions where you will see a big difference when flipping through scoring systems. The weekly tab will show the number of fantasy points scored and stats generated within the set of weeks. If defenses have an easier schedule or are dealing with injuries, it can reflect over a specific period of time in comparison to a different point in the season. The defensive rating will indicate their overall stats and their ability to stop the run and pass, in addition to generating sacks and turnovers. You can see how good of a rating they have in comparison to their fantasy points scored.
Outside of the tackle stats, the rest are going to be tied into fantasy points. You can sort through sacks and turnover stats where are the driving force for fantasy production. The points against a defense are going to be the only negative they can accumulate, and being able to produce sacks and interceptions are going to balance it out. Viewing on a per-game basis can give you a clearer way of looking at stats, to see a defense averages 3.3 sacks per game. However, if it is only a few weeks in the season, averages might be a bit misleading, given a team can get seven sacks in a game, two the next, and one the next where it equals out to look like they are generating a lot per game. Totals will give you the numbers over the course of a season.
What Stats Correlate With High fantasy Scoring Defenses
Any sort of points against a defense is going to be through points allowed, but the way a defense generates fantasy points is through sacks and forcing turnovers. Now defenses that limit points against are certainly going to help themselves, but big scoring defenses are going to rely on getting sacks and forcing turnovers. When you sort by sacks, the teams that generate the most are often going to be finishing in the top half for fantasy points scored. It is a consistent stat to rely on, as teams with a good pass rush can be relied upon and help build a floor and ceiling for a fantasy defense. They are also an easier stat to predict in comparison to turnovers.
Teams are going to put themselves in positions to get turnovers more than others, but it is a stat that is tough to predict. For example, teams can excel at limiting real points against, but when it comes to fantasy, their numbers are average because they haven’t produced any turnovers. It works in the opposite way as well, as teams will allow some points, but make up for it with turnovers and sacks. Interceptions and fumbles are crucial for being one of the higher-ranked teams in fantasy scoring. While turnovers can be somewhat fluky, teams that put pressure on the quarterback are generally going to see higher turnover numbers.
You can’t rely on touchdown numbers from a defense or special teams because they are fluky and have no rhyme or reason for defenses. They will often make up for a fantasy defense as if they have played average, a couple of defensive touchdowns, and they look like an elite defense because of this. Another important lesson here is to understand how they are scoring these fantasy points because a soft schedule or a couple of touchdowns defensively can make things look very different from how they actually are.
How Scheduling Factors Into Fantasy Points Scored For Defenses
Scheduling plays a massive part in fantasy points scored for defenses. The six divisional games could be a blessing for a team, but could also spell trouble. For defenses in the NFC South, having to face top tier teams with Drew Brees and Matt Ryan are going to be tough. We see a lot of shootouts between those teams, and fantasy points are tough to come by. It can work in a team’s favor as well, with the Patriots having the Jets, Bills, and Dolphins on the schedule. This means a defense would have six games that are easier on the schedule in comparison to others. When you factor in the out of division games to go with it, some schedules are not equal to others.
Defenses that face more pass-happy offenses are going to have better chances at generating fantasy points. That is because interceptions are more frequent than fumbles, and you have the chance to get sacks as well. When you see a schedule, and they face a lot of run-heavy teams, then things are going to be a little bit different. The defense will have to really limit real points, and take advantage of trying to generate at least one or two turnovers to have a decent day. The way opposing offenses run their offense is going to be big against defenses. It is often overlooked when we factor in fantasy matchups.
How A Team’s Offense Affects fantasy Scoring For A Defense
There are a few things that are outside of a defenses control, and it can have a massive effect on their fantasy potential. Now let’s take a look at the Washington Redskins, who don’t have a bad defense, but have had a very bad offense for the last few years. Now defenses that are constantly on the field are going to tire and allow points against. While they have more chances to generate fantasy points, a tired defense that is constantly out there isn’t going to produce much. We can put some of the blame on the offense, who are either constantly going three and out or turning the ball over.
Can teams with good offenses hurt a defense? They certainly can, at times, but not on a major scale. You have probably had your defense sitting there with nine-ten points, and they are up by two touchdowns, and things look good. All of a sudden, a garbage-time touchdown occurs, and a few points drop off. It happens, but not as often as defenses being able to take advantage of teams trying to get back into the game. They start to throw the ball more and take more chances, which helps out opposing defenses. So it is more friendly for a defense to have a good offense behind them.
Top fantasy Scoring Team Defenses
We have seen a select group of teams over the last few years find consistency when it comes to scoring fantasy points with their defense. Of course, those teams that invest in their defense are going to have a higher chance of producing big fantasy points. Now on occasion, we see someone season wonders where a team will come in and be great for fantasy on the defensive side, then the next year will go back to normal. That is simply because there is a ton of volatility on a year to year basis in fantasy scoring no matter the position. Let’s take a look at some of the top fantasy scoring teams over the last few years.
New England really put together one of the best fantasy stretches at the position in the first half of last season. They have not always been an elite fantasy defense because they didn’t generate enough sacks or turnovers, but last year was different. The pass rush was there, and the secondary was one of the best in the league. Pittsburgh wasn’t too far behind in some numbers, but in fact, they were the team that scored the most fantasy points during the 2019 season. They have a great pass rush, and Minkah Fitzpatrick really made a difference within the defense.
The San Francisco 49ers had a few years where the defense wasn’t good, but they have bounced back to being a very strong fantasy defense. They’ve invested through the draft, but also have a lot of veterans on their roster as well. Now they play in a division with a lot of tough offenses, so it says a lot about what they are able to produce. Seattle and Los Angeles both have had their share of decent fantasy seasons, but are not quite as consistent as some of the other elite names. This is why this division is also considered to be one of the tougher ones across all of the league.
Minnesota has put together a very nice defense, and in combination with their run-heavy offensive approach, they are a grind it out type of team. From the front seven to the secondary, Minnesota has one of the better fantasy defenses as well. They limit points scored against them, and also produce big points. The Vikings have been a very consistent fantasy defense. The same goes for the Chicago Bears when we stick within the same division. Generating turnovers is a big part of their style, and they have an excellent pass rush as well. Both of these teams are often top ten in fantasy scoring each year.