The fantasy stats page for team defenses has a bit less going on in comparison to other positions. That is because we are looking at a team overall so there are no snap counts or volume numbers that we need to concern ourselves with. Starting with the team area, this is where you will find our team defense rating next to the team name. This takes a lot of stats to create an overall defense. It is not based on fantasy points, so you can see who might be under or over-performing based on their actual defensive stats and ratings. You also need to see when they are going to be on their bye week.
Under the fantasy points, this is simply the fantasy points per game and fantasy points overall. This can get tricky on occasion because if a defense scores 25 points on game and five the next. You are looking at an average of 15. It is still important to see truly how consistent defenses are because this is a smaller sample size when you look at it. Points allowed, yards allowed and plays allowed a pretty self-explanatory with the rest of the production stats. Plays and yards allowed are important because they can show how often defenses are on the field. There could be a variety of reasons for this, whether it is a bad offense on their side or that team plays at a fast pace.
Yards allowed is something you might need to know more because of a league scoring setting. Some times those settings will include yards allowed in scoring like how they do points allowed where the more you give up, the lower your score will be. As for the defensive stats, these are the positive scoring categories. You will want to focus on this area and see who is getting the most turnovers and sacks. Forced fumbles aren’t something that is usually scored, but it helps you see if defenses are getting at least the opportunity. There might be some positive regression heading their way to get a few lucky bounces.
Stats That Make A Good Fantasy Defense
When you sort through the top fantasy scoring defenses, you are going to see a lot of them are strong in points allowed. This is because the base of fantasy defenses is going to be real points allowed. When you start each week, your defense will start with ten points, and negatives only occur through points allowed. Teams that allow a lot of points are sitting at the bottom of the rankings when it comes to overall fantasy points. There might be some outliers because there are generally a few teams that don’t allow a lot of points, but because they don’t generate turnovers or sacks, the fantasy points are going to be on the lower side. That leads to the next area.
Sacks and turnover stats are extremely important. sacks are fairly predictable, and out of the fantasy stats easiest to project, they are up there with points allowed. Turnover numbers and touchdowns are the toughest to project. They have a lot of variables, and there is a lot of variance because they can be fluky overall. So when looking at stats before the season starts, find sacks and points allowed as your go-to for evaluating what defenses you might want to draft. sacks are a very good way to make up points. If a defense is averaging three sacks per game, that is usually three fantasy points to help make up if your defense allowed a few touchdowns.
Turnover stats like interceptions and fumble recoveries are important. Defenses that lack in these numbers and chances are going to struggle to put up big fantasy numbers. When you sort by fantasy points each year, you are going to see teams that produce fumbles and interceptions. They usually will equal two fantasy points each, but they drive the upside of defenses each week. Those big weeks when a defense scores 15+ fantasy points, they will usually have a few sacks and turnovers to go with it. It also gives defenses a chance for touchdowns. Predicting defensive and special teams touchdowns are not completely accurate because they are so fluky. They can also mask a bad defense because touchdowns and turnovers help make up for points allowed. And after a certain point, you reach zero for fantasy points allowed in terms of fantasy points.
Different Styles Of Fantasy Team Defenses
Starting with defenses that are not fantasy viable, there are a few reasons for this. For one, they just simply allow a ton of points per game. If a team is allowing 25+ points per game, then they are already digging themselves a hole for where they would need a lot of turnovers and sacks to make up for it. If they can’t do that, then they are just a bad fantasy defense in general. Those defenses will usually just sit in free agency all year long. Now defense can still give up a lot of points, but be a decent fantasy defense because they do generate a lot of turnovers and sacks. They are also going to be more matchup dependent, where they rely on opposing teams to have bad offensive lines and be turnover prone.
Some defenses can be better real-life defenses than fantasy defenses. This is because they don’t offer up much upside and fail to generate turnovers and/or sacks. This puts a real strain on being able to limit teams in points, but even if they allowed 17 points per game, that is still sitting around the 5-7 point mark without any sort of turnovers or sacks to go with it. These defenses can be a bit frustrating in terms of fantasy. The elite defenses are going to be excellent in both categories. Not allowing a ton of points but also being able to generate a lot of sacks and turnovers. This is why those categories are so important for fantasy football. If they can’t do that, then chances are they are not a very good fantasy defense.
Factors That Defenses Can’t Control
There are a few things that are out of the hands of the defense that could help or hurt them when it comes to fantasy football. A lot of that is going to come in the hands of the offense. A bad offense can hurt a defense. If they can’t keep control of the ball for a few drives and are constantly putting the defense on the field, they will wear down throughout the game. It can give them more chances to generate points, so we have seen this work in both a positive and negative way. However, when an offense is turnover prone, that means field position can work against you quite a bit. A defense being pinned on their side of the field is not a great place to start.
We do want the defense out there to have those opportunities, and offenses that control the clock for long drives means the defense is on the sideline with no ability to generate fantasy points. This won’t necessarily kill a fantasy defense, but it does hinder their upside quite a bit. It also puts more of an emphasis on them to produce when on the field because a quick score or two without any chance to produce sacks or turnovers is going to make it tough for them to hit value that week. We have seen this work negatively and positively. So often every week there is going to be some good and bad luck. However, we can use this to look at positive and negative regression in the future.
Matchups are important for any fantasy position, and team defense is no exception. When looking at how offenses are run, defenses can easily get more chances at fantasy points when they throw the ball. That is simply because you can’t get a sack or interception on a run play. You can only force a fumble. When there are pass plays, you can do all three. You also have a better chance of a pick-six, because a majority of defensive touchdowns are scored on interceptions. It is rare when a defense can score on a forced fumble. Game scripts are going to dictate how the game is played, so if a team is up, they might be running the ball more. If a team is behind, they will be throwing the ball more. Some of this can be in the defense's hands, of course, but it also cannot if the offense is failing to score. This is just the nature of being a fantasy defense.
What Stats Score The Most Fantasy Points For Team Defenses?
Touchdowns will equal the largest amount of points within one play because they can also be tied with an interception or fumble return, which would be eight points. Overall the stats that occur more frequently are turnovers, which equal two points.
What Are The Most Important Fantasy Stats For Team Defenses?
Getting defenses that generate sacks and turnovers are big because most defenses are still going to allow some sort of points against. Sacks and turnover stats will help give your fantasy defense a better floor and ceiling because they are more obtainable.
How Are Team Defense Fantasy Points Calculated?
Team defenses will accumulate points right off the bat, as they usually start with ten fantasy points. Points allowed will go against this number, which is the only way you can lose points. Positive stats include things like sacks, interceptions, touchdowns, and fumble recoveries.
In most default scoring settings, special teams' touchdowns will count towards your defensive points. In most cases, yards will not. Whether it is a punt return touchdown or a kick return touchdown, they will likely each equal six fantasy points added to your score.
How Does Points Allowed Work In Fantasy Scoring?
Teams will start with ten fantasy points, which drops down by three each time a certain range is hit for fantasy points allowed. For example, if a team allows 14-20 points, they will lose six points. Another touchdown allowed, they will lose another three points.
Do Interception And Fumble Touchdowns Count Against Your Defense?
Interception and fumble return touchdowns will not count as points against your defense. However, the extra point will. Most sites will classify any points against the defense or special teams if they are directly on the field and present at the time.