DST is the real MVP
Let's talk about defense and special teams. Now when it comes to drafting DST, there are different ways you can go about it. I am not going to tell you what to do because first of all, I am not the boss of you and second of all, there are many strategies and everyone has their own style. What I can do however, is provide information so you can decide what may work best for you. I am going to start with a simple strategy which is drafting a top ranked defense that can be a solid starter throughout the entire season. You can also check your leagues scoring to see if its possible to factor in teams who are successful at kick returns and blocked kicks. What's the positive to this strategy? Starting the same defense without having to worry about picking up different ones from the waiver wire. What's the negative to this strategy? Wasting somewhat of a higher draft pick on a defense and risking them not playing to their full potential. Because let's face it, the preseason rankings may not always be accurate. The rankings are mostly based off of how teams did last season. There are also injuries that can occur and it can be overall risky using a high draft pick on a defense. Below are the top 15 ranked defenses of 2019 along with a short description justifying the top three:
1. Chicago Bears - Highest scoring defense of 2018, Khalil Mack, enough said. 2. Los Angeles Rams - Clay Matthews, Dante Fowler and Aaron Donald in the front, Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters in the back, which is the receipt for a solid defense. And a solid mullet. 3. Minnesota Vikings - A top defense for the last few years which means the players and coaching staff know how to be successful along with Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter should producing a good amount of sacks. 4. Jacksonville Jaguars 5. Los Angeles Chargers 6. Houston Texans 7. Buffalo Bills 8. Denver Broncos 9. New England Patriots 10. New Orleans Saints 11. Baltimore Ravens 12. Cleveland Browns 13. Indianapolis Colts 14. Tennessee Titans 15. Detroit Lions Another strategy you can use is looking ahead of the schedule and scanning the waiver wire to pick up multiple defenses who will be up against poor offenses. What consists of a poor offense that can give your fantasy defense a lot of points? Interceptions, fumbles, bad offensive lines that can lead to sacks, quarterbacks who have a tendency of staying in the pocket that can lead to sacks and inexperienced rookie quarterbacks. What's the positive to this strategy? Potentially scoring a large amount of points with your defense which can be the X-factor in who makes the playoffs and who does not. What's the negative to this? Being stressed out about always changing your defense along with taking up room on your bench. If this strategy style is for you, then let's take a closer look at the factors that make up a poor fantasy offense. Interceptions. Here is a rank of the top 10 quarterbacks who threw the most interceptions in 2018 according to ESPN:
1. Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers) 2. Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts) 3. Case Keenum (Denver Broncos, now plays for Washington Redskins) 4. Sam Darnold (New York Jets) 5. Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) 6. Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns) 7. Josh Rosen (Arizona Cardinals, now plays for Miami Dolphins) 8. Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers) 9. Philip Rivers (Los Angeles Chargers) 10. Ryan Fitzpatrick (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, now plays for Miami Dolphins) Yikes, Dolphins.
Another factor is sacks. Lets take a look at the top 10 quarterbacks who got sacked the most in 2018, according to ESPN:
1. Deshaun Watson (Houston Texans) 2. Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys) 3. Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) 4. Derek Carr (Oakland Raiders) 5. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) 6. Eli Manning (New York Giants) 7. Josh Rosen (Arizona Cardinals, now plays for Miami Dolphins) 8. Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons) 9. Marcus Mariota (Tennessee Titans) 10. Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions) Offensive lines. Below are the top 10 worst offensive line rankings according to The Huddle: 1. Miami Dolphins 2. Texas Texans 3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4. Arizona Cardinals 5. Washington Redskins 6. New York Jets 7. Buffalo Bills 8. Jacksonville Jaguars 9. Minnesota Vikings 10. Tennessee Titans Rookie Quarterbacks.
Here is a list of rookie quarterbacks who were drafted early and may potentially start their rookie year:
1. Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals) 2. Dwayne Haskins (Washington Redskins) 3. Daniel Jones (New York Giants) 4. Drew Lock (Denver Broncos) Now I know that I just threw a ton of information at you. This is basically what the inside of my head looks like during the fantasy preseason and I am sure a lot of you can relate. We tend to over analyze and look at every angle. If you are more confused than when you first started reading the article, let me simplify it.
If you go with choosing a high ranked defense, make sure you do not draft one too early. Just like with quarterbacks, there are a lot of options to choose from. Don’t waste a draft pick on a defense when there are still good individual players to pick up. Also, if you plan on using this strategy, try to have a backup plan in mind in case your high ranked defense ends up being a bust. If you decide to go with the streaming route, just know you will have to do your homework and use common sense. For example, even though I provided the quarterbacks that have been sacked the most which includes Aaron Rogers, its more than likely a horrible idea to stream a defense that plays the Green Bay Packers every week. And although the Kansas City Chiefs don't have a high ranked defense, Tyreek Hill is a beast when it comes to kick returns and that is something that can be weighed in and boost those points. Do your homework, weigh the odds and see what poor offense, solid defense and good special team combinations work best.
The choice is yours. Just keep in mind that aside from Kevin Durant's mom, a good defense can be the real MVP.