While knowing who the best quarterback to play this week or which running backs you should choose is always important, knowing the matchups for defense/special teams is also important. Our Week 1 Defense rankings take into account many different factors.
We look at the opponents, obviously, and not only how strong and healthy that offense is, but how long have they been together to build some rapport. Is the offensive line a patchwork group? Is the quarterback new to the system?
We also look to Vegas to see just which defenses are expected to hold their opponents to the lowest scores. Those guys in Vegas – they are pretty good at figuring it all out down to a tee. So here are the top five defenses according to the over/under line and the point spread.
Top 5 Matchups for Defenses According to Vegas
No. 1 – @Pittsburgh over Cleveland – 40.5 o/u, -6.5 pts
No. 2 – @N.Y. Jets over Oakland – 40 o/u, -5.5 pts
No. 3 — @Tampa Bay over Carolina – 39.5 o/u, -1.5 pts
No. 4 — @Kansas City over Tennessee – 43.5 o/u, -3.5 pts
No. 5 — @St. Louis over Minnesota – 44 o/u, -4 pts
We also look at the Average Draft Position over at SKYLLZONE.com. This site holds thousands of instant snake drafts a day (for free, sign up!) for each week. (If you win, you get SKYLL Points, and then you use those to play in free cash games. Draft once a day in the Points games for free.)
So we check out the SKYLLZONE ADP to help us get a human Fantasy player consensus on the top players/defenses each week.
Top 10 Defenses on SKYLLZONE ADP
- Pittsburgh – 6.35 ADP
- Seattle – 6.53 ADP
- Chicago – 6.57 ADP
- Kansas City – 6.59 ADP
- Carolina – 7.10 ADP
- Baltimore – 7.56 ADP
- N.Y. Jets – 7.57 ADP
- Denver – 8.00 ADP
- New England – 8.01 ADP
- San Francisco – 8.10 ADP
Week 1 Defense Rankings
These rankings are based on standard Fantasy leagues that award points to defense/special teams for sacks, interceptions, fumbles recovered, yards allowed and points allowed.
Let us know if there’s DST unit you like that we have ranked too high or too low in our Week 1 Defense Rankings!
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.