Kansas City was huge for fantasy owners last year. The Patriots and Broncos have added pieces and should be defenses to own in 2014. Streaming defenses is a good way to play the match ups. You may want to carry two if you have a transaction fee per roster move if you have mediocre defenses. Remember, kick/punt returning counts!
Seattle brings most of the players from the best defense in the league. Run first offense always helps a great defense. Must start every week.
2. New England
Adding Revis and Browner give the Pats depth and stars to a secondary that needed it. Moves that will also help the pass rush. Defensive line should be better against the run with Wilfork and Kelly healthy and in the line up. New England established a run game late last year, which helps grind the clock. I think they will try to do it again early in 2014 with Ridley, White and Vereen.
3. San Francisco
Another year of great defense is in store for San Fran. Corey Lemonier will fill in for Aldon Smith while suspended. He looks great so far in the preseason and could be a breakout player for them. Loss of Glenn Dorsey hurts defensive line depth.
Geno Atkins is ready to go and the Bengals will have another strong year from the defense. The linebackers are excellent and the secondary added a first round pick in Darqueze Dennard who doesn’t have to be rushed into the line up because of the depth the have in the secondary.
5. Kansas City
Everything went right for Kansas City’s defense last year (Until the playoffs in Indy) It’s hard to believe they can duplicate that. But they are still a strong unit with an exciting new return man in rookie De’Anthony Thomas.
6. St. Louis
The secondary is a bit of a concern. But the rest of the defense is young and on the rise. Rookie Aaron Donald is turning heads on and already great defensive line. The linebackers are great and it could hide any deficiencies in the secondary. Austin and Benny Cunningham should be the returner on special teams.
A good defensive line, healthy Von Miller and veteran DeMarcus ware’s presence are a good start. Adding Talib, TJ Ward and Rookie Roby should greatly improve the secondary.
Still a young group, Carolina’s defensive line is strong and can get after the QB. Luke Keichly is a force in the middle. The secondary is a question mark but it seems deep enough to get by.
Arizona’s secondary is one of the tops in the league. The D-line is strong and the linebackers are good enough. Ted Ginn will return kicks as Patrick Peterson’s duties have been lifted. It wouldn’t shock me if he was out there once in a while in tight games.
The Steelers have made a transition from old to new. A much faster defense is led by a strong Linebacker core with rookie Ryan Shazier who plays at a safety speed. Troy Polomalu’s health is always an issue. But when healthy the Steelers D is a good one to own. Antonio Brown and Marcus Wheaton will have the return duties.
This is my big sleeper defense of the year. The Schedule isn’t an absolute cake walk. Anytime you have Adrian Peterson chewing minutes off the clock it’s a positive. I expect teddy Bridgewater to be the starting QB and he just needs to make smart decisions with the ball to keep the defense off the field. Xavier Rhodes looks like he can develop into a shut down corner. Harrison Smith is a force at safety. Sharrif Floyd and Big Linval Joseph should form a road block in the middle. With the Multi-talented Cordarrelle Patterson returning kicks the Vikings fantasy defense could be a big surprise.
12. Green Bay
A pretty tough division to play in with Detroit, Chicago and Minnesota. They added Veteran Julius Peppers and Rookie Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. He’ll battle Micah Hyde for playing time. Hyde also returns kicks. Sam Shields is one of the best corners in the game.
13. New Orleans
The Saints have been a joke over the past few seasons defensively. Jarius Byrd was added in the off-season and has started to practice after back surgery. paired with Kenny Vaccaro they are a tough duo at safety.
Adding Clowney with JJ Watt should have QB’s on the run all year. Whitney Mercilus and Brooks Reed will have to take the next step at linebacker for the Texans defense to be worth an every week roster spot.
A seemingly immature team has potential for a good defense. There are good players all over the place. Jacoby Jones is a solid kick returner. I’m just not sold on the Ravens putting it all together as a team. they need to find the leadership that Ray Lewis and Ed Reed once gave them.
It’s tough on a defense when the offense can’t run the ball. The Browns had zero Rushing TD’s in 2013. It should be a different story this year. The Browns first round pick Justin Gilbert will be tested early and often with Joe Haden at the other cornerback spot. Donte Whitner was added to ease the loss of TJ Ward. Carlos Dansby should be able to fill the void left in the middle by D’Qwell Jackson. The line is solid too and this unit could be a surprise. Las year’s first round pick Barkevious Mingo should improve in year two. He should improve on his five sacks and can help out in pass coverage.
17. New York Jets
The Jets defense would rank higher if I didn’t expect a ton of turnovers from the offense. Wilkerson, Coples and Richardson were all first round picks who have worked out. This years first round selection Calvin Pryor could be one of the next big safeties in the game. If Dee Milliner can play half as well as he thinks he is, the Jets should have a stout defense.
18. Tampa Bay
It was a rough season last year for the Bucs. Revis is gone too. The secondary should be decent. Banks played well in his rookie year at Corner. Newly signed Alterrraun Verner had 5 interceptions last year in Tennessee and made the Pro bowl. Goldson is a good safety and Barron needs to live up to potential. The linebackers a good with Mason Foster and Lavonte David. The defensive line looks solid too. If they can stay healthy this should be a good defense.
I would have had them much higher if it was for the loss of middle linebacker Kiko Alonso to injury. Brandon Spikes comes in to fill his roll. He’s useless in the passing game and tough against the run when he wants to be. The rest of the defense is filled with quality draft picks and solid veteran free agent pickups. Leodis McKelvin and Marquise Goodwin will return kicks.
A once great fantasy defense finds themselves on the fringe on my top 20. The D-Line should be great. They have two proven corners and an exciting rookie in Kyle Fuller. The safeties and linebackers are underwhelming and replacing Devin Hester is a tough task. They really have to prove themselves early and stay healthy to be worth a play this year.