Often overshadowed by the flashy play of RBs, WRs, and QBs racking up points every week is the Team Defense category that most fantasy formats include. In these types of leagues, having one of the better defenses is a definitive advantage; especially on occasions when a team produces a defensive gem, contributing significant points, it could be enough to turn a bad week into a victory.
A good defense gives an owner a sort of peace of mind. Some teams have gleaming defensive records over the past few seasons; ask fantasy owners who have rolled out the likes of the Green Bay Packers or the Baltimore Ravens against their opponents how important a reliable defense can be. Following this year’s draft and the developments of free agency so far, there may be some unlikely corps heading the pack in the 2012 season. Here are a few value plays for underrated defenses:
- The Denver Broncos were hugely inconsistent on the defensive side of the ball in 2011. They will rely on the adage that “the best defense is a good offense,” having signed Peyton Manning. Notwithstanding their other offseason moves, the Broncos D will get a boost in confidence from being backed by the future hall of fame QB that could translate to success.
- The Philadelphia Eagles quietly finished 2011 with the sixth highest fantasy-scoring defense despite their problems with winning games. The addition of DeMeco Ryans strengthens their linebacker corps, and a renewed energy surrounding a team with huge potential should help intimidate opposing offenses.
- The San Francisco 49ers ended the franchise’s best season in a few decades seventh overall in fantasy scoring defense. They are a smart play to repeat that success in 2012, simply because they are accomplishing a front office miracle in returning all 11 starters from last year’s unit. Adding Aldon Smith, who registered 14 sacks as a rookie, doesn’t hurt either.