Defense Rankings 2016 Fantasy Football Defense Rankings Projected Rounds: 1. Arizona Cardinals Defense: Round 10, 2. Denver Broncos Defense: Round 10, 3. Houston Texans Defense: Round 11, 4. Seattle Seahawks Defense: Round 11, 5. Carolina Panthers Defense: Round 11, 6. Kansas City Chiefs Defense: Round 12, 7. Los Angeles Rams Defense: Round 12, 8. Cincinnati Bengals Defense: Round 13, 9. Jacksonville Jaguars Defense: Round 14, 10. Minnesota Vikings Defense: Round 15, 11. New England Patriots Defense: Round 16, 12. Buffalo Bills Defense: Round 16, 13. Green Bay Packers Defense: Round 16, 14. Pittsburgh Steelers Defense: Round 16, 15. New York Jets Defense: Round 16

2016 Fantasy Football Defense Rankings

Jason Bantle Last Updated: June 2, 2016.

  1. Arizona Cardinals Defense

    In 2015, Arizona ranked 21st out of 32 NFL teams with 36 sacks. They finished 5th in run defense and 8th in pass defense among NFL teams. The one guy that is the best option for IDP leagues on defense is Patrick Peterson who can cover a lot of #1 receives well. Some other IDP options include Calias Campbell on the DL, Chandler Jones at LB, and Tyrann Mathieu at DB. These guys will be key as Jones is the sack artist Arizona needs to complete their defense. The rookie IDP player to keep an eye on is Robert Nkemdiche who could have a huge rookie year if he wins the starting job at 3-4 right end across from Calias Campbell who plays 5 technique across from him.

  2. Denver Broncos Defense

    Broncos fans are going to wonder why their defense ranks at 2 and rightfully so. The Broncos were 1st in the NFL with 52 sacks, 3rd in the NFL allowing 83.6 rushing yards per game, and had the top ranked pass defense. Denver was the only team to allow less than 200 passing yards a game averaging 199.6 which does round up to 200. Denver was 1st in sacks, pass defense, total yards allowed, and points allowed last season. This Broncos defense was easily the best defense to win a Super Bowl since the 2008-2009 Pittsburgh Steelers defense that topped the NFL in run defense and pass defense during the same season. That being said Von Miller is back and should dominate as an IDP player once again. I am looking at Malik Jackson on the DL, DeMarcus Ware at LB, and Aqib Talib as IDP players for Denver on defense outside of Miller. One rookie to keep an eye on is Justin Simmons. He could be a good dynasty IDP player down the road. I don't expect him to do much right now as a rookie though. You can use that to vent about why Denver should be first. The losses of Danny Trevathian and Malik Jackson will take a toll on their run defense which was the only aspect of their defense that wasn't first in the NFL. That's why Arizona currently has my top defense in a very close landslide.

  3. Houston Texans Defense

    Houston finished 5th in the NFL in sacks. The Texans also finished 9th in rushing yards allowed and 3rd in passing yards allowed. The Texans have an elite defense. J.J. Watt is probably the best IDP player in the entire NFL for Fantasy Leagues. Vince Wilfork is another player on the Texans DL that could step up. Jadeveon Clowney may finally be due for a breakout year at LB. The Texans have three reliable corners in Kareem Jackson, Jonathan Joseph, and Kevin Johnson. Safety is this teams biggest weakness. The Texans are so thin at safety, that starting rookie K.J. Dillon at one of the teams safety spots is not entirely impossible.

  4. Seattle Seahawks Defense

    Seattle is going to be one of the best teams on defense once again. The Seahawks ranked 17th out of 32 teams in sacks so getting depth at defensive end was the only thing they needed to do this offseason. Seattle failed to do that. They still boast the smae defensive tackles and run stuffing linebackers. Browner is rejoining the Legion Of Boom. Seattle finished 1st in the NFL in run defense allowing just under 82 rushing yrds a game and finished 2nd in the NFL in pass defense only behind Denver even without Browner along with injuries to Jeremy Lane at cornerback. Richard Sherman is the best IDP player on this defense. Other quality IDP players on Seattle include DL Michale Bennett, Bobby Wagner at LB, and Earl Thoamas at DB. Seattle got Jarran Reed for depth behind Ahtyba Rubin at defensive tackle, so if Rubin struggles, Reed could start sooner rather than later being a good IDP rookie for Fantasy owners in Dynasty leagues.

  5. Carolina Panthers Defense

    Carolina ranked 6th in the NFL in sacks last season. Carolina also had the 4th best run defense while ranking 11th in pass defense despite the supreme coverage that Josh Norman provided at cornerback. Luke Kuechly is probably the safest bet as an IDP player after J.J. Watt. Other possible IDP players include Kawaan Short on the DL who had 11 sacks last year entering a contract year. Veteran Thomas Davis is a good IDP bet at LB. Nobody on this secondary is a safe bet with Norman, Harper, and Tillman gone. The only remaining starter from last years secondary is Kurt Coleman so he would be the IDP DB for Carolina in Fantasy Leagues. Another possible rookie IDP who could start right away in Dynasty leagues is James Bradberry the cornerback from Samford. Carolina drafted three cornerbacks and odds are one will start possibly making an immediate impact in Carolina. Even with all of the losses the Panthers had in the offseason, this is still a top 5 defense.

  6. Kansas City Chiefs Defense

    Kansas City is another team with a very complete defense. The Chiefs finished 4th in sacks, 7th in run defense, and 9th in pass defense. Kansas City had a very complete defense outside of their playoff loss to New England. Justin Houston is the best player on this defense for IDP leagues when healthy. Three other possible IDP players include Dontari Poe on the DL, Tamba Hali at LB, and Marcus Peters who dominated as a rookie at DB. Chris Jones may start at 5-technique right away so he is a pretty good IDP option in rookie dynasty leagues.

  7. Los Angeles Rams Defense

    The Rams did surprisngly well in sacking the quarterback even after Robert Quinn went on injured reserve after 5 games in 2015. While the Rams ranked 11th in sacks, they were 19th in run defense and 22nd in pass defense. Being 22nd in pass defense was understandable when you take into account the injuries that Janoris Jenkins and E.J. Gaines suffered last season. Losing Ogletree also took a toll on the Rams. Robert Quinn is the best IDP player on this defense when healthy. Other IDP players are Aaron Donald on the DL, Mark Barron at LB, and Trumaine Johnson at DB. I don't think the Rams have an IDP rookie that will make any impact in dynasty leagues at the moment. Cory Littleton could be that guy if he beats out Akeem Ayers and Zach Hodges for the left outside linebacker job in training camp.

  8. Cincinnati Bengals Defense

    Cincinnati finished 10th in sacks, 6th in run defense, and 19th in pass defense. Geno Atkins had 11 sacks and played a huge role in the Bengals stout run defense so he's easily the best IDP player they have. Carlos Dunlap led the team with 13.5 sacks on the DL so he's another good IDP player at left end. Karlos Dansby is now an OLB for the Bengals so he's a LB due for a big year in IDP leagues. Cincinnati lost Reggie Nelson at FS, but Dre Kirkpatrick can carry this secondary as a quality IDP player in Fantasy leagues if you need a defensive back. The one rookie that steps up for this team is Andrew Billings. I think Billings has a great shot of starting over Domata Peko at some point. William Jackson III could also force Adam Jones into a nickel cornerback role.

  9. Jacksonville Jaguars Defense

    Jacksonville finished 20th in pass defense, 14th in run defense, 28th in pass defense, 24th in total yards allowed, and 30th in points allowed last season. Paul Posluszny is the best starter on this defense when healthy. An IDP player that will boost this defensive line is Malik Jackson. Jacksonville had 36 sacks last season while Malik Jackson won a Super Bowl in Denver. Jackson had 5 sacks in Denver last season and second year defensive end Dante Fowler should have at least 5 sacks in 2016 if he can stay healthy meaning the Jaguars could have around 44-46 sacks with a projected 45 sacks in 2016 which would make them a top 10 team in sacks. Telvin Smith is coming along nicely at right outside linebacker and is the best IDP player at LB outside of Posluszny. The addition of Jackson makes this top 15 run defense a top 10 run defense. Jacksonville added Prince Amukamara and Tashaun Gipson in Free Agency at cornerback ant free safety. Jonathan Cyprien is your best bet for an IDP Fantasy player at DB for Jacksonville with Cyprien entering a contract year at strong safety. Jalen Ramsey is a good #2 cornerback for Jacksonville as an IDP rookie and Myles Jack could dominate as an IDP rookie also if he wins the left outside linebacker job. Whether you agree or disagree with Jacksonville being a top 10 defense in Fantasy, the bottom line is they have done enough on defense to be considered a top 10 defense when healthy. My only issue with the Jaguars is that they cannot allow so many points on defense, but I expect them to improve statistically in all areas with the defensive additions they made. The offense should do well enough to win even if this defense does have games where they give up 20 points.

  10. Minnesota Vikings Defense

    Minnesota ranked 8th in sacks, 16th in run defense, and 12th in pass defense. Mike Zimmer did a phenomenal job turning this defense around. Anthony Barr gave the Vikings run defense stability last year. Other guys that are effective for IDP leagues are Everson Griffen on the DL, Eric Kendricks at LB, and Xavier Rhodes at DB. One rookie that could blossom into an IDP player for dynasty leagues is Jayron Kearse. Right now Kearse is a backup to Harrison Smith and Michael Griffin. If one of those safeties go down, Kearse will get a chance to start in 2016.

  11. New England Patriots Defense

    The New England Patriots were 2nd in sacks, 8th in run defense, and 16th in pass defense in 2015. The loss of Chandler Jones will lower their sack total. New England could also struggle on run defense without Mayo. The pass defense may improve, but this is a middle of the pack defense now. Devin McCourty is probably the best IDP player on the Patriots. A player that could help your DL in IDP leagues is Chris Long assuming he can stay healthy. Dont'a Hightower is a great linebacker for IDP leagues as well as Jamie Collins. Malcolm Butler is probably the one DB outside of McCourty that can be an asset in IDP leagues. Nickel cornerback Cyrus Jones will see some action in nickel sets. Jones is a good late round pick in rookie IDP dynasty leagues.

  12. Buffalo Bills Defense

    Buffalo was 31st in the NFL in sacks last season. Every AFC Team had more sacks than the Buffalo Bills last season. Buffalo also finished 15th on run defense and 18th in pass defense due to poor play at safety. Marcel Dareus at defensive tackle is their best IDP player. Jerry Huges may be able to help on the DL as an IDP player. Preston Brown is a tackling machine at LB in IDP leagues. Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby are both good DBs at CB in IDP leagues. Buffalo had an impressive draft getting Shaq Lawson, Reggie Ragland, and Adolphus Washington. All three of those rookies could start right away and have an impact in rookie IDP dynasty leagues.

  13. Green Bay Packers Defense

    Green Bay's defense was 9th in sacks, 20th in run defense, and 6th in pass defense. When you consider all of their injuries on the offensive line, this Packers defense performed pretty well and their shaky run defense improved down the stretch. Clay Matthews is the best IDP player on this defense. Mike Daniels keeps improving and he is the top player on Green Bay's defensive line at the moment for IDP leagues. Then at LB you have to go with Julius Peppers if Clay Matthews is gone. Demetrius Randall took huge strides during his rookie season at cornerback and is the top DB in IDP leagues on Green Bay. Green Bay found a number one corner even after losing Tramon Williams. The rookie that you can add to IDP leagues on Green Bay has to be first round pick Kenny Clark who should start at defensive tackle right away.

  14. Pittsburgh Steelers Defense

    Pittsburgh finished 3rd in sacks, 5th in run defense, and 29th in pass defense. The Steelers have Lawrence Timmons in a contract year so I expect him to have the biggest IDP impact in Fantasy leagues this upcoming season. Former Ohio State Buckeyes Cameron Heyward on the DL and Ryan Shazier at LB could also do well as IDP players. Pittsburgh doesn't have a secondary player worth drafting in IDP leagues. You can make a case for William Gay as a late round pick in dynasty lagues if you really need a DB. Same could be said for Artie Burns if you are in a IDP rookie dynasty league. That being said, if you take anyone on the Steelers secondary before the last two rounds of the draft in IDP leagues you need to get drug tested.

  15. New York Jets Defense

    The Jets were 13th in sacks, 2nd in run defense, and 13th in pass defense. Revis is still the best player for IDP leagues despite the teams poor pass defense last season. Muhammad Wilkerson had 12 sacks and is the Jets best IDP player. I think you could say the same thing about former Louisville Cardinals Lorenzo Mauldin at LB and Calvin Pryor at DB. The rookie to draft on the Jets in IDP leagues this season is Darron Lee assuming you are in a dynasty league. The Jets may have some holes in their defense that can be exploited. This is still a top 15 defense in my opinion though.

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