Happy Labor day weekend, everybody! I hope everyone is enjoying what I am sure is a three day weekend for most people. This is the last of my fantasy reports. This week I'm looking at the fantasy Defense/Special Teams. You usually can begin to pick up a good D/ST around the 6th or 7th round of your draft. I would not pick one earlier than that. Here are the teams that I'm looking to be top performers this year. I don't rank them. These are the teams I'm hunting for when I'm planning my draft.
The New York Jets. The stars of Hard Knocks, Rex Ryan and his defense are the toast of the town these days. Last season, the Jets and Darelle Revis, who just signed this morning have wrecked havoc all over the AFC West. They led the league giving up only 236 points last season. They recovered 14 fumbles and had 17 interceptions, led by Revis and his 6 INTs, scoring 2 touchdowns. The defense also had 32 sacks led by Calvin Pace with 8 and David Harris with 5.5. According to ESPN.com, the Jets scored 161 fantasy points last season. They are projecting them to have a 133 points this season.
The Baltimore Ravens. This team, too, was once the star of Hard Knocks, and it is an appropriate title for a group lead by one of the most fearsome guys in the league, Mr. Ray Lewis. The Ravens gave up only 261 points last season. They had 32 sacks led by Jarrat Johnson with 6 and Trevor Price with 6.5. They had 10 fumble recovers and 22 INTS, Dawan Landry and Dominique Foxworth led the team with 4 INTS each, for 3 touchdowns. They scored 153 fantasy points in 2009 and are projected to score 119 this season.
The San Francisco 49ers. One of my old favorites, the 49ers have been on an upswing since Mike Singletary became head coach, and they drafted the gorgeous Patrick Willis. The Niners allowed 281 points last season. They were tied for second place in the league with 44 sacks, led by Manny Lawson with 6.5, Justin Smith and Ahmad Brooks with 6 each. They recovered 15 fumbles and snatched 18 picks led by Dashon Goldson with 4 INTS. They led the league with 167 fantasy points last season and are projected to score 117 points this season.
The Green Bay Packers. I personally have drafted the Pack this year, even though they are not one of my favorite teams. I recognize the skill. The Pack put the quarterback down last year with 37 sacks, led by Clay Matthews with 10 (I love me some Clay Matthews). The Pack recovered 11 fumbles and had 30 picks, 9 of which were Charles Woodson's, last season for 4 touchdowns (3 scored by Woodson). Last season, they scored 152 fantasy points and are projected to earn 112 this season.
The Minnesota Vikings. While I don't particularly care for what's going on on the offensive side of the ball, there is no denying that the Vikes are a defensive team to be reckoned with. The Vikes gave up 312 points last season. They led the league with 48 sacks, with Jared Allen taking the lead with 14.5 sacks. They also had 13 fumble recoveries and 11 interceptions, led by Cedric Griffin with 4 INTs. Last season, they scored 126 fantasy points and are projected to earn 112 this season.
Other Top Ten Fantasy D/STs: The Dallas Cowboys, The Philadelphia Eagles, The Pittsburgh Steelers, The Cincinnati Bengals, and The New Orleans Saints (get well soon, Darren Sharper).
Rookie on the Rise: Ndamukong Suh from Nebraska. All eyes are on the number 2 pick in Detroit, who has all ready picked up his first fine for practically body slamming a quarterback. In 2009, he had 12 sacks, 82 tackles (47 solo), and an interception. He had 212 career tackles and 23 sacks at Nebraska. Good luck with the Lions young man...
Well, that's it y'all! No, I will not be doin a post on kickers. Because they are kickers...just pick one. Last year's great, will be this year's goat. Good luck...