2013 Early Fantasy Football Team Defense Rankings

May 22, 2013

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We continue on with our early fantasy football rankings. This time we take a look at the 2013 fantasy football team defense landscape.
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1. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks allowed the fewest points last year, yielding just 15.3 points per game. They finished fourth in the league with 306.2 yards per game allowed. Adding Antoine Winfield’s veteran presence to an outstanding secondary anchored by Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas makes this an elite unit. Cliff Avril, who recorded 9.5 sacks last year for the Detroit Lions, gives them even more beef up front.
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2. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers finished just behind the Seahawks with 17.1 points per game allowed. They ranked third in total defense with 294.4 yards per game allowed. Patrick Willis anchors the defense, while Aldon Smith, who recorded 19.5 sacks last year, is a total menace.
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3. Houston Texans
The Texans took a slight step back defensively last year, but still finished in the top ten in both scoring defense (20.7 ppg) and total defense (323.3 ypg). Their struggles were primarily in pass defense, but the addition of future first ballot Hall of Famer Ed Reed should help. Having a healthy Brian Cushing will also be huge. Oh, and they still have J.J. Watt.
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4. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens will miss the leadership of Reed and Ray Lewis, but they reloaded. A clerical error allowed Elvis Dumervil to slip out of the Denver Broncos’ grasp. Baltimore snatched him up to pair with Terrell Suggs, who should be healthy after missing half of the season with an Achilles injury. Michael Huff came over from the Oakland Raiders to soften the blow of Reed’s departure.
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5. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers led the league in total defense with 275.8 yards allowed per game. They ranked sixth in scoring defense (19.6 ppg). Troy Polamalu’s health will be the key to their success or lack thereof.
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6. Denver Broncos
The Broncos will miss Dumervil, but they still have Von Miller terrorizing opposing quarterbacks. Denver finished second in total defense (290.8 ypg) and fourth in scoring defense (18.1 ppg).
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7. Chicago Bears
Da Bears finished third in scoring defense (17.3 ppg) and fifth in total defense (315.6 ypg). A lot of their success last year was predicated on their ability to turn turnover into touchdowns. That isn’t something you can bank on every year.
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8. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals finished sixth in total defense (319.7 ypg) and eighth in scoring defense (20.0 ppg). Geno Atkins (12.5 sacks) and Michael Johnson (11.5 sacks) form an underrated one-two punch.
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9. New England Patriots
The Patriots bend (373.3 ypg), but don’t break (20.7 ppg) on defense. Their offense tends to make opposing teams one-dimensional.
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10. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons had similar numbers as the Patriots (365.6 ypg, 18.7 ypg), which isn’t surprising since they have a potent offense of their own. They added Osi Umenyiora and rookie Desmond Trufant to bolster their defense.
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