College Football Preview – Independent Defenses
David Funk, a good friend and writer of the Fantasy Sports Network blog, put together a ranking of the Independent Defenses. He was kind enough allow me to post his breakdown on my site to pass the great information on to you. This is very useful info as you gear up for the college football season, especially if you play the Sporting News College Football Salary Cap game.
“Okay, I’m going to provide some info about the Independent team defenses. I’m not going to rank them because they play too different of schedules, and are obviously not affiliated with a conference. What I will do is provide a brief preview for the current three teams that are available to pick from in fantasy games. Western Kentucky’s switch to D-1A while moving to the Sun Belt Conference won’t be complete until 2009 so they won’t be available to pick this year. The Sporting News game doesn’t allow owners to pick teams from D-1AA or lower, nor do they allow D-1A schools to gain points against them either. Just something to be aware of. Now onto my fantasy college football Independent team defenses preview…..”
Army(Starters returning: 3)
Defensive end Victor Ugenyi and tackle Ted Bentler return up front. End Nick Emmons has made 11 starts, too. Middle linebacker Frank Scappaticci returns, and the team is counting on John Plumstead to provide relief on the outside. The secondary is entirely new, and is the team’s biggest concern on that side of the ball. The unit ranked 117th in rush defense, and that has to improve for 2008 with the offense still in transition.
Navy(Starters returning: 7 )
The Midshipmen ranked 106th in pass defense a year ago, and three cornerbacks in the secondary with Rashawn King, Ketric Buffin, and Blake Carter have started. Noseguard Nate Frazier is back as is end Michael Walsh. Clint Sovie will start at inside linebacker in their 3-4 scheme. The linebacking corps has Ram Vela and Tony Haberer who have started before which says something about their depth at the position.
Notre Dame(Starters returning: 5)
Nosetackle Ian Williams will start full-time this year after a productive campaign as backup last year. Maurice Crum Jr is back, and the team is high on new starters at outside linebacker in Brian Smith and Kerry Neal. The secondary is returns three starters as free safety David Bruton as well as corners Darrin Walls and Terrail Lambert coming back. The team ranked 39th in defense a year ago, and second overall in pass defense.
Overall analysis: There is alot of inexperience between Army and Notre Dame while Navy returns a veteran unit. Army’s biggest concern is in the secondary, and their ineffectiveness in stopping the run a year ago. No matter how much experience they have, Navy has to improve with not letting teams pass at will on them. Notre Dame’s strength is on defense, and a new attacking style could prove to be helpful for fantasy owners considering them for the coming season. All three teams have defiencies on each side of the ball, and that could have a lasting effect on their fantasy numbers for the season. Notre Dame is the best option out of this group, and an improving offense should mean that side of the ball won’t see a dropoff from a year ago