Fantasy Football Draft Advice: Don’t Be Afraid to Go Defense Early

Aug 31, 2009

Steelers Defense
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

There comes a time in your fantasy draft when you have your starting QB, two or three RBs, three or four WRs, and possibly your Tight End taken care of.  Adding depth is very important, but don’t overlook the value of a top flight defense.  The good thing about defenses are the elite ones don’t tend to change from year to year despite injuries and turnover.  Take the Giants for example.  Who would have figured they would have an elite defense after Strahan retired and Osi went down?  Yet, they did.  Philly has had players come and go without missing a beat.  Think about how long Pittsburgh and Baltimore have been elite fantasy defenses. 

The top fantasy defenses based on Average Draft Position are:

Pittsburgh – 8th round
Baltimore & NY Giants - 9th round
Minnesota – 10th round

You can chose to wait until the 11th or 12 round, assuming there isn’t a run on defenses, and land San Diego, Chicago, Philadelphia, NY Jets or Tennessee. 

Don’t worry if you miss out on one of the top D’s.  There are still great values to be had later like New England, Green Bay, Dallas, and Washington, but landing Pittsburgh D can be a difference maker.  Some of the players going in the 8th round along with Pittsburgh D are Jamal Lewis, Julius Jones, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Percy Harvin.  Jamal and Julius have little upside.  Ahmad and Julius have great potential, but can you really rely on them any given week?  Meanwhile Pittsburgh is a plug and play.  You don’t have to worry about matchups.  You just use them every week.

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4 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Living with Balls
    August 31st, 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    I disagree. I never take a defense until the 13th round at the earliest. There’s always a handful of defenses that come out of nowhere to put up big numbers. I’d rather add WR and RB depth or draft a high upside guy.

  2. LestersLegends
    August 31st, 2009 at 12:55 pm #

    There are good values there, but then you are playing the matchup game. As long as you get one of the elite ones or wait for one of the value ones you’re OK. Just don’t get caught up in a run and take a D where it’s not a value.

  3. Fantasy Football Draft Advice: Wait on Your Kicker | Fantasy Sports Blog
    September 1st, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    [...] we discussed being bold and taking a top defense early.  Since the top defenses don’t tend to change from year-to-year, it’s a calculated risk.  [...]

  4. Fantasy Football Draft Advice: Wait on Your Kicker
    September 2nd, 2009 at 7:00 am #

    [...] we discussed being bold and taking a top defense early.  Since the top defenses don’t tend to change from year-to-year, it’s a calculated [...]

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