Most defenses are interchangeable, but there are a few elite ones that could make a difference in your fantasy football season.
There are a lot of strategies around defenses in fantasy football. You can draft one and be done with it. You can pick one up just before the season starts and stream them position all season. Or you can look at the schedule, draft two and play the matchups.
I fall more in line with the second option. I usually either draft one with my last pick or find an available one before Week 1 starts and see how it works out.
The latter is my least favorite because you waste a bench spot for a position you only need one of. Whether it’s a 10 or 12-team league, you can find a solid replacement on the waiver for bye weeks or a mid-season change.
The defense/special teams aren’t the most important position in fantasy. The scoring differential between the No. 10 and 1 scoring defense is not as great as other positions. So, if you can wait a few rounds after the top-three defenses are drafted, your team will be in better shape.
Some of the teams have a higher potential for fantasy scoring based on turnovers and more scoring opportunities from either the defense or special teams. Relying on punt or kickoff returns on a weekly basis is a losing effort, so I will focus primarily on turnovers and points/yards allowed.
Because there are only 32 defenses, I broke my rankings into five tiers. Some of the tiers are going to have a lot of teams while others will have three to five teams. The defenses within the same tiers offer the same fantasy value, whether that’s a good or bad thing.
So, here are my tiered D/ST rankings for the 2019 fantasy football season.