2013 D/ST Fantasy Football Rankings: All 32 NFL Team Defense's Listed

Sean E. DouglasSenior Writer IIIJuly 2, 2013

Don't Sleep On The Rams in 2013
Don't Sleep On The Rams in 2013Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Pressuring the quarterback wasn’t a problem for the St. Louis Rams in 2012 as they tied the Broncos for the league lead in sacks with 52. With the presence of Michael Brockers inside and Robert Quinn’s emergence on the outside, St. Louis should have one of the better front lines in the NFL for some time.

I believe the Rams are ready to fight for a playoff birth, and while they play in a difficult division, this team proved they could play the 49ers and Seahawks tough, even on the road last season.

The addition of second round linebacker Alex Ogletree will improve the linebacking corps as James Laurinitis continues to play at a high level in the middle and Jo-Lonn Dunbar had a breakout season in 2012.

In corners Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins, the Rams can play physical at the line of scrimmage with receivers and force turnovers. In fact, as a rookie last year, Jenkins had four interceptions and a fumble recovery converting four of those five opportunities into touchdowns.

My area of concern for this group is at free safety, as it appears they may use rookie T.J. McDonald in the starting lineup. But as long as Darian Stewart is on the strong side I think this group will be fine.

If St. Louis decides to use ultra-talented rookie receiver Tavon Austin on punts and kickoffs they should have one of the better return games in the league as well. Add it up and we should feel confident in this group's ability to emerge as a top five fantasy defenses in 2013, as Head Coach Jeff Fisher will have his team prepared to play a winning brand of football on a weekly basis.


Broncos Top The List


While the Chiefs and Chargers should play a better brand of football on offense this year, they should also fall behind and become one dimensional when they matchup against the Broncos explosive offense. Perhaps the Chiefs will play Denver tough when they head to Kansas City, but of the elite defenses to choose on draft day it should be this group that has the easiest inner-division schedule.

The Texans would be a close second, but one player who could be the main reason for Denver placing higher on my list of team defenses is return specialist Trindon Holliday. Last year Holliday was actually in camp with the Texans but was released and made it on special teams in Denver.

Holliday went on to have a terrific season and he certainly wasn’t the reason why the Broncos lost to the Ravens in the playoffs with two return touchdowns in that game.

The two concerns we should have with Denver is the secondary and the loss of star pass-rusher Elvis Dumervil. As I mentioned above with the Rams, Denver was tied with St. Louis for the league lead in sacks at 52 last season.

Because the game scripts should tilt toward opposing teams throwing the football most of the time, look for this group to make up for some points given up with sacks and turnover opportunities.

With Holliday’s abilities on special teams, Manning’s ability to build a big lead on offense weekly and the presence of Von Miller I believe this unit will have a terrific season and are one of the few groups that could start most weeks.

2013 Fantasy Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | K |