Fantasy Football Sleepers: 3 Underrated Defenses to Target
For some Fantasy Football owners picking the right defense can be tough. Especially when the gimmes (Steelers, Ravens, Eagles) are gone. Who you should target does depend on the structure of your league but just about any FF league recognizes takeaways and sacks.
Here are three underrated defenses for the 2011 NFL season you can target if you’re not fortunate enough to land any of the big boys. By mid-season, a couple of these team defenses may just fit that distinction.
Why Buffalo? The Bills offense is suspect to say the least but their defense is shaping up nicely. Even last year, Buffalo was 3rd against the pass, but dead last versus the run. So what have the Bills done to improve from the cellar? The addition of rookie defensive lineman Marcel Dareus. Dareus is a stud lineman who can play inside or outside. Lining him up next to the already stout Kelly Williams will improve the Bills run defense.
Nick Barnett is the new man in the middle of the Bills linebacking corp. In addition, Shawne Merriman has looked good in the pre-season as a edge pass-rusher.
Concerns: Merriman’s health is always a concern and Dareus has already tweaked an ankle though it looks to be minor. Still, this is a defense on the upswing.
Why Houston? The Texans defense is coming off of a season where they tallied 18 Takeaways and 30 Sacks. Expect those numbers to improve as the Texans bring a healthy Brian Cushing and they addressed their biggest defensive need in the secondary. By signing Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning through free-agency the Texans poor pass-defense will improve.
Concerns: Only injury can stop the Texans from being a top 10 defense. They have great talent at all three levels, The personnel is in place to run the 3-4 scheme effectively.
Why St.Louis? The Rams were already doing good things on defense last year statistically. I don’t think they got the credit they deserved from a fantasy standpoint because they were middle of the pack against the run and pass in terms of yardage. The defensive statistics they registered in 2010 were very good fantasy numbers, 26 Takeaways and 43 Sacks.
Enter Safety Quintin Mikell from Philadelphia and rookie pass rusher extraordinaire Robert Quinn. The Rams defense will be better in 2011.
Concerns: The Rams takeaways may drop due to causing more three and out series, but the sack totals should increase thereby making them a solid FF defense.
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