10. Chicago Bears. They were only an average defense last year. However, with the addition of Julius Peppers, and also the return of Brian Urlacher from make the team’s defense brighter for this coming year. In addition, Mike Martz has said that Devin Hester may go back to his return position, which may lead to more touchdowns for the Bears’ return game.
Projected Stats: 320 YPG, 20 PPG, 12 Interceptions, 14 Fum Rec, 43 Sacks, and 3 TDs.
9. San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers have one of the best defensive players, linebacker Patrick Willis. He led the NFL in tackles last year (and is a must own in IDP leagues). The 49ers finished in 5th overall in fantasy points (for defenses). They also exploded last year with 45 fantasy points in one game! However, the 49ers are inconsistent. They scored half their points in four games, but with some solid players on the team this team has the potential to be great.
Projected Stats: 350 YPG, 18 PPG, 18 Interceptions, 11 Fum Rec, 39 Sacks, and 4 TDs.
8. Dallas Cowboys. Dallas has a lot of talent on their team, such as DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff, and Mike Jenkins. However, the Cowboys defense has never broke into the top eight in the past five years. With Dallas in the running for a Super Bowl this year, their defense will have to take on an upward spiral. They’re a number low-number one defense this year, with great upside.
Projected Stats: 315 YPG, 21 PPG, 12 Interceptions, 10 Fum Rec, 49 Sacks, and 3 TDs
7. New Orleans Saints. From 2005 to 2008 the Saints defense was no better than 22nd in fantasy points among defenses. However, after new coordinator Gregg Williams came in to the picture, this defense moved to 4th in points. They have one of the most explosive and best secondaries in the league made up of ball-hawking safeties, Roman Harper and Darren Sharper. They have great late round value and a solid number one defense.
Projected Stats: 340 YPG, 22 PPG, 23 Interceptions, 9 Fum Rec, 35 Sacks, and 7 TDs
6. Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers defense has always been known for aggressive defense. However the 2009 form of the Steel Curtain didn’t meet expectations. One major reason for that is that Troy Polamalu, their star safety, was out nearly the whole season due to injury. Now that Troy is at his 100% the Steelers are now back on their feet, expect them to recover back into a number great defensive option.
Projected Stats: 280 YPG, 19 PPG, 17 Interceptions, 10 Fum Rec, 47 Sacks, and 4 TDs.
5. Baltimore Ravens. Last year, though they had a new coordinator the Ravens still finished the season with the 6th-best defense in fantasy points. With Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, and Haloti Ngata, this defense will keep playing great. In addition, they need Ed Reed and rookie, Terrence Cody, need to prove something this year. If all of that happens, the Ravens can move further up the defensive ladder.
Projected Stats: 300 YPG, 15 PPG, 21 Interceptions, 9 Fum Rec, 35 Sacks and 4 TDs
4. Green Bay Packers. The Green Bay Packers have some great playmakers. Led by Charlie Woodson and with a bunch of great linebackers that includes A.J. Hawk, Clay Matthews, and Nick Barnett. They were the second most productive defense on NFL.com in 2009; they’re a great number one defense that can be drafted in the late rounds.
Projected Stats: 295 YPG, 20 PPG, 25 Interceptions, 9 Fum Rec, 32 Sacks, and 5 TDs.
3. Philadelphia Eagles. This aggressive defense tied for 3rd in sacks, 4th in interceptions, and scored 6 touchdowns. The Eagles were 3rd in fantasy points amongst defenses. With a great sacker in Trent Cole and a playmaking cornerback in Asente Samuel, their defense is one of the most solid in the NFL. In addition, DeSean Jackson will also provide a nice return boost to the Eagles’ numbers.
Projected Stats: 295 YPG, 19 PPG, 20 Interceptions, 14 Fum Rec, 46 Sacks, and 6 TDs.
2. Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings has been on of the most dependable defenses in the league. With a great defensive line that includes Jared Allen and the Williams Wall, they make a great team to sack the quarterback and cause turnovers. Also along with the Vikings is the ball hawking cornerback, Antoine Winfield. Percy Harvin also leads an explosive return game. They’re a solid pick in the earlier part of the later rounds.
Projected Stats: 290 YPG, 18 PPG, 13 Interceptions, 12 Fum Rec, 54 Sacks, and 4 TDs.
1. New York Jets. The Jets reached higher than expected last year and finished as the best defense. The Jets allowed a league low 236 points to their opponents. They have many playmakers such as cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie and linebackers David Harris and Bart Scott plus an aggressive attacking method led by head coach Rex Ryan the Jets are an outstanding defense. Expect them to be the first defense off the board.
Projected Stats: 260 YPG, 15 PPG, 25 Interceptions, 13 Fum Rec, 33 Sacks, and 4 TDs.