2018 Defense/Special Teams Rankings

Over the next 5 weeks, the Fantasy Assembly’s greatest fantasy football minds will be coming together to produce our 2018 consolidated rankings. Join Andy Germani, Tommy Landseadel, Joe Mica, and Eric Braun as they help you prepare for your rapidly approaching football drafts.

All of our rankings assume standard scoring:

  • 1 point for each sack
  • 2 points for fumble recovery and interceptions
  • 6 points for TD
  • 10 points for a shutout
  • 7 points for 1-6 points allowed
  • 4 points for 7-13 points allowed
  • 1 point for 14-20 points allowed
  • -1 point for 28-34 points allowed
  • -4 points for 35+ points allowed

Without further ado, let’s check out the ranks! N/R denotes a non-ranking for that particular player.

Team Eric Tommy Andy Joe
1 Jacksonville Jaguars 1 1 1 1
2 Philadelphia Eagles 2 3 2 4
3 Los Angeles Rams 5 2 3 2
4 Minnesota Vikings 3 4 5 3
5 Houston Texans 4 5 6 6
6 Denver Broncos 7 7 4 5
7 Los Angeles Chargers 6 6 8 9
8 Baltimore Ravens 8 8 7 7
T 9 New Orleans Saints 11 9 10 11
T 9 New England Patriots 9 11 11 10
11 Carolina Panthers 10 12 9 13
12 Pittsburgh Steelers 17 10 12 12
13 Chicago Bears 16 14 17 8
14 Detroit Lions 13 17 13 16
15 Arizona Cardinals 15 20 14 18
16 Seattle Seahawks 19 19 16 17
17 Kansas City Chiefs N/R 13 15 15
18 Tennessee Titans 12 15 19 N/R
19 Atlanta Falcons 18 18 N/R 14
20 Washington Redskins 14 N/R 18 N/R
Honorable Metions: Packers, Cowboys, 49ers, Browns

Which DST will be your top target?

Joe: I’m not a fan of picking a D/ST early so I’m sure I’ll miss out on the Jaguars, Vikings and Rams. Owners rarely carry two D/ST, so even if you swing and miss on one, you should have options during the season. Based on ADP the Broncos, Ravens and Saints could be a few late round bargains.

Andy: I will probably get the Patriots late. But mainly I will be keeping an eye on whatever QB position looks like the best target after this preseason. The downside is a lot of the teams I would want to target play defenses I have no chance of drafting. If I don’t get the Patriots maybe the Titans getting a week-1 matchup against the Dolphins.

Tommy: I really don’t target defenses because I typically play matchups, but I am not afraid to take an elite unit if they fall far enough. JAX, STL and PHI fit the bill for me there. If I don’t reach for one of those, I will look to grab BAL, NO or DET for their week-1 matchup.

Which Top Defense from 2017 is the most likely to regress?

Joe: The Chargers finished as a top-5 unit so I’ll pick them as my “slip” pick. But I’m avoiding the Seahawks completely. They lost too many key players to remain consistent.

Andy: The Chargers are getting beat up again by injuries. If they are healthy they might be a top 3-4 option. The easy call here would be the Seahawks or Chiefs. Both of those defenses have taken a major hit this offseason.

Tommy: Seattle looks to be done so I am avoiding them. Also, as good a unit as the Vikings are, they just don’t accumulate that many fantasy points when they force 3 and outs.

Which DST unit do you see being the biggest surprise?

Joe: If the hype surrounding the Bears offense actually takes shape, their defense will be more rested and would easily improve on their seventh place DST finish last season.

If you’re in a league that requires 2 DST on your roster, you may want to throw a dart at the 49ers DST. Without Jimmy Garoppolo the Niners DST averaged 5.8 fantasy points per game. With Garoppolo starting, the DST improved to 10.2 fantasy points per game.

Andy: I didn’t rank them, but I could see the Raiders and Giants being a surprise if they really go to the running ways it seems like they might. They might give up fewer points and yards because they take the air out of the ball. But for fantasy that doesn’t make them a target, maybe just a team that isn’t an obvious “play blank against the Raiders or Giants”.

Tommy: The Titans could be this year’s breakout defense. They were great against the run and they posted a lot of sacks last year. They have room to grow if they can force a few more TOs.

2018 Fantasy Football Rankings
QuarterbackRunning BackWide ReceiverTight EndKicker


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The Fantasy Assembly Team

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A combined effort of the greatest fantasy sports minds money can buy. Maybe that is an exaggeration..... but it sounds good.