Fantasy Football Player Analysis: Defensive team

by Cory J. Bonini on August 2, 2012 @ 17:41:34 PDT

 

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7) Detroit Lions | Defense/special teams

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Score Allwd Off Pts Allwd Tot Def TD Tot Spec Tm TD Fum TD Int TD Int Fum Rec Pass TD Allwd Rush TD Allwd Def Scks
02223012158251136

Fantasy analysis: The strength of Detroit's 2011 fantasy defense came by way of 41 sacks and seven - yes, seven! - defensive touchdowns. The latter number will come down to earth. Five passes went back to the house on 21 interceptions. That isn't a sustainable ratio, and this secondary has regressed with the loss of cornerback Eric Wright. The contract dispute between the Lions and defensive end Cliff Avril has been ugly. Detroit's big-play D from a year ago will be tough to replicate; this unit is a risky midrange No. 1.

8) Chicago Bears | Defense/special teams

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Score Allwd Off Pts Allwd Tot Def TD Tot Spec Tm TD Fum TD Int TD Int Fum Rec Pass TD Allwd Rush TD Allwd Def Scks
021051132113221243

Lance Briggs, OLB, Chicago Bears

Fantasy analysis: Chicago scored the third most fantasy points in 2011 and has improved along the D-line in the offseason. Shea McClellin is a tenacious pass-rushing end, and Brian Price was acquired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to rotate at tackle. Julius Peppers is always a bright spot for a defense, but he'll need help if the Bears want to record more than 33 sacks in 2012. This D is getting up there in age and has some question marks at safety, but veteran leadership, as well as quality coaching, goes a long way. Chicago is a safe but unspectacular No. 1 defense.

9) Houston Texans | Defense/special teams

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Score Allwd Off Pts Allwd Tot Def TD Tot Spec Tm TD Fum TD Int TD Int Fum Rec Pass TD Allwd Rush TD Allwd Def Scks
02022011171025841

Fantasy analysis: Wade Phillips worked his magic last year to transform Houston into a 3-4 defense to be reckoned with. This group lost Mario Williams in free agency, but he missed most of last year with an injury anyway. Edge rushers Brooks Reed and Connor Barwin are more than capable of getting to the passer. J.J. Watt anchors the front three at the left end position, and Houston boasts a pair of former first-rounders at the starting cornerback spots. Houston was an awesome real NFL defense but not so prolific in fantasy scoring (21st overall). They need to make more big plays by finding the end zone. How much can they improve in Year 2 under Phillips? They may be overvalued as the fifth D off the board.

10) New York Jets | Defense/special teams

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Score Allwd Off Pts Allwd Tot Def TD Tot Spec Tm TD Fum TD Int TD Int Fum Rec Pass TD Allwd Rush TD Allwd Def Scks
02093120149201435

Fantasy analysis: Rex Ryan's defense has to do a better job of getting to the QB (35 sacks in 2011) and become less reliant on big plays. Those change-changing moments will come if there is steady pressure on the opposing passer. The Jets' defense is inexperienced at defensive end and is getting up there in age at linebacker. The defense's depth is questionable, at best. This could be the year the Jets' D takes a major step backward.

11) Arizona Cardinals | Defense/special teams

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Score Allwd Off Pts Allwd Tot Def TD Tot Spec Tm TD Fum TD Int TD Int Fum Rec Pass TD Allwd Rush TD Allwd Def Scks
019831021710221042

Fantasy analysis: Arizona's defense was almost the polar opposite of the 2011 Cowboys group for big plays. They couldn't buy a takeaway (19) despite racking up 42 sacks, but the special teams play was insane. Patrick Peterson scored four times on the year - don't count on that happening again. The defense, especially the secondary, should be better with healthy returns from Adrian Wilson, Kerry Rhodes and Greg Toler. Inside linebacker Daryl Washington is coming into his own. Arizona is a boom-or-bust unit that may not provide weekly consistency.

12) Buffalo Bills | Defense/special teams

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Score Allwd Off Pts Allwd Tot Def TD Tot Spec Tm TD Fum TD Int TD Int Fum Rec Pass TD Allwd Rush TD Allwd Def Scks
02723111178271746

Fantasy analysis: Mario Williams was the prize of the offseason for Buffalo. They have a disruptive front four and a blossoming secondary with an underappreciated trio of linebackers sandwiched in-between. The Bills scored seven times on defense and special teams last year despite recording a lousy 30 sacks. That kind of big-play production is an aberration. Expect more of a pass rush this year, but it would be foolhardy to count on as many scores. Look for a push toward the top 10; Buffalo's defense is worth a flier as a low-end DT1.

DTs 1-18 await your viewing pleasure.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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