KFFL.com's analysis of fantasy
football busts and overvalued players for the 2009 season will be updated
weekly this offseason. We have released the evaluations earlier than ever before!
friends at MockDraftCentral.com can be thanked for the average draft placement
(ADP), and each of these figures will also be current to provide you the most
accurate information available. According to Mock Draft Central,
the following information is from performance leagues without point-per-reception
scoring and has been updated weekly.
Steelers | Average draft placement: 98.5 | Last week: 96.4
league provides bonus rewards for defenses that allow small yardage and points
totals, the Steelers carry more weight; still, you
shouldn't be THIS optimistic. Despite ranking second in the NFL
in sacks in 2008, they were the 10th-ranked defense in standard fantasy
football formats. The name values of strong safety Troy
Polamalu and linebacker James Harrison will
probably inflate their worth once again.
Fantasy value: They're typically
the first defense off the board, but don't let your logic be drowned out by Super
Bowl highlights. You don't need to select a defense this quickly, even if they
did frighten opposing quarterbacks last year. In our standard scoring system (one
point per sack, two points per turnover, six points per touchdown), the Steelers
defense didn't even crack the top five last season. In fact, they were the 10th-best
fantasy defense, yet they are somehow going No. 1 overall for defensive teams?
For as crazy as it may sound, the Arizona Cardinals
defense scored more fantasy points than the Steelers did! Let someone else fawn
over Polamalu's locks while you use this opportunity to pluck a skills player
that can help your depth.
| Average draft placement: 112.8 | Last week: 109.9
The departures of
defensive guru Rex Ryan and key linebacker Bart
Scott hurt. Baltimore twists the knife when they remind you that a 34-year-old
Ray Lewis will direct the linebackers, and they're
crossing their fingers at cornerback (the dynamic duo of Fabian
Washington and Domonique Foxworth).
Of course, this unit has tons of rings under its bark and has been reaching the
quarterback less often since 2006.
How much of the effectiveness and similarities
from Ryan's scheme will former linebackers coach Greg
Mattison carry over? Their offense lacks explosiveness and can't be counted
on to spell the D often.
Fantasy value: Being selected, on average,
as the No. 2 defense going within the first 11 rounds, the Ravens
are still riding the fantasy draft coattails of their predecessors. There are
too many questions for this new incarnation to tab them as if they were the impact
squads of past seasons. This is too early to target a defensive team, especially
one with this many question marks.
Titans | Average draft placement: 138.9 | Last week: 138.9
were one of the best late-round values last season, but reasons for a fall-off
are mounting. Let's start with the heart of their D last year, run-stuffing defensive
tackle Albert Haynesworth, who was lost to free
agency. As admirably as defensive tackles Jason D.
Jones and Tony Brown played down the stretch,
the current Titans' line probably won't achieve the same amount of penetration
without the big man commanding double teams.
Though former secondary coach
Chuck Cecil should ease the transition, they also
said goodbye to former defensive coordinator and new Detroit
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, whose abstract
situational analysis helped revamp their in-game approach.
Their rushing defense propelled them to success last year, yet you should
expect more balanced attacks to test Tennessee this year. Their No. 6 ranking
on draft boards is lofty considering they lost the biggest quotient to their sacks
success last season.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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