In every fantasy football draft I have ever been in, someone decides to take a fantasy team defense in the eighth round, and the rest of the team owners begin to panic. Relax, let people waste their ninth round pick on the Arizona Cardinals, because your best friend took the Seattle Seahawks off the board.
Team defense in fantasy football has a lot of variance involved. Unpredictable things will happen throughout the season and they are impossible to avoid. Selecting a defense in fantasy football is never your top priority or even an exciting pick to make. However, it is a pick we all have to make at some point to field our roster. With all that being said, I wanted to give you five NFL teams you can target with one of your final two draft picks that still have solid value this season:
The Panthers have a great front seven, and as a total unit really improved the second half of last year. I believe the secondary will be improved and if rookie Shaq Thompson can cause problems like he did in college, the Panthers are going to be an impressive defense this season.
The Steelers do have some concerns in the secondary for new defensive coordinator Keith Butler to figure out before the season begins. However, the front seven is loaded and should be able to provide a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks, leading to turnovers and interceptions this year. Week one could be an interesting time to own the Steelers defense, as they face Jimmy Garoppolo, who will be making his first start ever.
Green Bay Packers
The loss of corner back Tramon Williams is a big one for the Packers, who were seventh in the league in interceptions last season. I think the Packers will take a slight hit in the interception category but still have enough firepower to provide weekly value across the board. Clay Matthews operating from the inside worked well to close 2014 and keeps offenses guessing. Julius Peppers bringing anything close to what he did last year could also be huge for this unit.
The Browns added defensive back Tramon Williams to solidify an already impressive secondary. If the Browns can find ways to create pressure consistently, this secondary has potential for a lot of interceptions and pick six touchdowns. Cleveland has an improving front line and some nasty edge rushing talent. With Williams teaming up with Joe Haden, it’s very possible the Browns could shoot for a spot among the top-5 fantasy team defenses in 2015.
The Colts managed to finishing 12th in fantasy football defensive points last season, despite only scoring two touchdowns. The secondary will make plays weekly and I believe the amount of touchdowns created off turnovers will be greater than two this season.
As I mentioned earlier, selecting a defense isn’t much fun as a fantasy owner, but don’t panic if you fail to secure a top-five team unit. There are a lot of options to take advantage of this year by waiting it out until your final selection. I believe you can find success with all five units I listed above and the best part is they will all be available deep into your fantasy draft.