The NFL Draft is now over, so now fans can look ahead to their fantasy football drafts. The following rankings will help fantasy football players have a good idea of who to target in their draft and when they should target them. These rankings are best used for standard scoring leagues and will be updated sporadically before the season starts. Here are the 2019 fantasy football defense rankings.
Defense Rankings: 1-10
1. Chicago Bears
The Bears had the top defense in fantasy football last season and will have many of the key components coming back. Adrian Amos left in free agency, but HaHa Clinton-Dix was signed to replace him. With Khalil Mack getting after the quarterback and making plays, Chicago should have the best defense once again.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
While Jacksonville didn’t have quite the year they expected to last season, they still have a lot of good pass rushers and corners. They are a little shaky at linebacker and safety, but their defense should be able to rise up fantasy rankings once again, if the offense can even control the clock just a tad more than last season.
3. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams had the second-best fantasy defense last season thanks to some really talented players. Ndamukong Suh is gone, but Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers will be able to hold down the defensive line. With Dante Fowler Jr. and Clay Matthews rushing the passer and Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters in coverage, the Rams should have a great fantasy defense this season.
4. Minnesota Vikings
Last season the Vikings ranked sixth for fantasy defenses and return almost all of their key players. Everson Griffen had some off the field issues last season, so having him for a full year should only help the Vikings pick up more sacks.
5. Houston Texans
Houston had the third best fantasy defense last year thanks to the return of J.J. Watt. He, Ja’Deveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus will terrorize opposing quarterbacks this season. Their secondary will look a lot different from last season, but should still be able to hold up, especially with the help of the great pass rush.
6. Los Angeles Chargers
Every season, the Chargers seem to suffer key injuries, and last year was no different. With a healthy team, the Chargers can finish even higher than their ranking of 14th last year. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram will rush the passer well. Casey Hayward, Derwin James and Nassir Adderley will combine to form a solid secondary as well.
7. Denver Broncos
Denver ranked as the eighth best defense last season and still has Bradley Chubb and Von Miler getting after quarterbacks. The secondary will have a different feel to it, but they added Kareem Jackson, who is a versatile defensive back. With him and Chirs Harris Jr., they should still be decent on the backend.
8. Baltimore Ravens
They finished as the fifth best defense last season, but this year will be without a lot of their key components of the last few years. Terrell Suggs, Eric Weddle C.J. Mosley and Za’Darius Smith all left in free agency. Earl Thomas was brought in to help the secondary, while Pernell McPhee and Shane Ray will have to try and produce sacks.
9. Buffalo Bills
Buffalo drafted Ed Oliver to pair with some nice young players on their defense. With Tremaine Edmunds, Tre’Davious White and several other players, Buffalo should be able to outrank their no. 14 finish last season.
10. Cleveland Browns
The Browns have a chance to be scary on defense this season. Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon give them two talented pass rushers. Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams will form a good corner combo. They also added Sheldon Richardson to their defensive line. With their additions, they should improve over their 17th-place finish last season.
Defense Rankings: 11-15
11. Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh will have one of their most complete defenses in years thanks to their new additions. Devin Bush was drafted to play middle linebacker alongside Vince Williams, which fills a huge hole on their defense. Steven Nelson was brought on to play corner on the opposite side of the field of Joe Haden. Those two additions will help Pittsburgh stay near the top 10 for defenses.
12. New England Patriots
Bill Belichick is still coaching the defense, so it would be crazy to rule them out as a defense, even though they lost Trey Flowers. They added Michael Bennet to replace him and still have a lot of the same components as they did last season, when they ranked fourth for fantasy defenses. They have lost two defensive coordinators in the last two seasons, so there might be some growing pains.
13. Philadelphia Eagles
Last season, the Eagles ranked 18th for defense in fantasy. They did lose Bennett to the Patriots, but signed Zach Brown and Malik Jackson. If they can stay healthy in the secondary, their output should improve a few spots by the end of this season.
14. Dallas Cowboys
They tied for the 17th best fantasy defense last season and added Robert Quinn to the fold as another pass rusher. With him across from DeMarcus Lawrence, the pass rush will be good. The secondary is a little shaky at the back end, but they have a few decent corners, led by Byron Jones. Pair those factors with having the best trio of linebackers in the NFL and the Cowboys will be a top 15 fantasy defense this season.
15. New Orleans Saints
Despite having a historically bad defense a few seasons ago, the Saints ranked ninth in fantasy points last season. The secondary is solid with Marcus Williams, Vonn Bell and Marshon Lattimore. They also have a great pass rusher in Cameron Jordan who was dominant last season. They may not rank in the top 10 next season, but should be a good match-up to use some weeks.