The 2021 NFL Draft is over, giving fans a clearer picture of rosters for the 2021 season. With that fantasy football rankings can be released. Here are the 2021 fantasy football standard scoring defense rankings. (Note: These are best used for standard-scoring leagues and will be updated until the season starts)
1. Los Angeles Rams
The number one ranked fantasy defense looks like they’ll be heading into the 2021 season as the top defense. Any team that has a generational talent in Aaron Donald on defensive line and a shutdown corner in Jalen Ramsey will be great on Sundays.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh’s strength is once again their defense. They were the second-ranked fantasy defense in 2020. While they lost Bud Dupree and Steven Nelson, the Steelers have the necessary components for another great fantasy season.
3. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts finished third last season and look like they will do similarly in 2021. Kwity Paye was drafted to add a solid pass rusher to the team, which is something they have lacked the last few years.
4. Washington Football Team
Washington had the sixth-ranked fantasy season last year and they keep on getting better. With Jamin Davis added in the 2021 NFL Draft, things are only looking up for this young defense. If Chase Young takes an expected step forward, the defense will be winning Washington a lot of games.
5. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens finished fourth last season and still feature one of the league’s best defense. They are aided by the fact that the offense controls the clock, but they are extremely talented as well. Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey, Calais Campbell and Patrick Queen all help make this a good unit.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After winning the Super Bowl, the Buccaneers brought the whole team back together for the 2021 season. They finished ninth in the league in 2020 and their cohesiveness will show this season.
7. New England Patriots
Plenty of players opted out for the Patriots in 2020 and will now be back. They finished as the 11th-ranked fantasy defense without them and now should be expected to finish in the top 10.
8. Buffalo Bills
Buffalo finished eighth last year and added edge rusher Gregory Rousseau in the draft. With one of the best corners in the game on the outside in Tre White, Buffalo is in good hands.
9. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers ranked 20th in 2020 and have not re-signed Richard Sherman, but there is still reason for optimism. Getting Nick Bosa back on the field will help influence the defense. With he and linebacker Fred Warner, the 49ers have two of the league’s best at their respective positions.
10. Miami Dolphins
Miami has a nice corner duo in Byron Jones and Xavien Howard, which makes it a lot easier for a defensive coordinator. Pass rusher Jaelen Phillips was drafted, but the team lost Kyle Van Noy. They should still fight for a top 10 fantasy defense this season.
11. Chicago Bears
The Bears defense wasn’t as good as they had been in years prior in 2020. They finished 19th. Chicago will have a tough time becoming elite again, as they have since lost Kyle Fuller, but they still have talent on the roster.
12. Los Angeles Chargers
Over the last several seasons the Chargers have drafted impact defensive players in the first few rounds of the NFL Draft. Derwin James, Kenneth Murray, Joey Bosa and Asante Samuel Jr. form a nice young core of players. After finishing 22nd last year, there should be massive improvement in 2021.
13. Cleveland Browns
The Browns did a great job of addressing their needs and don’t have many holes on the roster. After finishing as the 17th-ranked defense in 2020, the Browns added Jadeveon Clowney, Greg Newsome and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Their ground-based offensive game will also help the defense in 2021.
14. Denver Broncos
In 2020, the Broncos ranked 22nd for fantasy defenses. The most important thing for them is getting Von Miller and Bradley Chubb back on the field to get after the quarterback, but they also added more corners. It is now up to the offense to keep the Broncos’ defense off the field.
15. New Orleans Saints
The Saints have had a much improved defense over the last few years. They ranked seventh in 2020, but they may take a hit in 2021 if there offense can’t stay on the field without Drew Brees there anymore.
16. Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City’s offense gets all the publicity, but the defense played well in 2020. The defense ranked 11th in 2020 and should rank in a similar range for 2021.
17. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are far from the Legion of Boom defenses. They did finish 2020 as the 13th-ranked defense in the league though. Losing Shaquill Griffin at corner will hurt, but they did sign Ahkello Witherspoon to replace him.
18. Green Bay Packers
After finishing 18th last season, the Packers are destined for a ranking like that in 2021. They didn’t add much to the defense this offseason, but the Packers do have one of the best corners in the league in Jaire Alexander.
19. Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota’s defense struggled in 2020, but they were struggling with opt outs. Now that they’ll get Michael Pierce and that they’ve signed Patrick Peterson, the defesne should move up the rankings a bit.
20. Tennessee Titans
Signing Janoris Jenkins and Bud Dupree will help with the loss of corners and edge rushers. So too will the drafting of Caleb Farley. The Titans ranked 26th in fantasy last year, but should see some marginal improvements.
21. Philadelphia Eagles
22. Arizona Cardinals
23. New York Giants
24. New York Jets
25. Dallas Cowboys
26. Jacksonville Jaguars
27. Carolina Panthers
28. Cincinnati Bengals
29. Detroit Lions
30. Atlanta Falcons
31. Las Vegas Raiders
32. Houston Texans
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