Original Post: June 1, 2016
We’ll have a ton of articles and our massive player previews (released in mid-to-late June) to help you pick the right players, but this article is about understanding when to pick your players.
ADP data can shift considerably, especially in June, July, and early August. This year, we’re going to have a unique feed of the ADPs in the NFFC, which is the largest national season-long fantasy contest out there. Their data is extremely up-to-date and as accurate as there is since it’s for high stakes, so this year our users will be able to monitor the ADP movement in real-time.
For now, though, this article serves as an introduction to the 2016 landscape.
Note: We’re never going to include every single team defense in this article. We focus on the more intriguing options and those who are tough to get a handle on in terms of when they will be drafted. Also, note that we use a 12-team PPR league as our default setting for this analysis.
Current ADP Analysis:
These are the team defenses whose Average Draft Positions intrigue us most in 2016.
Denver Broncos (1st DT drafted) – They were only fourth last year in both FPG and total scoring and lost a few key players to free agency, yet they’re the consensus #1 DT on the board this year, and we’re fine with that. Of course, what we’re not fine with is taking any DT too early, and their 120 ADP is too early.
Arizona Cardinals (2nd DT drafted) – The Cardinals last year ranked as the #2 DT in the fantasy, but their point totals were skewed by four huge games (they also had six games with 5 points or fewer). This is still a viable starting defense, and LB Chandler Jones should help their pass rush greatly (only 20th with 36 sacks last year), but we have them as the sixth best fantasy D, so we’re not as high on them as the ADP data reflects.
Seattle Seahawks (3rd DT drafted) – If you’re getting a lot of love for points and yardage allowed, Seattle is still a fine choice. Otherwise, they’ve been a huge disappointment the last two season, falling well short in key categories like sacks, fumble recoveries, and even INTs. They’re clearly being drafted this high based on their play and production the last 3-4 years, and not really the last two years. There’s no way they should be drafted in the 11th round of a typical 12-team league, which is what our early ADP has them at.
Carolina Panthers (4th DT drafted) – The Panthers were the top scoring fantasy defense in 2015, but they likely come in at only four on the ADP list because they lost CB Josh Norman and because they had 4-5 huge games and seven games with 5 or fewer points. The inconsistency is typical, though, and even with the loss of Norman they should still be a good defense. We have them ranked 5th for the season, so we’re close to the ADP, but like all DTs, we see no reason to be overly-proactive about acquiring them.
Houston Texans (5th DT drafted) – The Texans are yet another high-end defense that padded their stats with some big games (they had 4), but also hurt their owners with numerous games with minimal production (they had seven games with 5 of fewer points last year). However, their offense should greatly improve, which will help the defense, and if Jadeveon Clowney is healthy, which is now, they could be excellent. We have them as our #1 DT on the season, so this a defense to target after the top 3-4 “name” defenses are off the board.
Kansas City Chiefs (6th DT drafted) – They had a big season last year 6 TDs and 47 sacks and while LB Justin Houston’s status is still iffy for the opener, they still have the personnel to produce strong totals. We have them as the #4 DT for the season, so they’re another example of our rankings in line with the ADP. It seems like the top-7-8 defenses this year are pretty clear to everyone.
Los Angeles Rams (7th DT drafted) – They’ve yet to truly meet high expectations, and it can be argued that they’ve been big disappointments for fantasy, but they have at least exploded with some huge games the last few years, and they once again had five very good games in 2015 (same as many of the top DTs above). This year, with a full season of Todd Gurley and improved QB, the offense might actually help the defense, and DC Gregg Williams is still there to try to wreak havoc. They’re a solid choice if you hold off on drafting your defense, but let’s be honest: you’ll be ready to cut them by September’s end, most likely.
Source: Fantasy Guru
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