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Defense/Special Teams Rankings: NFL Fantasy Week 1

Miami Dolphins Defense

Don't sleep on Miami's DST for Week 1

Week 1 of the NFL season is upon us, which means fantasy football is back! And with that comes my Week 1 defense/special teams (DST) rankings!

Week 1 fantasy football rankings are typically little more than a reflection of preseason rankings. However, of all the rankings I did this week, I might differ from the ECR (Expert Consensus Rankings) proportionally more than any other position.

Most “experts” just go with the conventional wisdom and barely give team defenses a second thought. But not me. For example, the ECR, as of article submission, doesn’t even consider Miami to be worthy of starting in a 12-team league. Why not? All the Miami defense did last year was allow the fifth-fewest points per game, finish 10th in sacks, and tie for the most interceptions. And Miami is now facing a rookie quarterback in his first NFL game. Sure, I got teams like the Rams and the Ravens higher. But the Dolphins are definitely in the top dozen DSTs this week!

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On the flip side, I’ve got Pittsburgh and Green Bay outside of the top dozen this week. I’m not so much betting against the Pittsburgh D, as I love the Buffalo offense this week. The books have the Bills scoring an estimated 27 points this week. That’s a lot of points against a team that was the No. 1 DST on draft boards for quite a few people. And frankly, I think the Bills score more than 27 points. I’d fade the Pittsburgh D this week. Green Bay is a little tougher as some of the pieces have changed on the Saints' offense. But this is still a Sean Payton-coached team, who I will remind you dropped 30 points on Green Bay last year.

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

NFL Defense/Special Teams (DST) Rankings: Week 1

— Rankings by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.