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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!

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.