Fantasy Football 2013: Defensive Lineman Rankings

Jason Pierre-Paul is one of our top fantasy options at DL for 2013

NFL training camps open up this week, meaning we are that much closer to the start of the regular season and fantasy football. While kickoff may still be nearly a month away, it's never too early to start preparing for your draft.

Last season when it came to fantasy defensive linemen (DL), there was J.J. Watt and then everyone else. The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year not only outscored the No. 2 DL (Cameron Wake) by more than 60 points, he was the No. 1 IDP in all of fantasy football.

Besides collecting a league-high 20.5 sacks, one of the reasons Watt was so valuable was his all-around production, including 16 passes defended. It seems unlikely that Watt will be able to match that total this season, but that doesn't mean he can't come close to repeating his overall fantasy production. As remarkable a season as Watt had in 2012, keep one thing in mind — he didn't score a single touchdown.

Watt is not the only DL out there capable of being a difference-maker from a fantasy standpoint either. Jason Pierre-Paul, DeMarcus Ware, Wake, Jared Allen and Mario Williams also are capable of racking up the sack totals and making their fair share of big plays. Pierre-Paul and Ware in particular are two worth keeping an eye on during training camp and the preseason.

Pierre-Paul had back surgery on June 5 and the expected recovery time of 12 weeks puts his return right around the time of the Giants' season opener on Sept. 8. Pierre-Paul said he expects to be ready to go in Week 1, but this is a situation worth monitoring. Pierre-Paul's division rival, Ware, will have to adjust to a new position, as the Cowboys' transition to a 4-3 scheme means Ware will move from linebacker to defensive end. While he may not have been a top-tier LB, Ware's track record in the sack category alone should make him one of the top DLs in fantasy, provided he's able to maintain that production as his new position.

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Fantasy Football 2013: Defensive Lineman (DL) Rankings

1J.J. WattHOU8
2Jason Pierre-PaulNYG9
3DeMarcus WareDAL11
4Cameron WakeMIA6
5Jared AllenMIN5
6Mario WilliamsBUF12
7Elvis DumervilBAL8
8Calais CampbellARI9
9Charles JohnsonCAR4
10Geno AtkinsCIN12
11Osi UmenyioraATL6
12Julius PeppersCHI8
13Robert QuinnSTL11
14Corey LiugetSD8
15Cliff AvrilSEA12
16Chandler JonesNE10
17Derrick MorganTEN8
18Carlos DunlapCIN12
19Cameron JordanNO7
20Greg HardyCAR4
21Haloti NgataBAL8
22Anthony SpencerDAL11
23Rob NinkovichNE10
24Brian RobisonMIN5
25Chris LongSTL11
26Muhammad WilkersonNYJ10
27Lamarr HoustonOAK7
28Ezekiel AnsahDET9
29Bruce IrvinSEA12
30Justin TuckNYG9
31Vince WilforkNE10
32Ndamukong SuhDET9
33Michael JohnsonCIN12
34Trent ColePHI12
35Everson GriffenMIN5
36Kroy BiermannATL6
37Marcell DareusBUF12
38Fletcher CoxPHI12
39Mathias KiwanukaNYG9
40Michael BennettSEA12
41Will SmithNO7
42Dwight FreeneySD8
43Jason BabinJAC9
44Robert MathisIND8
45Henry MeltonCHI8
46Star LotuleleiCAR4
47Dion JordanMIA6
48Sharrif FloydMIN5
49Damontre MooreNYG9
50Adrian ClaybornTB5

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

Solo tackle = 1 pt
Tackle assist = 0.5 pts
Sack = 3.5 pts
Interception = 3.5 pts
Forced fumble/recovery = 2 pts
Defensive TD = 8 pts
Safety = 2 pts
Pass Defended = 0.5 pts
Blocked Kick = 4 pts

Additional Fantasy Football Rankings:

2013 Big Board (Top 250)
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams
Top 75 IDP

Defensive Backs


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