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Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Defense/Special Teams Rankings 2018

Telvin Smith

Telvin Smith

Aaron Donald

The Jacksonville Jaguars are in position to start the 2018 season where they finished it when it comes to fantasy defense/special teams (D/ST) rankings -- first. As part of the Jaguars' impressive turnaround in 2017, the defense ranked in second in the NFL in points allowed per game, sacks and takeaways while also contributing seven touchdowns.

The outlook for 2018 is just as promising, as Jacksonville returns every starter on that side of the ball except for linebacker Paul Posluszny (retired), and has added to its depth through free agency and the draft. The Jags will likely be the first D/ST off of the board in fantasy drafts this year.

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If not the Jaguars, then perhaps it could be either of Los Angeles' two teams. The Rams, who already feature NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, added to their star power on defense with the acquisitions of cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib as well as defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The Chargers meanwhile used four of their seven draft picks to bolster their depth on a unit that already boasts one of the best defensive lines in the league.

Rounding out the top five in the D/ST rankings are Minnesota, the team that finished No. 1 in the league in both total and scoring defense last year, and Philadelphia, the defending Super Bowl champions. So as impressive as Jacksonville was last year, it's pretty clear the Jaguars aren't the only D/ST worth drafting this season. The question is when should you take your D/ST or how long you should you wait come draft day?

2018 Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K

2018 Defense/Special Teams Rankings

Rk

Team

Bye

1

Jacksonville Jaguars

9

2

Los Angeles Rams

12

3

Los Angeles Chargers

8

4

Minnesota Vikings

10

5

Philadelphia Eagles

7

6

Baltimore Ravens

10

7

Houston Texans

10

8

New Orleans Saints

6

9

Chicago Bears

5

10

Denver Broncos

10

11

Pittsburgh Steelers

7

12

New England Patriots

11

13

Seattle Seahawks

7

14

Arizona Cardinals

9

15

Carolina Panthers

4

16

Detroit Lions

6

17

Kansas City Chiefs

12

18

Tennessee Titans

8

19

Atlanta Falcons

8

20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5

21

Buffalo Bills

11

22

Cleveland Browns

11

23

New York Giants

9

24

Washington Redskins

4

25

Green Bay Packers

7

26

Dallas Cowboys

8

27

Cincinnati Bengals

9

28

San Francisco 49ers

11

29

Oakland Raiders

7

30

New York Jets

11

31

Indianapolis Colts

9

32

Miami Dolphins

11

And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Athlon Sports’ 2018 Fantasy Football magazine, available for purchase online and at newsstands everywhere.

Athlon Sports 2018 Fantasy Football Magazine