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Fantasy Football 2016: Defense/Special Teams Rankings

Earl Thomas

Earl Thomas

JJ Watt's 40-yard dash time

In fantasy football, defense/special teams (DST) are different from the other positions in several ways. The fact that it’s an entire unit (or two depending on how you look at it) instead of an individual player means you don’t necessarily have to worry about one injury, whether it happens in practice, the preseason or once the games that count start, completely wrecking the DST you drafted.

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However, there are certain players who are more valuable to their DSTs than others and that’s definitely the case when it comes to J.J. Watt. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year is still recovering from back surgery. His Week 1 availability is uncertain at best, and something that should be kept in mind come draft day. For now, Houston sits among the top five of Athlon Sports’ rankings, but that position is tenuous.

Positional Tiers/Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K

Rank

Team

Bye

1

Seattle Seahawks

5

2

Minnesota Vikings

6

3

Carolina Panthers

7

4

Houston Texans

9

5

Denver Broncos

11

6

Arizona Cardinals

9

7

Kansas City Chiefs

5

8

New York Jets

11

9

Cincinnati Bengals

9

10

Green Bay Packers

4

11

Buffalo Bills

10

12

Oakland Raiders

10

13

Los Angeles Rams

8

14

New England Patriots

9

15

Philadelphia Eagles

4

16

Pittsburgh Steelers

8

17

Jacksonville Jaguars

5

18

Baltimore Ravens

8

19

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

6

20

Chicago Bears 

9

21

New York Giants

8

22

Washington Redskins

9

23

Indianapolis Colts

10

24

Detroit Lions

10

25

Tennessee Titans

13

26

Atlanta Falcons

11

27

Miami Dolphins

8

28

San Diego Chargers

11

29

Dallas Cowboys

7

30

New Orleans Saints

5

31

Cleveland Browns

13

32

San Francisco 49ers

8