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Fantasy Football Player Notes

2023 Draft Rankings

San Francisco 49ers Note
San Francisco 49ers photo 1. San Francisco 49ers SF (vs . LAR)
Arguably the NFL's best real-life defense, the 49ers DST was awesome in 2022. They finished 3rd overall in points scored and in takeaways per game. Even with the loss of DC DeMeco Ryans, I don't think this unit takes a step back based on their personnel. If anything their strengths as a top-end run-stuffing defense will force teams to air the ball out, leading to more sacks/turnovers etc. The schedule is also very favorable to open the year with matchups at Pittsburgh, at the Rams, home versus the Giants and home versus the Cardinals.
5 weeks ago
Dallas Cowboys Note
Dallas Cowboys photo 2. Dallas Cowboys DAL (at WAS)
The Dallas DST finished second in fantasy points last season, and there's no reason to expect nothing less than a top-3 finish in 2023. They finished second in pressure rate, first in total pressures and first in takeaways. They are a unit that loves to create havoc, and they will continue to do so with elite defenders like Micah Parsons. The schedule to open the year is also amazing, making them a unit you can have confidence drafting from the get-go. First 5 games: Giants, Jets, Cardinals, Patriots and 49ers.
5 weeks ago
Philadelphia Eagles Note
Philadelphia Eagles photo 3. Philadelphia Eagles PHI (at NYG)
This defense is stacked across the board after adding more elite Georgia talent in this year's draft. They finished as fantasy 5th-best DST in 2022, and there's no reason to think they won't run back another top-5 finish. Although they will likely experience some regression after generating an absurd 70 sacks. Simply put, they are a solid DST to draft but not worth overpaying for in any capacity.
5 weeks ago
Buffalo Bills Note
Buffalo Bills photo 4. Buffalo Bills BUF (at MIA)
Per FantasyPros' strength of schedule tool, the Bills are tied with two other teams (Bears, 49ers) with the No. 1 most difficult schedule for fantasy DSTs. So, 2022's No.4 scoring DST might not be a team you tie your defensive wagon to for the entire season. However, their opening schedule is too juicy to pass on even as a consensus top-5 ranked DST. At Jets, home versus Las Vegas and home versus Washington are their first three opponents.
5 weeks ago
New York Jets Note
New York Jets photo 5. New York Jets NYJ (at NE)
New York had a great real-life defense last year, but it only translated to the 10th-best scoring unit in fantasy football. I would have some concerns drafting them too aggressively in 2022, knowing that they will face the league's toughest schedule to start through the first six weeks of the season. Opening the year against a motivated Bills offense is not a recipe for fantasy success.
5 weeks ago
New England Patriots Note
New England Patriots photo 6. New England Patriots NE (vs . NYJ)
New England was fantasy football's No. 1 DST last season, but there is strong evidence that they are overvalued as the DST4 in 2023. Their schedule is BRUTAL. The Patriots have the toughest schedule based on Vegas' forecasted win totals. It's a tough scene for the once every-year AFC East champions, that find themselves at the bottom looking up at the rest of their division. Things start tough right off the bat, with a home opener versus the Eagles, followed by matchups versus the Dolphins (primetime) and Aaron Rodgers-led Jets in New York. They close the first month of the year in Dallas. Woof.
5 weeks ago
Baltimore Ravens Note
Baltimore Ravens photo 7. Baltimore Ravens BAL (vs . PIT)
The schedule is so important when it comes to DSTs in fantasy football. Drafting a team with a solid Week 1 matchup is critical to success. Look no further than the Baltimore Ravens who will take on a Houston Texans team at home in the season opener. Current betting odds have Baltimore as the heaviest Week 1 favorites (-9.5).
5 weeks ago
Pittsburgh Steelers Note
Pittsburgh Steelers photo 8. Pittsburgh Steelers PIT (at BAL)
Pittsburgh had a rare down year in 2022, finishing 19th in scoring among DSTs. T.J. Watt missed a large chunk of the season, and it hurt them dramatically. But with him back in the fold along with additional improvements in the secondary, I'd anticipate a major return to form for the Steel Curtain. They open the year as home underdogs to a 49ers team that still doesn't know who their starting QB will be. After that they play Cleveland at home. Then they hit the road versus LV/HOU. Solid opening stretch.
5 weeks ago
New Orleans Saints Note
New Orleans Saints photo 9. New Orleans Saints NO (vs . ATL)
The New Orleans Saints have the easiest schedule based on Vegas' forecasted win totals. And when it comes to the start of the schedule, no team has it easier over the first six weeks. The first six matchups are the Titans, Panthers, Packers, Buccaneers, Patriots and Texans. The soft on paper matchups are extremely soft for their DST to well out perform their draft day price tag (free). Also works favorable in the Saints' favor that they ranked so poorly in interceptions (7, 30th) in 2022. Hardly aligns with how well they generated pressure (4th in pressure rate). Only the Panthers dropped more INTs than the Saints did last season. Positive regression is coming.
5 weeks ago
Denver Broncos Note
Denver Broncos photo 10. Denver Broncos DEN (at LV)
Denver boasted one of the league's best real-life defenses in 2022 but were sadly let down by their offense to allow them to accumulate points for fantasy football. They ended the year as the No. 28 DST, a far cry from their DVOA ranking at 10th overall. But with Sean Payton taking over as head coach, we should expect a major bounce-back effort from this defensive special teams unit. They were just one of 4 teams to fail to score a defensive TD, which is likely just bad variance. Buy back into Denver knowing they open the year with a very juicy schedule at home: Raiders and Commanders.
5 weeks ago
Kansas City Chiefs Note
Kansas City Chiefs photo 11. Kansas City Chiefs KC (at LAC)
The KC DST finished 8th in fantasy points last season, as playing with leads allowed them to rack up sacks and pressures in a hurry. Only Dallas generated more pressure overall than the Chiefs, as the latter finished with the league's 5th-highest pressure rate. Expect more of the same with this defense in 2023, that will benefit from playing ahead in the majority of their contests.
5 weeks ago
Miami Dolphins Note
Miami Dolphins photo 12. Miami Dolphins MIA (vs . BUF)
Miami's defense could be scary good in 2023. Key additions such as defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, cornerback Jalen Ramsey have joined a unit that already has Christian Wilkins, Jaelan Phillips, Bradley Chubb and Xavien Howard. The schedule isn't ideal open the year (at LAC), but a potential shootout could result in a lot of turnover opportunities for this talented unit. This team ranked 29th in takeaways a season ago...a number that should regress in their favor this season.
5 weeks ago
Cleveland Browns Note
Cleveland Browns photo 13. Cleveland Browns CLE (at CIN)
Washington Commanders Note
Washington Commanders photo 14. Washington Commanders WAS (vs . DAL)
Washington opens the year versus the Arizona Cardinals and whoever they have at starting at quarterback. That warrants drafting Washington as a cheap DST with your final pick, if you miss out on your top-tier options. They are projected as the No. 1 DST for Week 1. It also helps that the Commanders' boast one of the fiercest defensive lines - 3rd per PFF entering 2023 - and a secondary that looks improved from last year.
4 weeks ago
Cincinnati Bengals Note
Cincinnati Bengals photo 15. Cincinnati Bengals CIN (vs . CLE)
Green Bay Packers Note
Green Bay Packers photo 16. Green Bay Packers GB (vs . CHI)
Los Angeles Chargers Note
Los Angeles Chargers photo 17. Los Angeles Chargers LAC (vs . KC)
Jacksonville Jaguars Note
Jacksonville Jaguars photo 18. Jacksonville Jaguars JAC (at TEN)
Per FantasyPros' strength of schedule tool, the Jaguars are tied with three other teams (Titans, Browns, Falcons) with the No. 1 SOS for fantasy DSTs. As heavy favorites to win the AFC South, expect the Jaguars to play with leads and generate turnovers as teams try to climb back in games. Keep in mind that last year, they were the 6th-highest scoring DST after finishing 3rd in total pressures. They are a perfect streaming option in Week 1, as they take on the Indianapolis Colts on the road. Jacksonville ranked third in points scored from Week 9 onward last season.
5 weeks ago
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Note
Tampa Bay Buccaneers photo 19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers TB (at CAR)
Seattle Seahawks Note
Seattle Seahawks photo 20. Seattle Seahawks SEA (at ARI)
Indianapolis Colts Note
Indianapolis Colts photo 21. Indianapolis Colts IND (vs . HOU)
Carolina Panthers Note
Carolina Panthers photo 22. Carolina Panthers CAR (vs . TB)
Tennessee Titans Note
Tennessee Titans photo 23. Tennessee Titans TEN (vs . JAC)
New York Giants Note
New York Giants photo 24. New York Giants NYG (vs . PHI)
Detroit Lions Note
Detroit Lions photo 25. Detroit Lions DET (vs . MIN)
Los Angeles Rams Note
Los Angeles Rams photo 26. Los Angeles Rams LAR (at SF)
Minnesota Vikings Note
Minnesota Vikings photo 27. Minnesota Vikings MIN (at DET)
Atlanta Falcons Note
Atlanta Falcons photo 28. Atlanta Falcons ATL (at NO)
Arizona Cardinals Note
Arizona Cardinals photo 29. Arizona Cardinals ARI (vs . SEA)
Houston Texans Note
Houston Texans photo 30. Houston Texans HOU (at IND)
Chicago Bears Note
Chicago Bears photo 31. Chicago Bears CHI (at GB)
Las Vegas Raiders Note
Las Vegas Raiders photo 32. Las Vegas Raiders LV (vs . DEN)