Cleat Geeks

2016 Fantasy Football D/ST Projections (20-11)

20. ChicagoBears_logoChicago Bears – The Bears defense struggled last season and it was more than evident in their fantasy numbers. This off-season, they made a great amount of moves that should improve their defense dramatically. Starting off by signing LB Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman, both veterans who will take the reins of this defense. With their first pick in the draft, the Bears selected DE Leonard Floyd out of Georgia who will improve the pass rush from the edge, something that the Bears struggled with last season. Look for these 3 major additions to raise the Bears’ fantasy score from an abysmal 65 in 2015.

19. Indianapolis Colts – Led by CB Vontae Davis, the Colts’ defense struggled last season, just as the offense had. What was ultimately a season to forget, the Colts move into 2016 looking for a fresh start. However, before they even begin, they must get defensive linemen Art Jones and Henry Anderson back from off-season surgery. I’m not so sure the Colts will find their fresh start.JagsCenterPicture

18. Jacksonville Jaguars – Yes, they allowed 28 PPG last year. Yes, this team finished with only 5 wins. Brighter days are ahead in Jacksonville, though. Dante Fowler Jr. returns to the team after missing all of 2015 with a torn ACL. The team drafted 6 defensive players with their 7 picks this year, selecting the top CB Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack who was one of the best LB in the draft and should’ve been a first round pick. This team is young and hungry to win after a disappointing season. The pieces are coming together and the Jags will begin their climb towards the an over .500 record.

17. Baltimore Ravens – Not too long ago, this team possessed the most feared defense in the league. 2015 proved that times have changed in Baltimore, but 2016 may be a brighter future. While just making the top half of the league in rankings, Baltimore may use a good amount of the 6 defensive players that they drafted this year. While this may be a long shot for a team that won only 5 games last year, they have the potential with those draft picks and Pro-Bowler safety Eric Weddle being added to the mix.

OaklandRaidersLogo16. Oakland Raiders – Focused around the young and overwhelming Khalil Mack, this defense is up and coming, looking to make a big jump in 2016. After allowing nearly 25 PPG last year (scoring 17th most fantasy points), improvements are obviously needed. The team addressed these issues by selecting 3 straight defensive players in the draft (Karl Joseph, Jihad Ward, Shilique Calhoun). Joseph figures to replace Charles Woodson who retired this past year.

15. Washington Redskins – The Redskins’ defense has a new leader and his name is Josh Norman. After a mediocre, middle-of-the-pack 2015 campaign, Washington is set to improve with the addition of one of the best corners in the league, Josh Norman. With an offense that’s slowly putting the pieces together, expect the defense to be in stride.

14. Los Angeles Rams – The newest addition to the plethora of West Coast professional teams, the Rams have lost 4/11 starters from the 2015 Week 1 depth chart, including veteran Nick Fairly. The team did little to nothing in the draft, focusing mainly on bringing in more offensive talent. Even so, Robert Quinn returns to the team as a threat to all QB’s.

13. Green Bay Packers – A team that surprised many by not winning the Division Title, the Pack move into 2016 with a vengeance. 29-year-old Clay Matthews is now a seasoned veteran who controls the defense that added Kenny Clark, a defensive tackle out of UCLA with their first pick in the draft. Last year’s first round pick, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix looks to make a large stride in his sophomore season after a seemingly disappointing freshman campaign. Even with a down season, Green Bay allowed the 12th fewest PPG last season and will be hungry to crack the top 10.green_bay_packers_logo

12. Pittsburgh Steelers – Finishing the season as the #8 ranked defensive by fantasy numbers, the Steelers added 3 young defensive players in this year’s draft with their first three picks. One could make the argument that this was simply due to the offense already being high-powered, but regardless, the Steelers are looking to improve even more defensively in 2016.

11. Buffalo Bills – When Rex Ryan is your head coach, defense becomes a priority. Last season was a semi successful one for the Bills, allowing 22.4 PPG which ranked 15th in the NFL. With the addition of Shaq Lawson from Clemson at DE and Reggie Ragland at LB out of Alabama, I expect this defense to improve. With the #1 rushing offense last season, the Bills control the tempo, keeping their defense off the field as long as possible. Look for that trend to continue and for this defense to improve in 2016.

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