Cleat Geeks

2016 Fantasy Football D/ST Projections (10-1)

10. New England Patriots – Allowing only 19.7 PPG last year, NE looks to keep that number under 20 once again. The Patriots drafted CB Cyrus Jones out of Alabama with their first round pick, a school that is known for producing NFL-ready talent on the defensive side of the ball. Expect him to make an immediate impact in the passing game.new_england_patriots_logo_detail

9. New York Jets – In this year’s draft, the Jets drafted 2 OLB’s in their first 3 picks, including Derron Lee out of Ohio State who managed to slide somewhat late in the first round. Look for Muhammad Wilkerson to shine, hoping to get paid.

cincinnati-bengals-logo8. Cincinnati Bengals – Moving up from #9 last year, Cincy added a 1st round CB in William Jackson out of Houston to counter the increasing passing trend. This defense is led by DE Carlos Dunlap who said he’ll rack up 23 sacks this year – QB’s beware, he’s hungry.

7. Minnesota Vikings – Although playing in the Minnesota cold last year may have slowed teams down offensively, this defensive is undeniably talented. Led by Harrison Smith at the safety position, expect another top 10 finish even in the new and improved dome that they will be playing in for the 2016 season.

6. Houston Texans – As long as JJ Watt is leading this defense, they’ll be producing. Besides the best defensive player in the league, this team also has Jadeveon Clowney at DE who is looking for a fresh start with the 2016 season approaching. With two stud athletes to man the end positions, teams will have trouble running outside and keeping their quarterback safe. Sacks will be in abundance.

5. Kansas City Chiefs – The #2 scoring defense in fantasy last year, it’s hard to keep this team out of the top 5. With returning veterans such as Tamba Hali and Eric Berry and now a sophomore sensation in Marcus Peters, this defense remains extremely dangerous. Expect LOTS of turnovers being produced from this bunch.ChiefsLogo

4. Carolina Panthers – Luke Keuchly may be the best linebacker in the NFL, but with the departure of Josh Norman, this defense has taken a hit. Yes, they drafted 3 CB this year (on 3 consecutive picks) so the hope is that one of them can maybe, somehow fill Norman’s shoes. I don’t see it happening right away as it usually takes a few years for such a demanding position to really come along. However, the rest of the defense proves to still be outstanding. They’ll be back in the Super Bowl hunt.

ArizonaCardinalsLogoGold3. Arizona Cardinals – A 13-win team in 2015, Arizona is set for another run at a Division Title. The Cardinals will have Tyrann Mathieu back from a season ending injury to kick off the year, as well as Robert Nkemdiche, the impressive DT that Arizona selected in the 1st round out of Ole Miss. The team also took a CB in the 2nd round in Brandon Williams, possible to move Mathieu back to his normal position of safety more often. Look for this defense to partner well with their high-powered offense.

2. Seattle Seahawks – One of the most feared defenses in the league, Seattle drafted two defensive tackles this year in order to beef up their front 7. Whether or not that young talent will prove to work in the system is yet to be seen, but regardless, the Legion of Boom is back for another year in Seattle. INT’s in a pass heavy league can be expected from this bunch.

1. Denver Broncos – The #1 scoring defense in fantasy last year returns poised to have another solid season. With defensive backs that compare to the Legion of boom and one of the best linebackers in the game in Von Miller, this defense can keep a questionable offensive scheme in any ball game. Because of the uncertainty at QB, expect this defense to step up and remain at the top of the fantasy charts for the 2016 season.

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