It's been a minute but i'm back and i'm ready to talk defense. In past years (and even this year) you definitely have a guy or guys in your league that either takes a defense in the second to last or last round because they figure they can just get through the year picking up a new defense every week. I'm not down with that. Last year in standard scoring leagues the Chicago Bears defense outscored a lot of guys you would consider "studs." Some of those names include Reggie Wayne, Frank Gore, Matt Forte, and Victor Cruz. Still think drafting an elite D is a joke? Chicago was the best fantasy defense at the end of last year, I don't think they'll be the top dog this season and that is why i'm going to give you some reasons why you should be targeting Seattle's defense.
Seattle's defense finished last year (going off standard scoring) second among the defenses and the scary thing for any opposing offense is Seattle got better in the off season. With some key additions and the fact that Seattle has one of the toughest buildings in the NFL to play in make Seattle's defense my top dog and here are some reasons why you should draft Seattle's team defense.
Cliff Avril - Seattle ranked 18th in the league last year with 36.0 sacks. It was obvious that Pete Carroll wanted to go out and get someone that would have immediate impact on their pass rush. Enter former Lion Cliff Avril. Avril had 11.0 sacks for the Lions in 2011 and 9.5 sacks in 2012. Avril is a known big hitter and also added 4 stuffs for 40 yards last season (Ranked 10th in the NFL). Coming in from the DE position Avril definitely can cause the QB to start hearing footsteps which leads to bad decisions which leads to INT's and defensive touchdowns (and that's what it's all about).
Secondary - Seattle finished ranked 8th in the NFL with 18 INT's and I only think that number will be going up. We just talked about the improved pass rush which is key to INT's but what is really essential to Seattle's success is going to be their two big boy corners Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner. Sherman has been running his mouth to anyone with ears that he is going to set records and prove to the world he is the best corner in the world. Word is out about Sherman's abilities to go up and steal one so I wouldn't be surprised if teams tried to go to the other side of the field more this year....only one problem Browner is very good. At 6'4" 221 Browner can be very physical with a team's #2 WR. So not only are those two good the Seahawks went out and acquired Antoine Winfield. That is a stacked secondary. If someone does get past the corners they get to run into two elite safeties as well (I know it doesn't seem fair) in Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. Bottom line INT's lead to touchdowns which equals defensive points.
Home Field Advantage - The 12th man in Seattle is loud and nasty. No one walks into Seattle and expects an easy game. It seems like the Seahawks feed off the energy of the crowd and up their game. Seattle only allowed an average of 15.3 pt/g and a huge part of that is because they were shutting teams down at home.
So now you are wondering, "Matt, you sold me, but when should I go after a top tier D in my draft?" Great question glad you asked. Right now I've seen Seattle's defense go has high as 6.12 and as low as 10.05. Seattle's ADP as of today is 8.10 and I believe that is pretty spot on. You don't want to reach but you also can't be scarred to be the first one in your league to draft a defense....pull the trigger after you have filled QB, RB, WR and at least one TE (click on a position to see rankings and strategies).
Some IDP guys you want to look at off of Seattle's defense are:
LB - Bobby Wagner and K. J. Wright
CB - Richard Sherman, Antoine Winfield and sleeper in Brandon Browner
DE - Cliff Avril
S - Kam Chancellor
Looking forward to another outstanding year of fantasy football. Feel free to ask your team defense and IDP questions in the forum (members only)