[Ed Note] Football is back, and that means fantasy football is back. Our friends over SB Nation's fantasy blog, Fake Teams, has provided us with fantasy football rankings for each position in anticipation of your draft. [End Note]
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When you're looking for a great fantasy defense, you want to look for two things: defensive scheme and schedule. With schemes, teams that feature the blitz do two things, get to the quarterback and force turnovers. Other teams have success because of who they are scheduled against. The Giants were able to get 10 of their 46 sacks in one game against Chicago. Pittsburgh and Baltimore get to face Cincinnati twice a season. Of course, defenses usually do not start getting drafted until later and even if you don't get one of the top 5 or 10 it's no worries. Just pair two defenses together and start the one with the better matchup each week.
Green Bay is the best because of strategy and personnel.
The Jets are very strong against the run.
Pittsburgh is a dominating defense.
The Patriots led the AFC in takeaways.
Chicago is a great combination of defense and special teams.
The Giants led the league in fumble recoveries with 23.
Baltimore ranked near the bottom of the league in sacks in 2010.
The Lions should continue to bring heat to opposing quarterbacks.
Philadelphia is good for both defense and special teams.
The Saints ranked in the bottom half of the league for sacks.
San Diego ranked first in overall defense in 2010.
The Chiefs are a young defense with an explosive return game.
13. Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta ranked fifth in points allowed in 2010.
14. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have solid special teams but the defense needs a quick turnaround.
Tampa Bay is a young defense that is improving.
16. St. Louis Rams
The Rams face some weaker offenses in the NFC West.
San Francisco can be beaten deep.
The Cardinals secondary is the strength of the defense.
19. Cleveland Browns
Cleveland finished fourth in pass defense in 2010.
20. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins finished sixth in total defense in 2010.
21. Oakland Raiders
Oakland's pass defense ranked second in the league in 2010.
22. Tennessee Titans
The Titans will bring a lot of pressure.
Minnesota's defense has many big question marks.
The Panthers are a merely average defense.
Cincinnati's defense has a lot of upside.
The Colts are super-vulnerable against the run.
Washington has too many question marks on defense.
28. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks problems are in the secondary.
29. Buffalo Bills
Buffalo ranked last in rush defense in 2010.
The Jaguars have no pressure up front.
31. Denver Broncos
Denver ranked last in defense in 2010.
32. Houston Texans
The Texans defense is a big gamble.