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2011 NFL Fantasy Football Rankings: Top Defenses Include Green Bay, New York Jets

GREEN BAY, WI - FILE: Nick Barnett #56 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates a defensive stop against Marshawn Lynch #23 of the Buffalo Bills at Lambeau Field on September 19, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. According to reports on July 31, 2011 Barnett will sign with the Buffalo Bills for three years and $12 million. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

With NFL football back in action, that means fantasy football is about to begin. SB Nation provides you rankings for each fantasy position, including this ranking of defense.

[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]

Article re-printed by permission of SB Nation fantasy blog, Fake Teams. Visit them for all your fantasy sports needs.

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.

Tier 1

1. Green Bay Packers

Green Bay is the best because of strategy and personnel.

2. New York Jets

The Jets are very strong against the run.

Tier 2

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh is a dominating defense.

4. New England Patriots

The Patriots led the AFC in takeaways.

5. Chicago Bears

Chicago is a great combination of defense and special teams.

6. New York Giants

The Giants led the league in fumble recoveries with 23.

Tier 3

7. Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore ranked near the bottom of the league in sacks in 2010.

8. Detroit Lions

The Lions should continue to bring heat to opposing quarterbacks.

9. Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia is good for both defense and special teams.

10. New Orleans Saints

The Saints ranked in the bottom half of the league for sacks.

11. San Diego Chargers

San Diego ranked first in overall defense in 2010.

12. Kansas City Chiefs

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.

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay is a young defense that is improving.

Tier 4

16. St. Louis Rams

The Rams face some weaker offenses in the NFC West.

17. San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco can be beaten deep.

18. Arizona Cardinals

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.

23. Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota's defense has many big question marks.

24. Carolina Panthers

The Panthers are a merely average defense.

25. Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati's defense has a lot of upside.

26. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are super-vulnerable against the run.

27. Washington Redskins

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.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars

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.  

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