I've been stressing this point for a couple of weeks, but the success of the average defense/special teams unit in fantasy this season just doesn't compare to what it was a year ago.
This time last season, the' and ' D/STs were on record-setting paces, and 10 units had put up at least 50 fantasy points. This season, sure, the are doing well (though no one is even close to last year's Chiefs), but exactly four units have 50-plus points. Last year's first-place team had 36 more fantasy points than this year's. No. 16 is 12 ahead; No. 25, too. Literally the only spot in the rankings where this year's team outscores last year's is No. 32, where last year's couldn't get out of their own way.
|Rank||2013 score||2014 score||Difference|
On average, based on the spot in the rankings, this year's fantasy D/ST is 9.38 points worse than the equivalent unit last year.
For fantasy, it means there are, right now, no units that absolutely have to be held. Sure, if you want to argue Seattle -- the Seahawks have played Green Bay, San Diego, Denver, Washington and Dallas so far, which is a stout group of offenses -- is a must-hold, I wouldn't really argue. But beyond that, you should be willing to drop any and every defense you have if there's something out there that can help you. Don't drop a skill player who could help you in order to hold, for example, Philadelphia's defense, which is on its bye this week. And that's the league's best fantasy defense so far.
It's a fantasy defense. It's droppable. Don't stress over it. But it does mean weekly rankings become even more important, because it's like a weekly redraft. So, to the rankings:
Defense/special teams rankings, Week 7
(DK: Daniel Kelley; DC: Dan Ciarrocchi; JD: John Daigle; SK: Scott Kaliska)
|2||New England Patriots||NYJ||3||2||1||1|
|8||San Diego Chargers||KAN||5||8||10||6|
|16||Green Bay Packers||CAR||16||12||25||12|
|17||San Francisco 49ers||@DEN||18||20||16||19|
|18||New York Giants||@DAL||21||14||19||20|
|23||Kansas City Chiefs||@SD||22||23||11||--|
|25||St. Louis Rams||SEA||20||24||14||25|
|--||New Orleans Saints||@DET||24||--||24||24|