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Fantasy football rankings, rest of season: Defense/special teams

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Ranking fantasy defenses can be a test in "what the heck do you want?" Our rankers all wanted somewhat different things. Together, we all wanted the best for you. We're very nice.

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In our consensus rest-of-season rankings at the other fantasy positions, the four rankers basically agreed. There would be some interlopers, but in general we all had the same guys in the same basic tiers. Once we all got to defenses, though, all bets were off.

My No. 1 rest-of-season fantasy defense is Miami; another ranker had the Dolphins 16th. Denver was second for someone, but that's ninth for me, 18th elsewhere. I ranked Houston 10th, while they weren't even in someone's top 25.

This isn't to say we don't know what we're doing. I know that I'm studying this nonsense we watch far too often (just ask my girlfriend), and my fellow rankers likely do the same. It's just that there are so many variables in the play of fantasy defenses, and that's all before you even consider the "special teams" half of the equation.

How much do you weigh the chance to play Jacksonville? For reference, the Jaguars have yet to hold a fantasy defense to fewer than seven points. What about Denver? The Broncos are the only team in the NFL that hasn't allowed a 10-point fantasy day against them.

It's defenses; is the mere guarantee of a positive point total enough? In that case, you want Kansas City or Baltimore, the league's only units with a positive point total every game. Or do you want the highest possible score? Atlanta, Arizona and New England have the best fantasy defense scores. Total points? It's Miami and Philadelphia. Most consistently decent? That's Buffalo or Seattle.

All I know is no one should use Oakland. The Raiders have a combined 18 fantasy points for the season.

I don't know that there is one single way to choose a fantasy defense. I have my way, and so do Dan, John and Scott. Maybe the way is to look at all our ways together?

Defense/special teams rankings, rest of season

(DK: Daniel Kelley; DC: Dan Ciarrocchi; JD: John Daigle; SK: Scott Kaliska)

Rank Consensus DK DC JD SK
1 Detroit Lions 2 1 1 1
2 Arizona Cardinals 5 2 3 11
3 Seattle Seahawks 4 4 6 8
4 Green Bay Packers 7 12 7 2
5 Philadelphia Eagles 3 11 8 6
6 New England Patriots 6 10 9 5
7 Miami Dolphins 1 9 5 16
8 Denver Broncos 9 3 2 18
9 San Francisco 49ers 8 7 4 20
10 Baltimore Ravens 12 6 12 9
11 Buffalo Bills 18 5 13 4
12 Houston Texans 10 8 -- 7
13 Minnesota Vikings 13 20 19 3
14 Kansas City Chiefs 20 13 10 12
15 St. Louis Rams 15 17 15 14
16 Tennessee Titans 11 18 22 13
17 Indianapolis Colts 17 14 17 17
18 Cleveland Browns 16 15 16 21
19 Cincinnati Bengals 25 16 11 19
20 New York Giants -- 25 18 10
21 Dallas Cowboys -- 19 14 --
22 Pittsburgh Steelers 14 21 24 --
23 Chicago Bears 22 -- -- 15
24 Carolina Panthers 19 24 21 --
25 San Diego Chargers -- 22 25 22
-- New York Jets 21 -- -- 24
-- Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- -- 20 --
-- Jacksonville Jaguars 23 -- -- 23
-- New Orleans Saints 24 23 -- --
-- Oakland Raiders -- -- 23 --
-- Washington -- -- -- 25

★★★

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