2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Defenses


These 2014 Fantasy Football Defense Rankings will be updated often throughout the summer, so make sure you check back from time to time. Also, be sure to check out my other 2014 Fantasy Football articles, including sleepers, busts, tons of 2014 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

Updated 6/3


I don’t believe in drafting fantasy defenses until the final couple of rounds. Someone always reaches for a defense way too early in every fantasy draft. I prefer to grab as many running backs and receivers as possible, and then wait on a defense in the final round. I then play matchups with my defenses. I’ll explain this later, but here are my brief 2014 fantasy defense rankings, which will be much different than most publications because of my matchup strategy:

  1. San Francisco 49ers. Bye: 8.
  2. St. Louis Rams. Bye: 4. (Vikings Week 1)
  3. Arizona Cardinals. Bye: 4.
  4. Seattle Seahawks. Bye: 4.
  5. Philadelphia Eagles. Bye: 7. (Jaguars Week 1)
  6. Cincinnati Bengals. Bye: 4.
  7. Pittsburgh Steelers. Bye: 12. (Browns Week 1)
  8. Carolina Panthers. Bye: 12.
  9. Baltimore Ravens. Bye: 11.
  10. Green Bay Packers. Bye: 9.



  11. Kansas City Chiefs. Bye: 6.
  12. New York Jets. Bye: 11.
  13. San Diego Chargers. Bye: 10.
  14. Minnesota Vikings. Bye: 10.
  15. Cleveland Browns. Bye: 4.
  16. Houston Texans. Bye: 10.
  17. Detroit Lions. Bye: 9.
  18. Tennessee Titans. Bye: 9.
  19. New Orleans Saints. Bye: 6.
  20. Oakland Raiders. Bye: 5. (Jets Week 1)
  21. Buffalo Bills. Bye: 9.
  22. Denver Broncos. Bye: 4.
  23. New England Patriots. Bye: 10.



  24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bye: 7.
  25. Washington Redskins. Bye: 10.
  26. New York Giants. Bye: 8.
  27. Miami Dolphins. Bye: 5.
  28. Chicago Bears. Bye: 9.
  29. Atlanta Falcons. Bye: 9.
  30. Jacksonville Jaguars. Bye: 11.
  31. Indianapolis Colts. Bye: 10.
  32. Dallas Cowboys. Bye: 11.


Rotating Fantasy Football Defenses:

As I said, I love to rotate fantasy defenses based on matchups. I’ve identified several teams as having probable crappy offenses that you can go against (note that this list will change after the 2014 NFL Draft:


Terrible Offenses:

  • Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles is a rookie. Chad Henne isn’t any good. The Jaguars will be a nice play-against all year.

  • New York Jets – Geno Smith is so unbelievably inconsistent, and the other quarterback is a turnover machine.

  • Oakland Raiders – Offensive coordinator Greg Olson can only do so much. Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin aren’t very good, and neither is Derek Carr.




    Bad Offenses:

  • Buffalo Bills – I don’t trust E.J. Manuel very much, especially on the road.

  • Cleveland Browns – The Browns have no receivers.

  • Houston Texans – The Texans will be starting Ryan Fitzpatrick or Tom Savage. Three things help, however: Arian Foster, Andre Johnson and Bill O’Brien.

  • Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings have said they won’t throw Teddy Bridgewater into the fire.

  • New York Giants – Eli Manning was turnover machine last year. That may not change as he continues to approach his mid-30s.

    That’s just a preliminary list. If a quarterback goes down and his backup sucks, that team will obviously be added. I’ll rank all the fantasy defenses each week during the regular season, so make sure you check back for that.

    It’s also worth noting that you can luck into landing a great defense using this strategy. Three years ago in one league, I picked up the 49ers early because they had a matchup versus rookie quarterback Andy Dalton. They were doing so well that I just decided to keep them, but always signed another defense if San Francisco matched up against a potent offense.





    More 2014 Fantasy Football Articles:
    Fantasy Football Rankings

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    2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs - 9/3 (Walt)
    2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers - 9/3 (Walt)
    2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends - 8/27 (Walt)
    2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Defenses - 6/4 (Walt)
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