Selecting a good defense is an underrated part of fantasy football. If you end up with a solid defensive unit that you can ride with the entire season, that’s an unexpected source of points that other teams in your fantasy leagues may not have.
It’s important to remember that predicting defensive success in fantasy football is a very tough thing to do. Much of it is dependent on weekly matchups, as you aren’t going to want to play a defense that is going against the top offense in the league. You also can’t really predict when a defense is going to score a touchdown, because plays like that are very fickle.
For part 1 of our fantasy football primer, listen below:
Still, knowing which defensive units are among the best of the bunch is important, and can give fantasy owners a leg up on their competition. Let’s rank our ten top fantasy football defenses and see which units are worth taking at the end of your drafts.
Top 10 Fantasy Football Defenses in 2022, ranked
10. Patriots D/ST
The New England Patriots rode a hot start to the 2021 season to finish as the second best defense last season. They underwent a lot of turnover this offseason, though, losing star players like J.C. Jackson and Dont’a Hightower. There are still a lot of solid players on this defense, and with Bill Belichick leading the way, New England isn’t going to field a bad defense.
9. Cowboys D/ST
The only team whose defense scored more fantasy points than the Patriots last season was the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have a lot of top tier talent in players like DeMarcus Lawrence, Micah Parsons, and Trevon Diggs, but their depth is a bit lacking. Dallas will definitely regress this season, but they still have top talent that will feast on weaker matchups.
8. Rams D/ST
The Los Angeles Rams also have a lot of talent, but questionable depth, on their defense. Aaron Donald is a one-man wrecking crew, Jalen Ramsey is arguably the best cornerback in the league, and Bobby Wagner will be a huge piece of L.A.’s linebacker linebacker corps. The Rams depth behind these guys is iffy, but they always seem to find a way to build a dominant defense.
7. Ravens D/ST
The pieces are in place for the Baltimore Ravens to have a sneaky good defense in 2022. They have one of the best secondaries in the league, and if Calais Campbell can have a bounce back campaign, Baltimore will be in a really good spot defensively. Their front seven has some question marks, but if things break their way, Baltimore is easily a top five defensive team.
6. 49ers D/ST
The San Francisco 49ers have a ton of talent on their defense, specifically their front seven. Nick Bosa and Fred Wagner are among the top players in their position groups, and opposing offensive lines are going to be in a lot of trouble when they run into San Francisco. Their secondary is their biggest weakness, and it bears more attention given all the injuries they have suffered there during training camp.
5. Colts D/ST
The Indianapolis Colts surprisingly had one of the better defenses in the NFL last season, and that should be the case again in 2022. Shaquille Leonard will lead the way at the center of an extremely deep defense that seems poised to make some noise for fantasy owners again this season.
4. Packers D/ST
The Green Bay Packers are going to rely heavily on their defense in 2022 given their lack of playmaking talent on offense for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The good news is this is probably their best defense in years. They have a ton of talent at each level of defense, and that should make it tough for opposing offenses to get much going against them on a weekly basis.
3. Saints D/ST
The New Orleans Saints made some solid upgrades on defense this offseason, and they should be one of the most productive defensive units in fantasy as a result. With star players such as Marshon Lattimore, Demario Davis, and Cameron Jordan leading the way, New Orleans’ defense seems poised to be one of the top defenses available on draft day for fantasy owners.
2. Buccaneers D/ST
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did a lot of work to keep their defense in place this offseason, and they enter the 2022 season with one of the best units in the league. They had a bit of a down year in 2021 at times, but the Bucs defense seems ready to bounce back this upcoming season, which is a frightening thought for opposing offenses.
1. Bills D/ST
The Buffalo Bills were the fourth best fantasy defense last season despite being the highest ranked defense in the NFL, but they seem poised to translate their success to the fantasy realm in 2022. They have the deepest defense in the NFL, and with Von Miller spearheading their pass-rushing efforts, the Bills no longer have a true defensive weakness, making them the clear cut top fantasy football defense in 2022.