NFL Fantasy Rankings: Top 10 Defenses Heading into NFL Training Camp

By Leo Abbe-Schneider
Chicago Bears v San Francisco 49ers
Chicago Bears v San Francisco 49ers / Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With NFL Training Camps set to start toward the end of the month, The Duel will come out with Fantasy Football Rankings for each of the six core positions – QB, RB, WR, TE, K and DEF – leading up to the NFL's 100th season.

Fantasy drafts are right around the corner, and you don't want to be the guy in your league who reaches on a defense. With that in mind, here's a list of the top-10 fantasy football defenses for the 2019 NFL season.

The staff of The Duel ranked the top 15 fantasy D/STs for the 2019 NFL season. These top 10 are based off the average score of those rankings.

10. New Orleans Saints

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The Saints crack the top-10 fantasy defenses in large part due to their talented, young corps that should continue to improve in 2019. Marshon Lattimore is entering his third season as one of the best young cornerbacks in the league. Additionally, outside linebacker, Junior Gallette, is one of the most underrated players in football.

9. Denver Broncos

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Von Miller's high sack count could be enough to make the Denver Broncos a viable defense next year. Bradley Chubb (12 sacks in 2018) could also take a step forward in his second season, which could give Denver a fearsome pass-rushing duo. The added advantage of playing their home games at a high altitude is a bonus.

8. Cleveland Browns

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Similar to the Broncos, Myles Garrett's unique ability to get after the quarterback should help Cleveland's fantasy scoring. The addition of Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson could also pay dividends for the Browns' defense.

7. Los Angeles Rams

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Not only did the Los Angeles Rams have the 2018 NFL Defensive Player of the Year in Aaron Donald, but they also had the second-best fantasy football defense a season ago. With Wade Phillips still calling the shots, the Rams are poised to have similar success in 2019, even without DT Ndamukong Suh.

6. Houston Texans

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The Houston Texans had the third best fantasy D/ST last season, averaging 9.25 points per game. Their defensive line is perhaps the best in the NFL when fully healthy, as it features J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.

5. Baltimore Ravens

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Jon Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens were once again in the top five for fantasy defenses in 2018. The team averaged 8.25 points per game, good for fifth in the league. Additionally, with Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram leading the way, the Ravens should be able to pound the rock and keep their defense off the field.

4. Minnesota Vikings

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The Minnesota Vikings' defense should be solid once again this season after finishing last season as fantasy football's seventh-highest scoring D/ST. Minnesota finished last year tied for third in the league in sacks (50), and look poised for another solid campaign.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars

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The Jaguars disappointed fantasy owners last season after entering the year as the consensus No. 1 fantasy defense. Despite going 5-11 and finishing in last place in the AFC South, the Jaguars still managed to finish in the top half of the league in terms of fantasy scoring (7.31 fantasy points per game). It's safe to expect them to improve this year after adding DE Josh Allen in the NFL Draft.

2. Los Angeles Chargers

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Chargers had one of the best pass-rushing duos in football last year in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Additionally, that unit should only improve, as the Chargers used their first-round pick to nab nose tackle Jerry Tillery in April's NFL Draft.

1. Chicago Bears

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

What the Bears did on defense last year was simply astonishing. They led the league in interceptions (27), pass deflections (92), interceptions returned for a touchdown (five) and fantasy points per game (11.69). They were also seventh in forced fumbles (19) and were tied for third in sacks (50). It should come as no surprise to anyone that they enter the season No. 1 on this list.

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Leo Abbe-Schneider is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Leo Abbe-Schneider also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username leoabbe2. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.