Top 3 Sleeper Defenses for 2022 Fantasy Football Season
Defense/special teams is an essential, but less important part of fantasy football drafts. This position often isn't filled until the last few rounds, and there's a clear consensus on the top tier, making choices relatively straightforward. However, outside the first handful of teams, there's a few candidates that may surprise.
With that in mind, here are three of the best sleeper defenses for 2022 fantasy football drafts.
Best Sleeper Defenses 2022
Note: Only defenses with an average draft position (ADP) of 10 or higher were considered for this list. All ADP information is from FantasyPros.
3. Los Angeles Chargers (ADP: D/ST13)
The Los Angeles Chargers were one of 2021's worst units and borderline unstartable. Things could be changing, though, after a busy offseason. LA signed one of this year's top free agents in cornerback J.C. Jackson and traded for star pass-rusher Khalil Mack, adding two legitimate tentpoles that immediately upgrade this defense. The Chargers were bottom 10 in interceptions last year, so it's clear how much Jackson (8 INTs in 2021) could help there. And if Mack, who posted at least 8.5 sacks every season from 2015-2020, returns to form following an injury-shortened year, LA should take a major leap after finishing No. 20 with just 35 sacks in 2021. This unit could wreak havoc in the early going with the Jacksonville Jaguars (Week 3) and Houston Texans (Week 4) on the schedule.
2. Baltimore Ravens (ADP: D/ST12)
The Baltimore Ravens' defense fell from grace last season, but that was an outlier year plagued by injuries to key players. Baltimore ranked as a top-five fantasy defense every season from 2017-2020, showcasing their emphasis and playmaking on that side of the ball. The absence of All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters, along with missed time by Marlon Humphrey down the stretch as well, played a huge role in the Ravens giving up the most passing yards per game in 2021. Now this secondary has been revamped with stud rookie Kyle Hamilton and top free agent Marcus Williams joining Humphrey, as well as Peters once he's healthy. Expect this unit to return to its dominant ways and take advantage of divisional foes like the Pittsburgh Stelers and Cleveland Browns that have a ton of questions at quarterback.
1. Miami Dolphins (ADP: D/ST10)
The Miami Dolphins look like a serious value at their current ADP. This unit finished as the No. 3 overall D/ST in fantasy scoring last year, pairing a top pass rush with an electric secondary. Miami racked up 48 sacks (No. 5), 14 fumble recoveries (No. 4) and 5 defensive TDs (No. 2) in 2021, making this unit a force with week-turning potential. Now they've added Pro Bowl EDGE Melvin Ingram to the mix as well, setting the stage for another sack-filled season. With the likes of the New York Jets (x2), Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears and Texans on their 2022 schedule, managers may regret not picking them up when they had the chance.
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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. 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.