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Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 10 Defenses for 2013

by Photo of Scott Davis

Our Fantasy Football Rankings conclude with the top 10 defenses for the 2013 NFL season

Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 10 Defenses for 2013

Up to this point, we've covered top ten rankings for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends for fantasy football. To finish our series, we'll move onto defenses/special teams. NFL preseason play is already underway, and with the regular season debut not far off, it's important to be prepared for the 2013 season and the forthcoming fantasy drafts.

Fantasy attention is often given to the big-name players and positions -- quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers; defenses are usually an after-thought. And while no sane fantasy owner would draft a defense in the early-going, it also shouldn't be frowned upon to pick up a top defense before the last rounds of the draft. It's tougher to predict how a defense will perform, but on a good day, it can pick up some much-needed additional points for owners. Fumbles, sacks, interceptions, defensive scores -- all of these things can make a difference in a weekly match-up. Without further ado, our top ten defenses for the 2013 season.

1.) Seattle Seahawks

Last season the Seahawks led the NFL in points allowed with an insane 245 points -- about 15 points per game. They're the consensus number one defense around the interwebs and should hold strong again next season since they haven't lost any crucial defensive pieces this offseason and added players like Cliff Avril into the fold.

2.) San Francisco 49ers

The Niners finished second in the league in points allowed last season. They were also top three in total yards allowed. They'll miss Chris Culliver who is out for the season, but there's no other real reason for the Niners to experience a drop-off.

3.) Chicago Bears

Chicago was third in points allowed last season with about 17 points per game. They could be ranked second in some cases, but their defense last year may have been fueled by a high number of fumble recoveries and league-leading 24 interceptions. The defense had 10 scores last season which seems unlikely to duplicate itself again this season.

4.) Denver Broncos

The Broncos' 2012 defensive stats were very impressive and should carry over to 2013. They were second in yards allowed, fourth in points allowed, and number one in sacks. They were also second to Chicago in defensive scores. There's a lot to like about Denver's defense.

5.) Houston Texans

The Texans were a top ten team in many defensive categories like points allowed, total yards allowed, total rush yards allowed, and sacks. J.J. Watt is the defensive anchor and a terror to opposing quarterbacks. The addition of Ed Reed should help, too.

6.) Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals ranked second in the NFL in sacks and third in fumble recoveries. They had four defensive scores last season as well which means they're a threat to get fantasy points. They're a very solid defense that has potential to be great, especially after adding James Harrison.

7.) Green Bay Packers

After three straight seasons in which the Packers ranked top six in scoring defenses, they suddenly fell to 16th last season. However, it may end up being an anomaly as the Packers are still equipped with a tough defense that contains linebackers like Clay Matthews and Desmond Bishop and a potent secondary.

8.) New England Patriots

Though the Patriots' offense will likely suffer this season, we can be sure that Bill Belichick and co. are prepping their defense to support them this season. Last season, they forced 41 turnovers and recovered 21 fumbles. They've been well known as an offensive team, but they're solid defensively and could be poised to be better this year.

9.) Pittsburgh Steelers

Though the Steelers experienced a bit of a step back last season, they still finished first in yards allowed and sixth in points allowed. Some are higher on the Steelers than others, but they're a proud defensive culture that will probably try to fight their slip last season.

10.) St. Louis Rams

Head coach Jeff Fisher helped the Rams improve defensively in his first season, finishing in the top half of the league in yards and points allowed. They also, surprisingly, managed 52 sacks, tied for best in the league. There could be further improvement in 2013.


- Arizona Cardinals

- New York Giants

- Baltimore Ravens

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