1. Houston Texans
Houston was my top fantasy defense last year and they did not disappoint. J.J. Watt was an easy defensive MVP and the team had a solid run game to keep the pass rushers fresh and the lead to turn to turnovers. One of my favorite reasons to liken the Texans last year remains for this go round; a very weak offensive division. Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker are the yikes QB starters for two teams and should lend 4 big score games. Even better the tail end of the fantasy season bodes a matchup with Oakland and two tussles with puny Jacksonville once on Week 14 a.k.a. Championship time.
2. Seattle Seahawks
Seattle has prime young playmakers at each level of the defense. Chris Clemons may be out for a while, but Cliff Avril and Bruce Irvin provide a steady wave of sacks and turnovers while Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman collect the back end picks. The NFC West is improving offensive wise. Carson Palmer is an average QB which is an enormous improvement for Arizona, while St. Louis finally has receivers even if they lost a RB. Those factors bump the two NFC West defenses below Houston in my book
3. San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco has the best defense of the my top 3 defenses so that would make them No.1 right? Well try again. They have the hardest schedule of the 3. Not counting the 2 matchups with scrambling Russell Wilson, the Niners schedule features games against the Packers in the opener, Andrew Luck, Houston and Cam Newton at home with tough road contests against RG3, Brees in the Superdome and Matt Ryan back at home. They will have a tough time keeping the score down against those offenses even if they do collect sacks and turnovers in bushels.
4. Denver Broncos
The Broncos lost Elvis Dumervil in one of the strangest free agent exchanges in recent memory. They stole away another veteran pass rusher in Shaun Phillips who should be an equal replacement as a pass rusher at least. But they acquired much more than what they lost when they signed Terrance Knighton a great run stopper, to go alongside 1st rounder Sylvester Williams as two starters on the 3 man front. And the biggest free agent get for the Donkies is Dominque Rodgers Cromartie - a stellar corner that should take the pressure off Champ Bailey. Mix in how bad the offenses are in the AFC West and this one is a no brainer.
5. New England Patriots
The Patriots have drafted some amazing defensive talent in the last 5 years. From pass rushing dynamo Chandler Jones to All Pros in Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes plus a deep secondary. Plus with Bellichick fielding a consistent winner, the sacks and the turnovers will come in bunches and the AFC East still has yet to field a consistent offensive threat. This division will feature 2 rookies by mid season for sure.
The Next Five
Saint Louis Rams
Great Pass Rushes
Green Bay Packers
Kansas City Chiefs
New York Giants
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
You Have No Business Owning These Failures