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2007 Fantasy Defense/Special Teams Projections

2007 NFL Fantasy Draft Guide - July 3rd, 2007 8:00am Updated July 9th 10:10 am
By: Dave B. - Senior Fantasy Football Editor - Wager On Football.com
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Fantasy Football Draft Guide - DST Preview

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The next installment of our preseason NFL draft guide for fantasy football is the 2007 Defense and Special teams ratings, rankings, and projections. AS we all know Fantasy D's don't need to be selected until the middle to late rounds, unless of course you have some bizzarre scoring system that makes you have to draft a Defense early.

We try to shed light on the no-names by ranking the top 20 fantasy football defenses around the NFL. It's imperative to know your leagues scoring structure so that come draft day you can make the best possible decision about where and when to draft your starting defensive unit. Some formats include bonuses for points and yards allowed, while others only dish out points for sacks, INT's, and fumble recoveries, safeties and touchdowns. Don't forget that most leagues include Special Teams as well, this is very important, and gives teams with great return men a bump up in the rankings...

How about it, owners? Email me your thoughts.

2007 Team Defense & Special Teams (DST) Preview and Projections
Team Preview 2006 'D' Ranking

1. Ravens DST

246.1 YPG / 12.6 PPG

The Ravens 2006 defense looked a lot like the one that dominated in 2000. They allowed the fewest points and total yards, and finished 2nd in takeaways, and 4th in defensive TD's. The Ravens D will stuff the run, harass QB's, and force turnovers, plain and simple.

#1 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

2. Bears DST

294.1 YPG / 15.9 PPG

Lovie Smith's cover 2 held its first 10 opponents to under 300 ypg, and led the league in takeaways. Bob Babich takes over the defense this year, and they have to be better than the playoff Bears to again be a #2 fantasy defense.

#3 Defense in NFL in 2006 in point allowed.

2007 Schedule >

3. Patriots DST

294.4 YPG / 14.8 PPG

Although a bit inconsistent last season the addition of Adalius Thomas gives them a huge spike in value. WR/KR Wes Welker is a huge boost for special teams as well. The Pats will be worth a late round selection come draft day as a #1 Fantasy defense.

#2 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

4. Chargers DST

301.6 YPG / 18.9 PPG

The Chargers boasted one of the best and most feared pass rushes in 2006 and finished 10th overall in yards allowed and 7th in points allowed. Ted Cotrell who was out of the league in 06 has a good track record and will revamp the Chargers D to be even more dominant in 2007, they should have the best Defense in the AFC West.

#7 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

5. Broncos DST

326.4 YPG / 18.3 PPG

The Broncos were on fire in the first 6 weeks of 2006 allowing a mere 7.3 point per game. They gave up over 26 points a game the rest of the season to move them down the rankings. They have a boatload of defensive talent in 2007 and should be far more consistent this go around.

#8 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

6. Dolphins DST

289.1 YPG / 17.7 PPG

Dom Capers returns to lead this good Miami defense for another year. Throw in the Defensive player of the year - Jason Taylor and newcomer Joey Porter who made his mark pass rushing in Pittsburgh and you've got a defense ready to play another year at a very very high level. Veteran leadership is the hallmark of the Fins strength.

#5 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

7. Eagles DST

328.1 YPG / 20.5 PPG

A #1 defensive team projection in 2006 the Eagles are always consistent on this side of the ball. They ususally rank in the top 10 in the NFL in sacks, INT's, and defensive TD's. Their D is led again by Trotter, Dawkins and Sheppard, all pro bowlers. Add Takeo Spikes, and there will be some serious blitz schemes coming this year.

#15 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

8. Steelers DST

300.3 YPG / 19.7 PPG

First year head coach Mike Tomlin was able to retain DC Dick Lebeau, so expect the Steelers to keep their vaunted 3-4 front. The team is getting older at linebacker, and have questions in the secondary, but combining two of football's most innovative defensive minds (Tomlin/Lebeau) should keep this unit competitive.

#11 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

9. Cowboys DST

322.8 YPG / 21.9 PPG

This unit was very unreliable in 2006 for fantasy owners, but the addition of Wade Phillips bodes well for the future. His 3-4 scheme will look to work the magic in Big-D that he worked in San Diego using Ware in the spot where Merriman excelled. The boys in 2007 are a surefire #1 fantasy defense.

#20 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

10. Vikings DST

300.2 YPG / 20.4 PPG

The Vikings D was great vs the run in 2007 but absolutly horrible vs the pass, despite having a fairly good secondary. Can you figure them out?? Tomlin's departure paved the way for Leslie Frazier another Tampa-2 guy who coached DB's for the Super Bowl champs in Indy last year. They'll be better in 2007.

#14 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

11. Jaguars DST

283.6 YPG / 17.1 PPG

Held opponents to 17.1 PPG in 06 and bring back that same monstrous line and most of the defense. Minus Dion Grant and Donovan Darius both let go in free agency. However with Pro bowlers all over the place its hard to imagine Mike Smith's well coached unit falling off much this season.

#4 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

12. Seahawks DST

330.3 YPG / 20.3 PPG

The Seahawks didn't like the amount of big plays they gave up last year so OUT are DB Ken Hamlin and pass rusher Grant Wistrom, replaced by Dion Grant and Patrick Kerney to bolster the pass D and pass rush respectively. The big plays have to stop, and if they do the Seahawks D will get the credit this year for another play off run.

#19 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

13. Panthers DST

296.1 YPG / 19.1 PPG

This unit was a serious disappointment last season but DE Julius Peppers and his mates are ready to bounce back. The Panthers like their trio of top corners, Lucas, Gamble, and Marshall, but will need to overhaul the safety position with Minter getting set to retire. Mike Trgovac's D will not disappoint this year.

#8 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

14. Packers DST

320.9 YPG / 22.9 PPG

One of the most underated defenses last year, most people don't even know the Pack finished 4th w/ 46 sacks, and 3rd w/ 23 INT's. The Pack D was very healthy last year, and they'll have to be again this year to keep pace in the NFC north. They'll should finish top 15 in Total defense and pass defense, and find themselves in the upper echelon.

#25 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

15. 49ers DST

344.2 YPG / 25.8 PPG

The turning point last year was the insertion of LB Brandon Moore, S Keith Lewis, and DT Ron Fields into the starting lineup. Look for continued improvement from these 3 guys in 2007. The Niners D is headed in the right direction and a number of prominent free agent offseason moves has increased its value, notably Nate Clements.

#32 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

16. Chiefs DST

328.9 YPG / 19.7 PPG

The Chiefs added vets Donnie Edwards and Napoleon Harris and could become a viable top 5 fantasy defense. The loss of Dante Hall to St. Louis could hurt special teams but he is getting old so we'll see. DC Gunther Cunningham plays an aggresive scheme and now he has his playmakers.

#11 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

17. Bucs DST

329.4 YPG / 22.1 PPG

Age and injury finally caught up with the Bucs badass D and they fell out of the top 10 for the first time in a decade. To rebound the Bucs have to start with their pass rush, so S. Rice being healthy will be a boost. I'm still putting the Bucs in my top 20, but they shouldn't be considered more than a #2 fantasy defense for most draft boards.

#21 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

18. Colts DST

332.3 YPG / 22.5 PPG

How will losing Cato June and Nick Harper hurt the chemistry of the Super Bowl champs? We'll know soon enough. Look for a continuation of the playoff defense that only allowed 82 rushing yards and 16.3 PPG. This D loves to swarm to the ball, and fill all the gaps, someone will step up and replace June!! In Dungy they trust.

#23 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

19. Jets DST

331.6 YPG / 18.4 PPG

The Jets lack a shut down corner to deal with the WR's in the AFC east but they should once again be led by Kerry Rhodes speed, and Eric Mangini's 3-4 scheme that mixes in 4-3 looks to throw off opposing QB's. Vilma and Robertson are speedsters who can get to the ball. They weren't great in 06 but they can be a useful fantasy asset.

#6 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

20. Bills DST

329.6 YPG / 19.4 PPG

The Bills lost London Fletcher, Takeo Spikes, and Nate Clements, how do they bounce back you ask? We're not sure, but they are a late round flyer none the less. Their scheme is relativlely simple and easy to learn, so basically they just plug rookies and 2nd year vets in and let em play. Their DC is Perry Fewell a former understudy of Love Smith, so the coaching will be fine.

#10 Defense in NFL in 2006 in points allowed.

2007 Schedule >

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