Fantasy Implications: Defensive Draftees – by Gabriel Cabistani

After a long delay, it is time to get to the third and final part of fantasy implications.

I wanted to walk-through the defence/special teams units that will be impacted immediately by newly drafted players. Of course, this piece is reliant on you playing fantasy with D/ST settings on – and let’s be honest it makes it fun to watch teams rushing the passer when you’ve picked up a defensive bargain.

So – let’s talk defence!

Denver Broncos

It is safe to say that the Denver Broncos D/ST disappointed most of the GMs that drafted them in 2017. The Broncos D was the 20th ranked unit last season, a disappointment after a very good 2016.

Fortunately, the draft offered the chance to build on that and the Broncos chose a difference maker in Bradley Chubb – a physical freak that can pile up sacks with ease all season long.

Even with the departure of Aqib Talib, the Broncos defence will still have Shane Ray, Von Miller and the other pieces to support a top 10 D/ST.

Bradley Chubb
Photo Credit: Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints

The Saints invested a high – and controversial – first round pick in Marcus Davenport, the pass rusher from San Antonio. Even though Davenport is thought to be a reach in the first round, the Saints added another fast and dynamic playmaker to their D.

An already surprising unit last season, the Saints may not be a shutout machine, but they have the potential to accumulate sacks, INTs and fumbles – good for fantasy production and enough to make them worth considering at the very least.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Wait, is it possible for the 1st ranked D/ST to be even better for the next season? Apparently, it is. The Jags drafted two great defensive prospects in the 1st and 3rd Rounds of the draft – Taven Bryan and Ronnie Harrison, respectively.

Bryan is a defensive tackle from Florida, who will improve their already feared pass rush, and Harrison is a playmaking safety from Alabama – not much else needs to be said.

Watch for the Jaguars to be again the number 1 D/ST in fantasy this year.

ronnieharrison-450x309
Photo Credit: Albert Cesare/Montgomery Advertiser

Houston Texans

They were horribly disappointing last season – of course, the injuries of J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus played a big part in this – and the draft shows us that their prospects are much better this year.

The Texans got a steal in Justin Reid. The 68th overall pick from Stanford is a must-watch prospect that can combine with Tyrann Mathieu to make up a formidable duo in the secondary. With (hopefully) healthy playmakers in the defensive line and the new additions to the other levels of defense, watch for them to be top 5 producers this year.

So there we have it, three teams you should definitely be considering as part of your draft plans this year.

By Gabriel Cabistani – @gtcabistani

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