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Updated Defense/Special Teams rankings for 2021 fantasy football leagues

We take you through our defense/special teams rankings heading into the 2021 NFL season heading into fantasy football drafts.

Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at Heinz Field. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021 NFL regular season is one week away and that means you probably have a fantasy football draft coming up. And if you are in a league that uses a slot for defense and special teams, you’ll need to figure out what team to chuck in that slot.

My strategy is to either grab a team with a good matchup to start the season and then pick up defenses off the waiver wire or take a little bit of a gamble on a team I think might play better than they did last season. I don’t want to pay up for a team that dominated last season, as those fantasy points aren’t on the table waiting for you to draft them.

2021 Fantasy Football rankings: D/ST

I like the Browns, Patriots and Broncos as teams to target this season, but I also won’t be starting them against the Chiefs or Bills or Buccaneers. That means you’ll need to play the waiver wire game at some point. The Steelers are a great defense, but I rather not start them against the Bills in Week 1. The Jaguars are an awful defense, but they face the Texans Week 1 and they will be cheaper than dirt.

If you are in a league where waivers are limited, then go ahead and grab the Rams or Steelers, but otherwise, I’m flip=flopping between whoever is playing the worst quarterbacks going.

Defense/Special Teams rankings for 2021 fantasy football leagues

Rk Team
Rk Team
1 Los Angeles Rams
2 Pittsburgh Steelers
3 San Francisco 49ers
4 New Orleans Saints
5 Washington Football Team
6 Baltimore Ravens
7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8 Indianapolis Colts
9 New England Patriots
10 Buffalo Bills
11 Miami Dolphins
12 Arizona Cardinals
13 Cleveland Browns
14 Kansas City Chiefs
15 Denver Broncos
16 Los Angeles Chargers
17 Chicago Bears
18 Dallas Cowboys
19 Green Bay Packers
20 Minnesota Vikings
21 Seattle Seahawks
22 New York Giants
23 Philadelphia Eagles
24 Tennessee Titans
25 New York Jets
26 Atlanta Falcons
27 Jacksonville Jaguars
28 Houston Texans
29 Carolina Panthers
30 Detroit Lions
31 Cincinnati Bengals
32 Las Vegas Raiders