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Defense and special teams rankings for 2022 fantasy football

NFL free agency and the NFL Draft have both wrapped up, which gives us a chance to reassess our 2022 fantasy football rankings.

Micah Hyde #23 of the Buffalo Bills intercepts a pass intended for Nelson Agholor #15 of the New England Patriots during the first quarter in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

August 22nd update: Draft season is underway, so we’ve got an update to our defense and special teams rankings while also adding another voice to the rankings with Mr. Teddy Ricketson. We will continue to update often as we close in on Week 1 of the season.

The 2022 NFL season is breathing down our necks and it’s time to figure out who we should pick at defense and special teams. D/STs are tough to predict year to year, so don’t try to ride the wave of a team that put up big numbers last season. The Cowboys led the league in D/ST points and they have a reasonable chance to put up decent numbers again, but don’t reach in a draft for them. If you think they can repeat nine touchdowns and 26 interceptions, well, you’re probably wrong.

The trouble with D/ST scoring is the emphasis on touchdowns and turnovers, which are impossible to predict. The Buffalo Bills, who were second in D/ST fantasy points last season only had one defensive touchdown, but had a strong year anyway. A team that doesn’t have to rely on TDs is always going to be more consistent. Also, a team that can get leads with a strong offense will push opponents into more drop backs and riskier positions.

As long as your league doesn’t make you give something up to add D/STs off of the waiver wire, I’m a firm believer in streaming defenses that are big favorites against poor quarterbacks.

Defense and special teams rankings

2022 Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros