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Defense and special teams rankings for 2022 fantasy football

We discuss how to handle drafting defense and special teams as you get into fantasy football drafts in 2022.

Nakobe Dean #17 and Jordan Davis #90 of the Philadelphia Eagles pose for a picture with Solomon Kindley #66 and Channing Tindall #51 of the Miami Dolphins after their game at Hard Rock Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

The defense/special teams unit (D/ST) is arguably the most streamed position in fantasy football. With this position, you are drafting a team’s entire defense as well as their special teams unit minus their kicker. While you get points for good performances, each score against them hurts a little more. As you approach the D/ST position, here are some tips, risers and fallers for standard fantasy football leagues this fall.

The Buffalo Bills' defense comes in as the top-ranked D/ST. Not to take anything away from their unit, but they play in a tough division having to take on the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins twice a year. Even if you look at their first game, they take on the Los Angeles Rams, who are coming off a Super Bowl win. The Tampa Bay Bucs come in second, and unlike the Bills, their division is likely adding to this high ranking. Plus, Tampa Bay has become astute at reducing turnover.

Two defenses that I think are on the rise are the Philadelphia Eagles and the Carolina Panthers. For the Eagles, they drafted well this year and are pulling out all the stops to go to the Super Bowl this year. They even completed a trade for safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson filling their lone hole on defense. For the Panthers, they have sneakily improved their defense. I think if their offense can take off some of the pressure from them, they will be solid this year.

It is hard to come up with defenses that are fallers because they become super matchup based throughout the year. Despite having the No. 1 overall pick in tow, the Jacksonville Jaguars defense would be one to avoid. Add the Houston Texans and New York Giants to that list, as their offenses aren’t going to be good thus, their defense won’t get a needed break.

Defense and special teams rankings

2022 Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros