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D/ST rankings for 2023 NFL best ball leagues

NFL free agency and the NFL Draft have both wrapped up and it’s time for 2023 best ball rankings.

Sauce Gardner #1 of the New York Jets looks on during a delay in the second half of the 2023 Pro Hall of Fame Game against the Cleveland Browns at Tom Benson Hall Of Fame Stadium on August 03, 2023 in Canton, Ohio. Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Defense and special teams are often overlooked when it comes to fantasy football. Most managers usually draft whatever team is highest ranked based on ADP (average draft position) with one of their final two selections in the draft. Some don’t even select a D/ST and just plan on adding or dropping a team every week.

For those that play in best ball leagues, that strategy doesn’t work. There are no waivers in best ball, so you can’t stream a new D/ST weekly; you are stuck with whatever team you draft. Also, you’ll usually select just one D/ST in regular drafts, but in best ball, you probably want to roster two. Since your best lineup is automatically set every week, just draft two with different bye weeks, and you’re set.

2023 best ball rankings: Top 28 D/ST

I have the Buffalo Bills D/ST as the best unit this season. They were the fourth-best unit a season ago and benefit from their talent and the fact that the team’s offense can sustain drives keeping the defense off the field.

The San Francisco 49ers should be another top unit, as they just seem to keep improving, no matter the personnel or coaching. The Dallas Cowboys and the Georgia Bulldogs, I mean Philadelphia Eagles, should also be beneficial to add to your best ball rosters.

My sleeper defense/special teams unit is the Carolina Panthers. They will pair well with your second D/ST as they switch to a 3-4, which looks very good on paper. Their value will come down to whether or not the offense can sustain drives, but they should surprise people this year.