If you had the Kansas City Chiefs defense on your fantasy team last year, you’re probably already determined not to have them on your team again this year.
In 2012, the Chiefs ranked 25th overall in scoring defense and managed to eek out just a single touchdown from their defensive squad. Those stats aren’t good, but like most things about the Chiefs, things are looking better this year.
This year the Chiefs defense returns playmakers at all levels. They’re counting on former first-round pick Dontari Poe to anchor the defensive line. Poe is big and strong, perfectly suited to play nose tackle in a 3-4. Already impressive in preseason action, this could be the year that he becomes a force in the trenches.
The linebackers are going to be even better this year than they were in 2012. We know Derrick Johnson will be steady and strong in the middle. Johnson, a tackling machine and one of the more reliable inside linebackers the league.
But, it’s the upside of third-year outside linebacker Justin Houston that has Kansas City fans excited this year. Houston, a pass-rushing specialist, racked up 15.5 sacks in his first two years as a pro. The third year is the year that most players show their full potential, and this could be a breakout season for Houston.
The defensive backfield is led by safety Eric Berry. Quickly becoming one of the best defensive backs in the NFL, Berry makes plays all over the field.
This is going to be an interesting season in Kansas City. They’re coming off a tough season last year, but there are reasons to believe they can turn it right around in 2013. Their defense is a big part of that optimism and could be a sleeper in your fantasy league this year.