A lot of people tend to underestimate what a good defense can do for a fantasy team. Most people usually wait until the last few rounds of drafts to select a defense, but with the rate at which the elite ones are piling up points, that trend could soon change.
Take the Kansas City Chiefs, for example. Their D/ST have scored 151 fantasy points thus far — that’s one of the top-15 clips in all of fantasy. To put things in perspective, they’ve outscored the likes of LeSean McCoy, Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green and Marshawn Lynch to name a few. That means they’re a complete game-changer on any fantasy team.
Obviously, not all defenses put up numbers like that, but a lot of them still consistently wind up with good totals almost every week. The point I’m making is that their relevance shouldn’t be ignored and you should make sure you’re not trotting out a weak unit just because you don’t think it makes much of a difference.
On that note, if you’re still thinking about playing the Cincinnati Bengals‘ D/ST this week, you’re making a big mistake. Although they’re known to be one of the strongest defensive units in the league, the injuries they’ve sustained lately are too significant to ignore and will undoubtedly have a massive impact on the team’s ability to shut their opponents down.
In the last few weeks, they’ve lost their top defensive back Leon Hall, as well as their top defensive tackle Geno Atkins for the remainder of the season. Anyone who thinks those losses won’t dramatically affect the Bengals’ defense is kidding themselves. Their secondary is now much more vulnerable and their pass rush will be much less effective.
The reality is going to settle in when the Benglas take on the Baltimore Ravens this week so if you own them, get rid of them before it’s too late. There are a few serviceable options out there instead, like the Miami Dolphins or the Indianapolis Colts. The Dolphins get Mike Glennon and co. this week while the Colts will take on the disheveled St. Louis Rams.
Either would be a better play than the Bengals at this point, so see if you can snag one of them off the waiver wire. Otherwise, just hope that Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer has a magic wand lying around somewhere.