In the fifth of a five-part series, I’m going to go over the defense and kicker who could have been found in your league’s waiver wire that saved desperate fantasy owners this season.
Kansas City Chiefs‘ Defense and Special Teams
Through 16 weeks, no defense has scored more fantasy points than the Chiefs. The Chiefs have 199 fantasy points this season (ESPN standard scoring), and the second highest scoring defense is the Seattle Seahawks with 170. The Chiefs are fourth in the NFL, allowing just 18.5 points per game, They’re sixth with 44 sacks, second with 35 takeaways, and first with seven defensive touchdowns; the Chiefs’ special teams unit is also first this season with four return touchdowns.
Had we known what the Chiefs’ defense was going to do this season, they likely would have cost prospective fantasy owners a seventh round draft pick (the same round as guys like Antonio Brown, Jordy Nelson, Pierre Garcon, Ryan Matthews, Andrew Luck and DeSean Jackson); but instead, they were free for owners to pick up for the first month of the season.
The Chiefs’ defense and special teams has finished in the top-15 in fantasy points among defenses in 11-of-15 games so far, including nine games in the top 10, eight games in the top five, and six games in the top three; they’ve also been the No. 1 scoring defensive unit twice this season. The Chiefs are averaging 13.3 fantasy points per game this season, which is two full points more than the Seahawks — who are second — are averaging.
The Chiefs were the No. 1 defense in fantasy football in 2013, and you could have had them without even using a draft pick.
Honorable Mention: Carolina Panthers
Nick Novak, San Diego Chargers
Novak went undrafted in most fantasy drafts, but is the fifth highest scoring kicker heading into Week 17. He has been one of the 10 highest scoring fantasy kickers in 7-of-15 games this season, and he was a top five fantasy kicker in six of those weeks; Novak has been the No. 1 fantasy kicker three separate times this season.
Hopefully you didn’t use a high draft pick on any kicker this year, and if you ended up drafting Blair Walsh, Matt Bryant, Sebastian Janikowski, David Akers or Garrett Hartley, hopefully you made the switch to Novak early on in the season. Nick Novak was an asset for the fantasy owners who deployed him this season and was widely available for all to pick up — even today, he’s still available in over 80 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues.
Honorable Mention: Dan Carpenter