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2014 Fantasy Football: Top 5 Defensive Ends

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Top 5 Defensive Ends for 2014 Fantasy Football Season

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IDP (Individual Defensive Player) leagues continue to gain popularity with fantasy football players who are seeking a more well-rounded fantasy football experience. IDP leagues involve selecting players per position rather than the whole team defense. This helps provide greater statistical consistency from your defense on a weekly basis. With that being said, let's take a look at the top five defensive ends for the 2014 fantasy football season.

5. Cameron Wake - Miami Dolphins

cameron wake miami dolphins
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5. Cameron Wake - Miami Dolphins

cameron wake miami dolphins
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Cameron Wake suffered a down year in 2013 due to battling a nagging left knee injury. His 37 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles were a disappointment when compared to the 53 tackles, 15 sacks, and three forced fumbles he had in 2012. The good news is that Wake should have a bounce-back season in 2014, and 45+ tackles with 10+ sacks shouldn't be an issue for him to get.

He will become a top five DE once again.

4. Greg Hardy - Carolina Panthers

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4. Greg Hardy - Carolina Panthers

greg hardy carolina panthers
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In 2013, Greg Hardy proved that he is one of the best defensive ends in the NFL, and his 59 tackles with 15 sacks confirmed it. He improved his number of sacks by four from 2012, and there is no reason to believe that he will slow down this season. In fact, it is quite possible that he improves on his 2013 numbers. He is a very safe top five pick from the DE position.

3. Chandler Jones - New England Patriots

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Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

3. Chandler Jones - New England Patriots

chandler jones new england patriots
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

To say that Chandler Jones was on the field a lot in 2013 would be an understatement. He led all defensive linemen in total snaps played with 1,124, and it helped him to record 79 tackles with 11.5 sacks. The only concern with Jones is his durability as he began to wear down when season-end approached. If the Patriots cut back on his snaps a bit in 2014, then it will only increase Jones' season-long value and his stats from 2013 should improve.

2. Robert Quinn - St. Louis Rams

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

2. Robert Quinn - St. Louis Rams

robert quinn st. louis rams
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Quinn was an absolute monster in 2013 with his 57 tackles, 19 sacks, and seven forced fumbles. He was the true model of consistency as he recorded a sack in 11 out of 16 games last year, and he should continue his dominance in 2014.

An output of 55+ tackles, 15+ sacks, and 3+ forced fumbles should be trivial for him to achieve. In fact, don't be surprised if he ends the season as the No. 1 ranked DE.

1. J.J. Watt - Houston Texans

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1. J.J. Watt - Houston Texans

j.j. watt houston texans
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The expectation was for J.J. Watt to replicate his 2012 season where he had 81 tackles, 20.5 sacks, 16 pass deflections, and four forced fumbles. However, in 2013, Watt ended up with 80 tackles, 10.5 sacks, seven pass deflections, and four forced fumbles. This had him in a virtual tie for No. 1 DE during what was referred to as a disappointing season. Watt should see his sack total rise in 2014 and reclaim sole possession of the No. 1 DE crown.

Roje Smith is a Fantasy Sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @RoKnowsDFS, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google