Defense Analysis

by Shamin Shah – June 17, 2020 – 3 minute read

A few things to know

We all know the general rule for Defense. Wait until the last two rounds in a snake draft, or do not pay more than $1 for a defense in an auction draft. Let’s examine this general rule and determine if it is the best move.

Here are some general observations for drafting defenses

  1. Every year, there only seems to be one or maybe two defenses that are matchup proof. Last year it was the Patriots and the 49ers, and the previous year was the Bears. For anyone else, we would always look at the matchup to determine if we want to play that defense. Potential candidates this year include BAL, MIN, NE, SF, and BUF.
  2. Unless you grab one of these defenses, you are likely going to stream.
  3. If you want to stream, here are some teams who may not be drafted but have a good week 1 matchup: PHI (at WASH), LAC (at CIN), and TEN (at DEN). All the other good matchups require you to pick up one of the top tier defenses.
  4. None of these streamers have a good week 2 matchup so you will likely have to drop them to pick up another.
    1. In this situation, many others will likely use the same strategy. Therefore, it is recommended that you pick up a streaming defense at least one week in advance. Note that this requires you to give up a bench spot, likely throughout the season.
  5. The other strategy is to actually draft one of the top defenses a little earlier than you normally would. 
    1. PIT starts the season off with NYG, DEN
    2. BUF starts the season off with NYJ, MIA, LAR
    3. SF starts off with SEA but then get to play NYJ and NYG
    4. NE and BAL have great week 1 matchups but it gets tough after that
  6. Drafting one of these early can give you a good base and if one of these can become last year’s NE or SF, or the previous year’s CHI, your team will get those bonus points every week. Question is, is that worth going a round early to grab one of these? 
    1. My personal preference is to grab one of these top tier defenses one round early. If you think about it, in order to grab one, you will have to replace a bench 12th round RB or WR with a 13th rounder. I don’t believe that’s going to break your team. I see this as a low risk high reward situation.
    2. It will also avoid you scrambling each week trying to find a new defense to play and taking a shot in the dark and hoping they dont get you negative points. Start with a solid defense early and adjust as necessary later on.
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