1) Chicago Bears – Bears or Ravens ? It seems to me more people ( or so called experts ) are taking the Ravens this year. They point to the big drop off in production the 2nd half of last year, I point out that they were conveniently missing Mike Brown and Tommie Harris. Yes Devin Hester will not be anywhere near as productive as last years ( other teams won’t let him….see Dante Hall a couple years ago ) but the reason why I like Bears D more than anyone else is because no other team is even close to as conditioned to create turnovers, specifically fumbles, as the bears. So it’s a safe bet to say they will be near the top in the league in turnovers yet again.
2) Baltimore Ravens – Just a notch below the Bears. I understand the case for them but they just don’t have quite the same taste for turnovers, and they get more interceptions which comes more from chance than from being overly aggressive like the Bears are with fumbles. Don’t be scared off by Adalius Thomas leaving, the Ravens won’t miss a beat.
3) New England Patriots – Now you can start paying attention to Thomas, cause the Pats will be greatly improved with him in the middle and last time I checked Bill Bellicheck is still the coach up there right ? * crosses fingers and prays he decided to retire for some unknown reason *
4) San Diego Chargers – Yeah they will miss Donnie Edwards, but their front 7 is still as good as anyones. The aren’t the best rushing defense but with their offense the other teams don’t have the time to concentrate on running the ball. More often than not these Chargers defenders will be playing with the lead and the other teams will be in catch up mode.
5) Jacksonville Jaguars – People stay forgetting about this team and their nasty defense. They might just have the best D-line in football and they have great ball hawking safeties, don’t give up lots of points or yards, needs to force more turnovers, but i do expect them to be better and more productive as the offense should help keep the D off the field at least more than they did last year.
6) Cowboys – The Cowboys only problem last year was their secondary let anyone and everyone go past them. You couldn’t run against them and safety Roy Williams but you could always pass right over the top, not anymore thanks to the arrival of Ken Hamlin. This will allow Roy Williams to be the LB he always has been and have Ken Hamlin be the safety. Wade Phillips is gonna make the defense even meaner and nastier and look for DeMarcus Ware to continue taking the league by storm.
7) Minnesota Vikings – This is one of those rare times when a defense is so good it actually hurts its fantasy value. Ok I’m sure some of you are really confused now but let me explain this. No one could run on the Vikings at all last year, so they stopped trying. This means lots of passing attempts which means lots of completions and yards no matter how good the secondary is ( if you look at the #’s they look awful in reality they are among the best ) So because teams have to throw the ball 60 times against them, even when the Vikings D plays great it doesn’t help so much in fantasy.
8) Philadelphia Eagles – They don’t seem concerned they cut Trotter, I am. They are still an elite fantasy D though as long as Brian Dawkins and Lito Sheppard are still there.
9) Denver Broncos – Rookie Jarvis Moss and Dre Bly are the big player additions to the Broncos D. Bly paired with Champ Bailey at corner will work wonders for the Broncos cause teams won’t be able to shy away from Bly and not nearly as much with Champ either. Add the fact that Jim Bates is their new D coordinator and they should cause lots of problems for teams this year ( also keep in mind the get to play the Raiders and Chiefs twice )
10) Carolina Panthers – Talent wise they should be higher, but this offense isn’t even decent anymore so you can’t count on them to keep the D off the field, and ever since their Super Bowl appearance they just haven’t been able to play up to their level even semi consistently.