Fantasy Football Draft Advice – Defense & Kickers

Defense There comes a time in your fantasy draft when you have your starting QB, two or three RBs, three or four WRs, and possibly your Tight End taken care of. Adding depth is very important, but do not overlook the value of a top flight defense. The good thing about defenses are the elite…

Defense

There comes a time in your fantasy draft when you have your starting QB, two or three RBs, three or four WRs, and possibly your Tight End taken care of. Adding depth is very important, but do not overlook the value of a top flight defense. The good thing about defenses are the elite ones do not tend to change from year to year despite injuries and turnover. Take the Giants for example. Who would have figured they would have an elite defense after Strahan retired and Osi went down? Yet, they did. Philly has had players come and go without missing a beat. Think about how long Pittsburgh and Baltimore have been elite fantasy defenses.

The top fantasy defenses based on Average Draft Position are:

Pittsburgh – 8th round
Baltimore & NY Giants – 9th round
Minnesota – 10th round

You can chose to wait until the 11th or 12 round, assuming there is not a run on defenses, and land San Diego, Chicago, Philadelphia, NY Jets or Tennessee.

Do not worry if you miss out on one of the top D's. There are still great values ​​to have had later like New England, Green Bay, Dallas, and Washington, but landing Pittsburgh D can be a difference maker. Some of the players going in the 8th round along with Pittsburgh D are Jamal Lewis, Julius Jones, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Percy Harvin. Jamal and Julius have little upside. Ahmad and Julius have great potential, but can you really rely on them any given week? Meanwhile Pittsburgh is a plug and play. You do not have to worry about matchups. You just use them every week.

Kickers

Yesterday we discussed being bold and taking a top defense early. Since the top defenses do not tend to change from year-to-year, it's a calculated risk. Kickers, on the other hand, are much more of a crap shoot. In fact, since 2002 there have only been two Kickers to be in the top five in points in consonic seasons.

Stephen Gostkowski is one of the back-to-back Kickers so he may be the exception, although his average draft position is the 11th round. I see no reason why New England's offensive does not continue to score in bunches, but personally I would rather secure a top flight defense or provide depth to another key position. Of course, I am not opposed to ditching the Kicker position all together, but that's a topic for a different day. If you are drafting a Kicker based on last year, you'll probably miss the boat. Here's a look at the top five point scorers from 2002-2008.

2008
Stephen Gostkowski – 148
David Akers – 144
John Carney – 143
Matt Bryant – 131
John Kasay – 130

2007
Mason Crosby – 141
Stephen Gostkowski – 137
Rob Bironas – 133
Nick Folk – 131
Shayne Graham – 130

2006
Robbie Gould – 143
Nate Kaeding – 136
Jeff Wilkins – 131
Matt Stover – 121
Josh Scobee – 119

2005
Jay Feely -148
Neil Rackers – 140
Shayne Graham – 131
Lawrence Tynes – 125
Mike Vanderjagt – 121

2004
Adam Vinatieri – 141
Jason Elam – 129
Jeff Reed – 124
David Akers – 122
Shayne Graham – 122

2003
Jeff Wilkins – 163
Mike Vanderjagt – 157
Matt Stover – 134
John Kasay – 125
Gary Anderson – 123

2002
Jay Feely – 138
David Akers – 133
John Carney – 130
Martin Gramatica – 128
Sebastian Janikowski – 128
Ryan Longwell – 128

My advice is fill your roster with good depth at your key positions and grab a Kicker in the last round. Odds are you're going to drop your Kicker in your bye week anyway. Unless you have an extremely deep roster, you do not want to hold onto two Kickers at one time.