FANTASY FOOTBALL ARTICLES
|Special Team and Team Defense Pre-Season Rankings
August 24, 2006
Special Teams Rankings
- Buffalo Bills – Superior return game, good kicking/punting and solid coverage. Always one of the best.
- NY Giants – Feely’s problems last year were an anomaly. Great return game. Always a threat to hit the home run.
- Miami Dolphins – Always stellar on special teams coverage. Marcus Vick may be a stud returner.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Akers studly when healthy; always great coverage. Expect this unit, with the benefit of health, to get back to form.
- Cleveland Browns – Anemic offense keeps them busy. Experienced and accurate kicking game. Solid, veteran returners.
- New Orleans Saints – Return man Michael Lewis is back and Reggie Bush is there, too. Could be an exciting year.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Underrated Graham one of the better kickers. Young and talented coverage teams. Could use improvement in return game, though.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – The trick plays sometimes work. Randle-El is gone, but plenty of worthy replacements. Good, steady kicking game.
- Carolina Panthers – Steady kicking game and return game may improve with rookie DeAngelo Williams.
- San Francisco 49ers – Horrible offense keeps special teams busy. Nedney is solid and they have plenty of potential return men.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Erratic kicking game, but should steady this year. Rookie Maurice Drew is a huge upgrade in the return game.
- Washington Redskins – Addition of Randle-El will improve the unit. If the main cogs of kicking game can stay healthy, this will be a solid overall unit.
Defensive Rankings (No Special Teams)
- Chicago – Simply dominant on the defensive side of the football.
- Carolina – Peppers & Company will create plenty of havoc.
- Pittsburgh – Solid front seven and Polamalu will dominate.
- Baltimore – Lewis and Reed are back. Expect this unit to rebound and play solid defensive football.
- Tampa Bay – Solid veteran defensive unit. Always one of the best.
- Seattle – Solid secondary and Tatupu will only get better. Great schedule.
- NY Giants – Bookends Strahan and Umenyiora are sack artists. Improving secondary; Demps brings veteran leadership.
- Dallas – Heavy hitters all over the field. Young linebackers need to grow up in a hurry, though.
- Jacksonville – Solid yet unspectacular. No big plays, just stuffing the run and solid secondary play.
- Atlanta – Addition of Abraham will help. Young secondary will need to step up.
- Indianapolis – Unit continues to improve; needs a healthy Bob Sanders to lead the secondary.
- Miami – Getting up there in age, but Thomas and Taylor are two of the best.
Updated Defensive Rankings (with Special Teams)
- Chicago Bears – Solid on defense; good enough on special teams, with big-play threats.
- Carolina – Great defense, improving special teams.
- Pittsburgh – Solid defensive unit, and special teams unit that has several trick plays up its sleeve.
- NY Giants – Defense will improve dramatically; one of the better special team units out there.
- Baltimore – Unit will be hungry to improve from last season. Special teams lost some important ingredients, though.
- Jacksonville – Quality special teams and potential cupcake schedule make the Jags a nice defensive sleeper.
- Tampa Bay – The original Cover 2 still has its playmakers. Horrible special teams, though.
- Seattle – Solid front seven will improve this season. Special teams may improve.
- Philadelphia – Strong secondary and talented special teams.
- Miami – Solid special teams play coupled with veterans Taylor and Thomas make the Fins a nice sleeper defense.
- Indianapolis – Addition of Vinatieri will be helpful to special teams. Defense will again surprise.
- Dallas – Addition of Indianapolis castoff Vanderjagt will immediately improve special teams. Young defense is hungry to dominate.