Delusion Protection Sleepers 2022: Doable D/ST breakouts, s San Francisco 49ers blouse teals in fable soccer drafts

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Lawrence Taylor Jaire Alex Atlanta Falcons jersey ander (L), Xavien Howard (C), Chase Young (R)

Anybody familiar with fantasy football knows the value of sleepers at the skill positions. Without drafting players whose ultimate contributions vastly exceed their initial expectations, a team stands little to no chance of winning it all. But one roster component seems habitually overlooked in the sleeper discussion: Defense. Finding season-long fantasy defense sleepers is exceedingly difficult, but there are some D/STs that appear to be undervalued in preseason rankings/ADPs, as well as some defenses with favorable early-season/mid-season stretches that can useful in 2022.

D/ST usually gets overvalued by some members of leagues and undervalued by others. The savviest managers tend to be right in the middle when it comes to D/ST valuation.

2022 PPR RANKINGS:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers | Top 200 | Superflex

You simply cannot waste a pick in the early double-digit rounds or low teens and have any realistic expectation of going the distance. You have effectively passed up legitimate production at QB, RB, WR, or TE for a D/ST that will very likely not return anywhere near the value you should be getting at those draft points.

2022 STANDARD RANKINGS:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers | Top 200 | Superflex

The simplest two ways to explain it: The top D/ST is almost never the No. 1 D/ST drafted; and the drop in points from tier to tier at other positions is far more drastic than the drop in points from tier to tier with D/STs.

2022 FANTASY SLEEPERS:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | One from each team

You might think you have snagged value by chasing the points from the Cowboys’ strong 2021 season. Think again. No team has ever been the No. 1 scoring D/ST two years in a row (at least not in the past 20 years, as far back as FantasyPros’ records go), and no team with an ADP of 1 has ever had a five-point advantage in per-game fantasy output over the ADP No. 2.

2022 AUCTION VALUES (Standard & PPR):
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers | Overall

To make a savvy D/ST pick, you must dive deeper into stats, roster changes, schedule, and even the teams’ offense. So many factors go into a D/ST emerging as a diamond in the rough. You must also have a clear-cut, long-term strategy in place.

Are you targeting a defense that you can hopefully hold onto for the duration of the season? Or, would you rather target an early-season stud D/ST and then stream the rest of the way? Either option can prove fruitful, but it’s imperative to know your approach and commit to it.

2022 RANKINGS TIERS & DRAFT STRATEGY:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs

Don’t deviate when two owners in your league draft D/STs like the Cowboys and Patriots in the 11th round. Instead, smile, and tell yourself that they must not have prepared as much as you. Then, later on in the draft, gobble up the D/ST you think will become this year’s version of the ‘20 Patriots or ‘21 Cowboys, and laugh maniacally like an Austin Powers villain (that last part is optional).

2022 CONSISTENCY RATINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end

Today we will highlight si Patrick Peterson x of our favorite sleepers at D/ST. Four of them are actual season-long breakout and/or bounce-back candidates, while the other two offer the longest individual stretches of streaming value. Whether you draft a D/ST for the long haul, or you aim to be a D/ST nomad hitching your way to the playoffs through streams, you’ll have a much clearer idea of the direction you should go by the time you’ve reviewed our sleepers and analyzed our rankings.

Good luck, happy researching, and always trust your instincts — if you can’t, no one else ever will.

DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2022 fantasy cheat sheet

Fantasy Defense Sleepers 2022: Potential D/ST breakouts, draft steals

Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins could easily finish in t Shop Women’s Clothing he top three of the D/ST leaderboards this season. Miami finished ‘21 with 48 sacks, good for 2.8 per game (seventh), and had the fourth-most fumble recoveries. The ‘Phins talented secondary also surrendered the sixth-fewest passing TDs and allowed the seventh-worst net yards per passing attempt.

The big play-ability of this squad often translates to fantasy gold — Miami scored touchdowns on six of its 26 takeaways last season, and Jacksonville Jaguars shirt while that number will likely come down this year, it still shows the upside of this defense. Defensive coordinator Josh Boyer, a Bill Belichick disciple, has this unit in good shape to take another big leap in 2022.

We’ve seen ‘expert mock drafts’ in which Miami D/ST went undrafted, which seems like a major oversight (this was the sixth-highest scoring D/ST last season!). If you’re the type of fantasy drafter who waits until five to seven defenses go off the board before you pounce, you can’t do better than the Dolphins if they’re still around.

Baltimore Ravens. We fully understand why folks seem ambivalent about Baltimore’s D/ST this season, after brutally ranking 26th in fantasy points in 2021. The Ravens gave up the most passing yards in the league, and only three teams had fewer takeaways. But injuries also ran rampant in Baltimore, from preseason through January. Two-time All-Pro defensive back Marcus Peters suffered a torn ACL just days before the season kicked off, and fellow Pro Bowl corner Marlon Humphrey missed a chunk of games late in the season.

Still, the Ravens exhibited a top-notch rushing defense — no NFL team allowed fewer ground yards. They have a bunch of ducks on their schedule this season, and they expect plenty of upper-echelon talent to return to full health. Baltimore would be as exciting a last-round pick as landing “The Wire” in the last-round of an HBO series draft Jerome Bettis .

Los Angeles Chargers. Don’t despair if you end up last to the D/ST party and the Chargers fall into your lap. Three-time All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack joins four-time Pro Bowler Joey Bosa on the line, so the sacks will come early and often for the franchise formerly known as San Diego. Former Patriots corner Kansas City Chiefs shirt back J.C. Jackson also bolsters a secondary that already featured Asante Samuel Jr. and Derwin James. There’s a ton of counting-stat upside with this D, but the points allowed total of 27.0 (29th in the NFL in ‘21) should also be significant Tennessee Titans shirt ly improved upon. The Bolts might finally have the defense to shift the franchise from pretender to contender.

2022 FANTASY DRAFT STRATEGY:
Snake draft Jackets s | Auctions | Dynasty | Best ball | IDP

Cleveland Browns. The Browns are one of the first teams on the starting-tier bubble that offer above-average value in the opening month but below-average value over the course of the full season new york giants shirt . Back-to-back All-Pro pass-rusher Myles Garrett and company will be salivating at Cleveland’s early-season matchups with the Panthers, Jets, Steelers, and Falcons. You can evaluate after that, as the going gets considerably tougher toward late fall/early winter. There’s plenty of upside with this D, though, coming off a ‘21 campaign that included 43 sacks and 13 interceptions.

Washington Commanders. One of the defenses that went from very good in ‘20 to very bad, Washington looked lost at certain points last season. We’ll cross our fingers as we list them as a sleeper, because this D has plenty of talent at the line led by Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, and DaRon Payne. Maybe with Carson Wentz at QB, and a healthier overall roster, this entire team will be rejuvenated and can return to top-tier defensive form like in ‘20. Or, maybe they’ll stink again and Jack Del Rio will get canned. Either way, opening games against the Jaguars and Lions should help this D/ST get some momentum.

Green Bay Packers. The Packers lost a ton of talent this offseason, led by Davante Adams on offense and pass-rusher Za'Darius Smith on defense. They still have plenty of upside defensively, as they ranked in the top 10 in yards allowed, pass yards allowed, and rushing TDs surrendered. Keep an eye on the Pack through Week 4, and consider stashing them for Week 5-9, a stretch that sees them take on the Giants, Jets, Commanders, and Lions (of course, you’ll avoid them in Week 8 at Buffalo).

Under-the-radar teams with favorable early-season schedules: 

Carolina Panthers: vs. CLE, @NYG, vs. NO
Chicago Bears: vs. SF, @GB, vs. HOU, @ NYG
Cleveland Browns: @CAR, vs. NYJ, vs. PIT, @ATL
Philadelphia Eagles: @DET, vs. MIN, @ WAS, vs. JAX
Washington Commanders: vs. JAX, @DET

Sloan Piva

Sloan Piva

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