1. Philadelphia Eagles. Last years number one fantasy defense just got better. The loss of Sheldon Brown stings a little but the Eagles have two capable veterens who can fill his spot in Ellis Hobbs and Marlin Jackson. The defensive line upgraded with the acquisition of Darryl Tapp. Stewart Bradley is returning after suffering a season ending injury which should solidify the middle linebacker position. Through another trade, Philadelphia acquired Ernie Sims. Sims is as good a tackler as they come but problems staying healthy last season dropped his stock. If Sims can stay healthy the Eagles just got themselves a pro bowl caliber linebacker that they have lacked in seasons before.
2. Minnesota Vikings. What else is new, Minnesota has a good defense again. The only knock on this defense is if something happens to the Williams Wall for there so-called banned substance violation from a few years ago. The Vikings are the best team against the run and have a sack machine in Jared Allen. The pressure-matic Allen can cause a lot of fits for opposing offenses, giving the Vikings more turnover opportunities. With antwan Winfield coming back healthy, its makes this D top five, period.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers. The Madden jinx caught up with the Steelers last season when one of the coverboys, in Troy Polomalu battled knee injuries through out the season. Polomalu missed more then half the games for the Steelers. His health determines how good Pittsburgh can really be. A healthy Polomalu makes this team an elite defense because he is one of the top 2 safeties in the game. Add in the reaquiring of Bryant Mcfaddin and Larry Foote, two key pieces to pittsburghs super bowl winning defense two years ago.
4. Chicago Bears. Chicago made a splash with the signing of Julius Peppers. That signing with the return of Brian Urlacher makes the Bears defense relevant again. Peppers presense should give the Bears more turnover opportunities and help the team get more sacks. Peppers will draw more double teams to open up more lanes for defenders to get to the quartarback. People kept saying that Peppers could be the best defensive end in the NFL but never gave it his all. You can count on him proving his critics wrong and be in the top five at getting to the QB.
5. Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore has been in this position or better for years now and this season wont be any different. Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and company have one of the best 3-4 defenses in the league. This defense knows how to pressure the QB to get turnovers and find their way to the end zone. Ed Reed is a ballhawk who always finds his way to the ball just about every play, whether its a tackle or returning an interception or fumble for a touchdown. Oh did I mention Ed Reed is one of the best in league history at scoring defensive touchdowns.
6. New York Jets. Rex Ryan has really turned this defense around. After a slow start in 2009, the Jets picked it up and was the best defense towards the end of the season. Even the better receivers in the NFL had a hard time posting good numbers on Revis Island. Derelle Revis has emerged into one of the better cover corners in the league. This season opposing QB’s will look to go the other way but it also might be a tough task with an upgrade in Antonio Cromartie on the other side. Opposing offencses will have to take there chances in order to get through this defense. Hopefully with the addition of Jason Taylor and moving Vernon Gholston back to end will help this teams pass rush which could use a little help.
7. Green Bay Packers. The NFC central has three top ten fantasy defenses in 2010. The Pack are one of the teams that find most of there talent through the draft because they know how to pick. Getting Al Harris back from injury is a big boost to this defense if he can stay healthy. Last seasons defensive MVP Charles Woodson and company didnt look to bad without Harris but his presense and leader ship ability is a big boost to to the team, which will cut down on the amount of yards the Pack gave up last season. Green Bay may give up alot of yards but they always find ways to get turnovers and are one of the best in the league at doing so.
8. San Francisco 49ers. San Fran has a good defense, what? Head coach Mike Singletary has really turned this team around. Last season the 49ers had the number two fantasy defense in most leagues. They are led by the best linebacker in football in Patrick Willis. Willis has developed into a tackling machine and he is on the football alomst every play. His leadership skills and work ethic are the reason the 49ers are where they are on defense. The scary thing is he is still young and isnt in his prime yet. The biggest help the 49ers have is they play in one of the worst, if not the worst offensive divisions in football with the retirement of Kurt Warner.
9. New Orleans Saints. Not only do the Saints have a good offense, the defense isnt making the offense keep them in games. This defense was able to Peyton Manning and the Colts at bay enough to give the team thier first super bowl win. They finally re-signed play making safety Darren Sharper who led the NFL in interceptions in 2009. Finally they have been pressuring the QB to force turnovers. New Orleans brought in defensive end Alex Brown from Chicago to help Bobby McCray and Will Smith pressure opposing QB’s. New Orleans is on a super bowl high right now and expect that to be enough for the Saints to make another run.
10. Miami Dolphins. Karlos Dansby coming to town should give the Dolphins the playmaker they lacked last season. Miami may not have the star power as most teams on defense but they can get it done. On paper they look like they have holes but there players dont play like it. It also helps to have one of the best defensive minded coaches in NFL history helping head coach Tony Sparano. The Dolphins play in a tough divison, one that could have three playoff teams. Expect there defense to keep pace with the Pats and Jets with there defense.
11. Tennessee Titans. If Tennessee cant resigh Keith Bullock, the team loses a defensive leader on top of losing their best defensive end in pro bowler Kyle Vandenbosh. The veteren pressence of Vandenbosh will be missed but thats why they drafted Derrick Morgan in the first round. They signed Will Witherspoon to help if they cant re-sign Bullock. Jeff Fisher defenses usually are pretty good, they have a good secondary of playmakers in Cortland Finnagan and probably the best safety tandem in the NFL in Chris Hope and MIchael Griffin. Its tought to be in the same division with the Colts and the upstart Texans but playing elite offenses a few times can make you better.
12. Cincinatti Bengels. Out of no where the Bengels defense finally showed up and had one of there better fantasy defenses in years. Before last season at fantasy draft time nobody wanted the Bengels and fianlly they were worth picking up. Though the defense is still young they are getting get alot better with there young linebackers Keith Rivers and Rey Maualuga. Johnathen Joesph shows fleashes of why he was a first round pick. there key to success is how well Antwan Odom returns from a knee injury that sidelined him for most of 2009. He was one of the league leaders in sacks before he went down. The team still played well in his absense but think of how good they would have been if he didnt get hurt. If Odom can stay healthy and not be bothered by this injury the Bengels will be one of the best.
13. Dallas Cowboys. Dallas defense has improved since head coach Wade Phillips took over the defensive play calling but they still have holes. They have the talent to get to the QB and pressure him into mistakes. They have one of the best pass rushers in the game in Demarcus Ware so he is the key to there success. Dallas needs secondary help. If Dallas cant pressure the QB it will be a long day for the defense. Dallas can give up alot of points because they are not a good red zone team. The Cowboys will be a good pickup against weaker passing teams.
14. New York Giants. Two years ago the Giants were the best team at getting to the QB. Last year they struggled in that area. Aside from Justin Tuck there other defensive ends were pretty much vacant. They drafted Pierre-Paul in the first round to help in that area. Osi Umenyora needs to step up his game and be the probowler he has been in the past if this defense will be worth anything. The loss of Antonio Pierce will leave a huge void at the middle linebacker position. He was there defensive leader and play caller. I think Umenyora will come around and make this defense better then last year but not the year before.
15. New England Patriots. Bill Belichecks defense is slowing dismantling by year, which isnt a good sign for this team. Trading Richard Seymour, releasing Adalius Thomas, and the retirement of Rodney Harrison has weakend a once really good defense. Re-signing Vince Wolfolk and drafting Devin McCourtey keeps them decent but they could use more help. They are alot younger on D then years prior but you still count this team out. Belicheck is still the coach and he always pulls some magic out of his hat.
16. Washington Redskins. With Mike Shanahan running the show nowits hard to expect what you will get form this defense. Shanahans last few years in Denver were a defensive disaster. The Skins do have better pieces then Denver did which is why Im gonna say they will be pretty good. Washington can pressure the QB but they dont seem to produce many turnovers. Whats hurting the team now is Albert Haynesworth refusing to play the nose tackle position. Haynesworth’s presenseis key because of all the double teams he takes on and it opens up holes for guys like Brian Orackpo and Andre Carter to get beyond the offensive line. The Redskins success sits on Albert Haynesworth’s shoulders. They will get thier sacks but can they get more turnovers.
17. Indianapolis Colts. Can Bob Sanders stay on the field this year? Wishful thinking but i doubt it. When he plays he is a force who can help the Colts in all phases on defense. Indy does have the best defensive end combo in the league in Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. They will get there pressure and sack but they need the rest of the team to produce. They also drafted another pass rusher in Jerry Hughes to take some of the pressure off Mathis and Freeney to do it all and play some linebacker. This team can be a hit or miss. They’ll get you turnovers but they can also be exploited in the air and on the ground. Thank goodness they have Peyton Manning.
18. Denver Broncos. Boy did this defense look good at the beginning of last year, then the fell apart. Denver went ahead and beefed up its defensive line with the addition of Jamal Williams so they should be alot better against the run. Aside from Elvis Dumervil the Broncos need to get more pressure on the QB. This will give them more turnover chances. With Williams it should take some of the pressure off the other D-lineman. If Denver can keep it up instead of losing it towards the end of the year they can be a good defense to have.
19. San Diego Chargers. They lost run stuffing defensive tackle Jamal Williams and cornerback Antonio Cromartie. They didnt lose much by losing Cromartie beacuse they had capable player in Nathan Vasher and Antione Cason. San Diego needs Shawne Merriman to return to the form before he tore up his knee. If that can happen the Chargers will beable to create more turnovers. This defense still has talent but I dont see them doing much until Merriman produces again.
20. Arizona Cardinals. With the retirement of Kurt Warner and the QB situation unresolved, the Cardinals defense will be one the field much longer then there used to. They lost playmaking Karlos Dansby and Antrell Rolle but filled those holes with Jerry Porter and Kerry Rhodes. Rhodes will be better for them then Rolle so theres upside. Look for the Cardinals to give up alot of points and yards but they will get some turnovers.
21. Oakland Raiders. The black hole is getting better by the year on defense. By trading for Jason Cambell the defense will get more rest then in previous years. They have a good group of playmaking linebackers although I didnt like them letting Kirk Morrison go. Rolando McClain should fill that void nicely in a few years. Ndamdi Asomghua is one of the better corners in the league and will create opportunties for the defensive line as long as other teams dont pick on Chris Johnson all day.
22. Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta brought in Dunta Robinson form Houston to help solidify the pass defense but they will need more help then that. They were one of the worst pass defenses in football last season but should be a little better this year. They need to get better pressure off from the D-line to help the secondary. They have the potential to do so. Can they do it is the question?
23. Seattle Seahawks. Surely they miss Patrick Kearney already. They do not have a proven pass rusher and failed to address that in the offseason. This will cause many problems for the defense. They look ok at all the other defensive positions but D-line is really gonna hurt. They are a matchup play at best.
24. Houston Texans. Lets keep this short and sweet. Good lineman and linebackers helps this team. Their secondary needs alot of work. They have the pass rush but not the secondary to take advantage of it. The sacks will come but so will the points against.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars.
26. Detroit Lions.
27. Carolina Panthers.
28. Kansas City Chiefs.
29. Tampa Bay Bucs.
30. Cleveland Browns.
31. Buffalo Bills.
32. St. Louis Rams.