A list of the best defenses to draft for the 2013 fantasy football season.
The Seattle Seahawks run a 4-3 base defense coordinated by Dan Quinn.
Injured Defensive Players:
DT Jesse Williams - IR (knee), DE Greg Scruggs - PUP (knee), CB Tharold Simon - PUP (foot), CB Walter Thurmond III - Suspended, S Jeron Johnson - IR (hamstring)
The Seahawks have arguably the strongest home field advantage in the game (11.9 PPG, 1st), and last season they were also formidable on the road (19.4 PPG, 3rd). But while the Seahawks ranked eighth in yards per play (5.1) and third in yards per pass attempt (6.2), they finished 23rd in yards per carry (4.5) and 18th in sacks (36), and their defensive line was exposed in the playoffs. To bolster the line, the team added defensive ends Cliff Avril (Lions) and Michael Bennett (Buccaneers). The line still figures to be tested early, though, as Chris Clemons (11.5 sacks) might not be ready for Week 1 after ACL surgery, and Bruce Irvin (eight sacks) is suspended the first four games. The Seahawks also lost run-stopping DT Alan Branch (Bills) in free agency, but hope to have found his replacement in third-round draft pick Jordan Hill (Penn State). As for special teams, returner Leon Washington (Patriots) became expendable when the team acquired Percy Harvin, who is every bit as explosive in the open field. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley left to become head coach in Jacksonville, but under new DC Dan Quinn (University of Florida), expect the Seahawks defense to rely again on one of the league’s top secondaries – second-fewest TD passes allowed (15), third-fewest 25-plus yard completions (21), eighth in interceptions (18) – led by physical corners Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner and a young, speedy linebacking corps while the defensive line finds its footing.
The Buffalo Bills run a 4-3 base defense coordinated by Mike Pettine.
Injured Defensive Players:
DE Alex Carrington - IR (quad)
First the good news: the Bills ranked 10th last season in YPA allowed (6.9). Now the bad: they ranked 22nd in yards per play (5.6), 18th in sacks (36) and 24th in takeaways (21). That, among other shortcomings, was enough to get head coach Chan Gailey and coordinator Dave Wannstedt fired. The Bills hired Doug Marrone (Syracuse) as head coach and former Jets assistant Mike Pettine as the new defensive coordinator. They also kept almost all the defensive starters, while adding tackle Alan Branch (Seahawks) and linebacker Manny Lawson (Bengals) via free agency and safeties Duke Williams (Nevada) and Jonathan Meeks (Clemson) via the draft. Whatever hope the new arrivals bring must be tempered by the limitations of quarterbacks Kevin Kolb and rookie EJ Manuel. Don’t expect the offense to do the defense any favors this season.
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