A list of the best defenses to draft for the 2013 fantasy football season.
The Chicago Bears run a 3-4 base defense coordinated by Rod Marinelli.
Injured Defensive Players:
IR: DT Matt Toeaina, IR: CB Sherrick McManis, IR: S Brandon Hardin, IR: S Craig Steltz
The Bears finished the 2011 season with a mediocre 8-8 record, but don't blame the defense. Chicago's D was one of the league's best, in both fantasy scoring and on-field performance, and we expect more of the same in 2012. Julius Peppers' outside speed makes Chicago's defense so tough. With offensive lines worrying about him, unheralded players like DT Henry Melton (7 sacks) have room to make big plays. That also covers up for the fact that Chicago's linebacking corps, which still relies heavily on Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, is getting up there in age. First-round draft pick Shea McClellin is projected to start at LDE, providing a more effective bookend to Peppers. The Bears also added depth via free agency, bringing in DT John McCargo and LB Geno Hayes from the Bucs, MLB Lbake Costanzo from the Niners and cornerbacks Kelvin Hayden (Atlanta) and Jonathan Wilhite (Denver). The Bears special teams still rely heavily on Devin Hester, who is as good as anyone in the league. Hester racked up three special teams TDs in each of the last two seasons and has shown no sign of slowing.
The Denver Broncos run a 3-4 base defense coordinated by Jack Del Rio.
Injured Defensive Players:
IR: DT Ty Warren, IR: DE Jeremy Beal, IR: DE Jason Hunter, IR: LB Joe Mays, IR: S Quinton Carter
The Broncos were surprisingly effective on defense last season. And in fact Tim Tebow was partly responsible. When Tebow took over at quarterback, Denver started playing an extreme run-heavy offense that allowed them to dominate time of possession – which gave their defensive stats a lift across the board. Of course, the additions of new coach John Fox – a defensive guru going back to his days with the Giants – and the emergence of pass-rushing rookie LB Von Miller (11.5 sacks) certainly didn't hurt. As a team, the Broncos will have a very different look this season. Peyton Manning takes over for Tebow, which means the offense is going to have to air things out quite a bit more. And that means the defense probably won't have the same sort of time-of-possession edge it enjoyed last season. The Broncos will have a fearsome pass rush, keyed by Miller and Elvis Dumervil (9.5 sacks). And ageless DB Champ Bailey is still one of the league's better cover corners. The Broncos added depth on the defensive line in the second round of the draft, picking DT Derek Wolfe out of Cincinnati. Wolfe could be pressed into service sooner than anticipated, as veteran lineman Ty Warren is less-than-thrilled about his contract status.
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