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2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: DEF/ST Rankings

Defense on your fantasy team is certainly not the most urgent position to fill. It's a position that most likely you will choose in the final few rounds. The one change that does have an impact on fantasy football though is the rule change that moves kickoffs forward. This reduces the value of teams with strong kickoff return men. There isn't a world of difference between the top defenses, so this should not be a stressful decision.

1. Green Bay Packers

The Packers have a great pass rush. Their secondary is really strong and contains multiple ball hawks. They look like they have upgraded the return game.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers

Their pass rush is excellent. Pittsburgh always creates a lot of turnovers. The return game is average.

3. New England Patriots

The Patriots have made changes on defense in the last few years and that has moved them back up the rankings. They force a ton of turnovers. New England usually is very good on kick returns.

4. Philadelphia Eagles

Their defense creates pressure and forces many sacks. They've added some excellent players (Asomugha, Rodgers-Cromartie, Babin). The Eagles possess good kick returners.

5. New York Jets

The Jets defense is an attacking unit. Their secondary is excellent. They lost a key returner but grabbed a great return man in the draft.

6. Baltimore Ravens

This defense really puts pressure on the quarterback. The secondary is average. Their return game is in transition.

7. Detroit Lions

The Lions defensive line has developed into a real strength. The secondary is still pretty weak. They have a good kick returner.

8. New Orleans Saints

A very creative defense with a strong secondary. They need to develop their pass rush. They replaced Reggie Bush with Darren Sproles, which should keep the returns at a high level.

9. New York Giants

The Giants still have an excellent pass rush. They've had some injuries in the secondary which is concerning. They are good on special teams.

10. Chicago Bears

A good defense that creates turnovers. They have a good pass rush with Julius Peppers. The return game is excellent.

11. San Diego Chargers

The Chargers didn't allow many yards in 2010. They get to the quarterback a lot. Special teams is a concern with the loss of Sproles.  

12. Atlanta Falcons

They are a good defense. They have upgraded their pass rush. Atlanta has a very good return game.

13. Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys can really get to the quarterback. The secondary is average at best. Dez Bryant is an exciting return man.

14. San Francisco 49ers

They have a lot of pass-rush potential. The 49ers do not miss on their tackles. A poor return game.

15. Minnesota Vikings

The run defense is not what it used to be. They will probably be more aggressive this season. A good return game that could be great depending how much Percy Harvin is used here.

16. Tennessee Titans

The Titans front seven has become a weakness. They will look to be more aggressive. A very good special teams.

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A good defense. Tampa doesn't get many sacks. They have a questionable return game.

18. Indianapolis Colts

Another team that will be looking to blitz. The Colts will be aggressive. They have good special teams.

19. Oakland Raiders

The Raiders love to sack the quarterback. The secondary will miss Asomugha. They have a great young kick returner in Jacoby Ford.

20. St. Louis Rams

A defense that is bringing a lot of pressure. They will play a very good schedule. Not a very good return team.

21. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins can get to the quarterback. Not a lot of big plays from the secondary. A poor special teams.

22. Arizona Cardinals

They have been a good fantasy defense. The Cardinals score quite a bit on turnovers. A good return game.

23. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have some pass rush talent. They don't blitz the quarterback much. Their return men have the speed and moves to take it all the way.

24. Seattle Seahawks

Very average defense. The pass defense is horrible. The Seahawks biggest strength is their special teams.

25. Carolina Panthers

The Panthers will be an attacking defense. They still need to upgrade some positions. Just average special teams.

26. Houston Texans

Wade Phillips will improve this defense. They have upgraded their secondary. Poor special teams.

27. Cleveland Browns

A weak defensive line. The linebackers are average at best. Special teams is the bright spot with Josh Cribbs.

28. Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals have a young defensive line. A steady linebacker group. Cincinnati has two explosive returners.

29. Washington Redskins

The Redskins defensive line is weak. Their linebackers create an abundance of quarterback pressure. They're looking to upgrade their special teams.

30. Buffalo Bills

Buffalo needs to find a pass rush. They allow a lot of points. They do have a fine group of returners.

31. Denver Broncos

The Broncos are rebuilding on defense. They were ranked at or near the bottom in nearly every defensive category. Special teams also needs improvement.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars

This defense continues to drop in the rankings. They don't have much in the secondary. The return game is the one bright spot.