There are two different type of Fantasy Football leagues and they offer a huge disparaging worth of team defenses. The first is the basic league where the league only offers points based on turnovers and defensive touchdowns scored. However, a more popular model includes giving teams points based on a sliding scale for points allowed and yards allowed, with defenses suddenly worth more than even tight ends in many leagues. When deciding on how to go about setting up rankings for the 2017 fantasy football draft, decide which league scoring system you are in.

Here is a look at the 2017 fantasy football draft defense rankings as the NFL training camps are officially underway. These are based on overall performance of defenses, both in turnovers as well as points and yards allowed in games.

Tier 1: Defense Rankings

The first tier of 2017 fantasy football draft defense rankings are those defenses you want to target in the early rounds of most drafts. These teams offer both shutdown defenses, where they stop most teams from getting into the end zone and limit the yards given up per game. They are also ball hawking defenses, able to force and recover fumbles and pick off quarterback’s passes. Touchdowns scored on defense and safeties are rare, so those are not as important but turnovers are how those are scored, so those weigh heavily into these rankings.

When it comes to drafting a defense, for leagues who only score for turnovers and touchdowns scored, pick these close to the 10th pick or later. For leagues that use the sliding scale, these can be taken anywhere after the fifth round for maximum point possibilities.

1. Arizona Cardinals

2. Kansas City Chiefs

3. Los Angeles Chargers


Denver Broncos

5. New York Giants

Tier 2: Defense Rankings

The second tier of 2017 fantasy football draft defense rankings include those remaining defenses that should be starting for most fantasy teams. It is important to note that after this tier, most defenses are the exact same – outside of the final batch at the bottom. As a result, if you are not able to get a defense from the Top 12, there is no reason to bother drafting one at all until near the end of the draft.

6. Minnesota Vikings

7. Seattle Seahwaks

8. Houston Texans

9. Carolina Panthers

10. Philadelphia Eagles

11. Atlanta Falcons

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tier 3: Backup Defense Rankings

The third tier of 2017 fantasy football draft defense rankings are backups and plug-in starters as well as insurance policies in case of emergencies. These are defenses you could start but should never be your first option.

13. Baltimore Ravens

14. New England Patriots

15. Jacksonville Jaguars

16. Miami Dolphins

17. Los Angeles Rams

18. Buffalo Bills

19. Cincinnati Bengals

20. Green Bay Packers

21. Dallas Cowboys

22. Pittsburgh Steelers

23. Oakland Raiders

24. Washington Redskins

Avoid these defenses

Finally, here are defenses you should avoid at all costs.

25. New Orleans Saints

26. San Francisco 49ers

27. Tennessee Titans

28. Detroit Lions

29. Chicago Bears

30. New York Jets

31. Indianapolis Colts

32. Cleveland Browns