Offseason fantasy football rankings: Defenses and kickers

Since it’s never too early to start looking ahead to the next fantasy football season, we asked Bill Bender from Fantasy Source to pay us a visit and offer his post-Super Bowl rankings for 2010. Here’s a look at defenses and kickers:

2010 fantasy Defenses: Check out the top 10 for free

Jets CB Darrelle Revis had six interceptions in 2009.
Jets CB Darrelle Revis had six interceptions in 2009.

Franchise: N.Y. Jets (No. 2). This unit has more than just all-world cornerback Darrelle Revis. David Harris is an elite linebacker, and Calvin Pace and Shaun Ellis are outstanding role players. Kris Jenkins’ return, the draft and another year in Rex Ryan’s system will make the league’s No. 1 unit even better. By "better," I mean "elite."

Bounce-back: Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 3). Steelers fans used the "no Troy Polamalu" excuse in tonnage last year, and it had merit. The Steelers have ranked in the top three in run defense four years in a row, but they struggled against the pass without the safety. That’s the sign of a bounce-back attack, provided Polamalu is healthy.

Sleeper: Houston Texans (No. 16). The Texans allowed more than 20 points only twice after Week 8, and those were excusable efforts against the Colts and Patriots. This unit will improve around Brian Cushing, DeMeco Ryans and Mario Williams.

Bust: Miami Dolphins (No. 17). This aging group couldn’t stop the pass, gave up too many points and struggled against the run toward the end of last season. Can Bill Parcells and Tony Sparano fix all of that against a brutal schedule that features six road games against playoff teams? It’s doubtful.

2010 fantasy Ks: Check out the top 10 for free

Franchise: Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots (No. 3). He’s the only kicker with more than 400 points since ’07 (410), and he has connected on 87.3 percent of his field goals in that span.

Bounce-back: Nate Kaeding, Chargers (No. 1). So what if he can’t hit in the postseason? Kaeding averaged 9.1 ppg and led the league in scoring in 2009. Make him the top kicker in ’10.

Sleeper: Dan Carpenter, Dolphins: This accurate kicker will creep into the top-10 next season. Do you know where Carpenter played his college ball? Five … four … it was Montana. Sorry, I couldn’t wait.

Bust: Shayne Graham, Bengals (No. 23). So what if he can’t hit in the postseason? Well, in this case, it could cost him a job.

Rookie: Brett Swenson, Michigan State. Swenson isn’t the next Morten Andersen, but he will compete for a starting job somewhere.

Also see: 2010 fantasy RBs | Fantasy QBs | Fantasy WRs | Fantasy TEs

Bill Bender writes for Fantasy Source Football. For more coverage, visit Fantasy Source Football today.

Since it’s never too early to start looking ahead to the next fantasy football season, we asked Bill Bender from Fantasy Source to pay us a visit and offer his post-Super Bowl rankings for 2010. Here’s a look at defenses and kickers:

2010 fantasy Defenses: Check out the top 10 for free

Jets CB Darrelle Revis had six interceptions in 2009.
Jets CB Darrelle Revis had six interceptions in 2009.

Franchise: N.Y. Jets (No. 2). This unit has more than just all-world cornerback Darrelle Revis. David Harris is an elite linebacker, and Calvin Pace and Shaun Ellis are outstanding role players. Kris Jenkins’ return, the draft and another year in Rex Ryan’s system will make the league’s No. 1 unit even better. By "better," I mean "elite."

Bounce-back: Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 3). Steelers fans used the "no Troy Polamalu" excuse in tonnage last year, and it had merit. The Steelers have ranked in the top three in run defense four years in a row, but they struggled against the pass without the safety. That’s the sign of a bounce-back attack, provided Polamalu is healthy.

Sleeper: Houston Texans (No. 16). The Texans allowed more than 20 points only twice after Week 8, and those were excusable efforts against the Colts and Patriots. This unit will improve around Brian Cushing, DeMeco Ryans and Mario Williams.

Bust: Miami Dolphins (No. 17). This aging group couldn’t stop the pass, gave up too many points and struggled against the run toward the end of last season. Can Bill Parcells and Tony Sparano fix all of that against a brutal schedule that features six road games against playoff teams? It’s doubtful.

2010 fantasy Ks: Check out the top 10 for free

Franchise: Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots (No. 3). He’s the only kicker with more than 400 points since ’07 (410), and he has connected on 87.3 percent of his field goals in that span.

Bounce-back: Nate Kaeding, Chargers (No. 1). So what if he can’t hit in the postseason? Kaeding averaged 9.1 ppg and led the league in scoring in 2009. Make him the top kicker in ’10.

Sleeper: Dan Carpenter, Dolphins: This accurate kicker will creep into the top-10 next season. Do you know where Carpenter played his college ball? Five … four … it was Montana. Sorry, I couldn’t wait.

Bust: Shayne Graham, Bengals (No. 23). So what if he can’t hit in the postseason? Well, in this case, it could cost him a job.

Rookie: Brett Swenson, Michigan State. Swenson isn’t the next Morten Andersen, but he will compete for a starting job somewhere.

Also see: 2010 fantasy RBs | Fantasy QBs | Fantasy WRs | Fantasy TEs

Bill Bender writes for Fantasy Source Football. For more coverage, visit Fantasy Source Football today.

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