NFL 2020 Top 11 Defenses

Whether you are in a redraft league that rosters defenses or need to know how your offensive players will stack up, knowing the top defenses is important.

There are defenses that appear to be in a rebuilding mode, defenses that were really…really good against the run and sucked against the pass, and those whose additions are added for depth. But all 11 defenses should be considered in your fantasy football machinations.

11. Los Angeles Chargers

It seems the Chargers are annually touted as a top defense and then the annually get destroyed by injuries.

ADDITIONS:

VIA FREE AGENCY: Chris Harris Jr., Cornerback; Linval Joseph, Defensive Tackle; Nick Vigil, Outside Linebacker

VIA DRAFT: Kenneth Murray, Linebacker; Alohi Gilman, Safety

DEPARTURES:

Jatavis Brown, Linebacker; Nick Dzubnar, Linebacker; Adrian Phillips, Safety; Jaylen Watkins, Safety; Sylvester Williams, Defensive Tackle

2019 STATS:

Sixth versus the pass (200.2)

18th versus the run (112.8)

14th in allowing opponents touchdowns per game (2.5)

11 interceptions in 2019

10. Los Angeles Rams

As long as you have a healthy Aaron Donald anchoring the defensive line, you will always be a top-10 contender.

ADDITIONS:

VIA FREE AGENCY: Leonard Floyd, Linebacker; A’Shawn Robinson, Defensive Tackle

VIA 2020 NFL DRAFT: Terrell Lewis, Defensive Tackle; Terrell Burgess, Safety; Jordan Fuller, Safety; Clay Johnston Linebacker

DEPARTURES:

Daunte Fowler, Linebacker; Nickell Robey-Coleman, Cornerback; Corey Littleton, Linebacker; Tanzel Smart, Defensive End; Marqui Christian, Safety;

2019 STATS

12th versus the pass (226.6)

19th versus the run (113.1)

15th in allowing opponents touchdowns per game (1.4)

13 interceptions in 2019

9. New Orleans Saints

Sneaky good defense that is overshadowed by their offensive superstars.

ADDITIONS:

VIA FREE AGENCY: Malcom Jenkins, Safety; Nigel Bradham, Linebacker; Margus Hunt, Defensive End; Anthony Chickillo, Defensive End

VIA 2020 NFL DRAFT: Zack Baun, Linebacker

DEPARTURES:

AJ Klein, Linebacker; Eli Apple, Cornerback; Vonn Bell, Safety; Taylor Stallworth, Defensive Tackle

2019 STATS

19th versus the pass (240.8)

Fourth versus the run (93.9)

16th in allowing opponents touchdowns per game (2.5)

13 interceptions in 2019

8. Chicago Bears

Their offense is not doing them any favors.

ADDITIONS

VIA FREE AGENCY: Robert Quinn, Linebacker, Barkevious Mingo, Linebacker; Tashaun Gipson, Free Safety; Artie Burns, Cornerback; Jordan Lucas, Safety; Marqui Christian, Safety

VIA 2020 NFL DRAFT: Jaylon Johnson, Cornerback; Trevis Gipson, Defensive End/Linebacker; Kindle Vildor, Cornerback

DEPARTURES

Eddie Goldman (opt-out), Defensive Tackle; Jordan Lucas (opt-out), Defensive Back; Tre Roberson, Defensive Back; Kentrell Brice, Defensive Back; Devante Bond, Linebacker; Leonard Floyd, Linebacker; Prince Amukamara, Defensive Back

2019 STATS

Fourth against the pass

Eighth versus the pass (221.1)

Ninth versus the run (102.0)

Seventh in allowing opponents touchdowns per game (2.1)

10 interceptions 2019

7. Minnesota Vikings

Vikings defense will enter the seasons with a lot of new faces.

ADDITIONS

VIA FREE AGENCY: Anthony Zettel, Defensive End; DeMarquis Gates, Linebacker; Hardy Nickerson, Linebacker; Steven Parker, Safety

VIA 2019 NFL DRAFT: Jeff Gladney, Cornerback; Cameron Dantzier, Cornerback; D.J. Wonnum, Defensive End; James Lynch, Defensive Tackle; Troy Dye, Linebacker; Harrison Hand, Cornerback; Josh Metellus, Safety; Kenny Willekes, Defensive End; Brian Cole, Safety;

DEPARTURES

Michael Pierce (opt-out), Defensive Tackle; Everson Griffen, Defensive End; Linval Joseph, Defensive Tackle; Xavier Rhodes, Cornerback; Trae Waynes, Cornerback; Mackensie Alexander, Cornerback; Stephen Weatherly, Defensive End; Andrew Sendejo, Safety; Jayron Kearse, Safety;

2019 STATS

14th versus the pass (227.0)

17th versus the run (111.7)

Sixth in allowing opponents touchdowns per game (2.0)

17 interceptions in 2019

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This defense was historically good against the run, and pretty bad against the pass.

ADDITIONS

VIA FREE AGENCY: Kyle Love, Defensive Tackle

VIA 2020 NFL DRAFT: Antoine Winfield, Safety; Chapelle Russell, Linebacker

DEPARTURES

Beau Allen, Defensive Line; M.J. Stewart, Cornerback; Carl Nassib, Linebacker

2019 STATS

30th versus the pass (270.1)

First against the run (73.8)

24th in allowing opponents touchdowns per game (3.0)

12 interceptions in 2019

5. Buffalo Bills

The Bills are in the running to have the best defense in the NFL as they attempt to establish a dominance in the AFC East.

ADDITIONS

VIA FREE AGENCY: Josh Norman, Cornerback; Mario Addison, Linebacker; A.J. Klein, Linebacker; Vernon Butler, Defensive End; Quinton Jefferson, Defensive Tackle; Bryan Cox, Defensive End; Tanzel Smart, Defensive End; Justin Zimmer, Defensive Tackle; Tyler Matakevich, Linebacker; Niles Scott, Defensive Tackle

VIA 2020 NFL DRAFT: A.J. Epenesa, Defensive End; Dane Jackson Cornerback

DEPARTURES

E.J. Gaines, (opt-out) Cornerback ; Star Lotulelei (opt-out) Defensive Tackle; Jordan Phillips, Defensive Tackle; Kevin Johnson, Cornerback; Shaq Lawson, Defensive End; Julian Stanford, Linebacker

2019 STATS

Fourth versus the pass (196.6)

11th versus the run (105.3)

Second in allowing opponents touchdowns per game (1.9)

14 interceptions in 2019

4. New England Patriots

The Football Outsiders Almanac calculated that the Patriots had lost more production on defense from 2019 to 2020 than any team since at least 2002-2003, and that was before the opt-outs.

ADDITIONS

VIA FREE AGENCY

Beau Allen, Defensive Line; Xavier Williams, Defensive Tackle; Cody Davis, Safety; Adrian Phillips, Safety; Brandon Copeland, Linebacker; Michael Jackson Sr., Cornerback

VIA 2019 NFL DRAFT

Kyle Dugger, Safety; Josh Uche, Linebacker; Anfernee Jennings, Linebacker; Cassh Maluia, Linebacker

DEPARTURES

Patrick Chung (opt-out), Safety; Dont’a Hightower (opt-out), Linebacker; Kyle Van Noy, Linebacker; Duron Harmon, Safety; Nate Ebner, Safety; Jamie Collins, Linebacker; Danny Shelton, Defensive Tackle; Elandon Roberts, Linebacker

2019 STATS

First versus the pass (173.9)

Eighth versus the run (101.7)

First in allowing opponents touchdowns per game (1.6)

25 interceptions in 2019

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

This is a defense that led the league in takeaways last season (38).

ADDITIONS

VIA FREE AGENCY: Chris Wormley, Defensive End; Curtis Riley, Safety;

VIA 2019 NFL DRAFT: Alex Highsmith, Linebacker; Antoine Brooks, Safety; Carlos Davis, Defensive Tackle

DEPARTURES

Artie Burns, Cornerback; Sean Davis, Safety; Javon Hargrave, Defensive Tackle; Tyler Matakevich, Linebacker

2019 STATS

Third versus the pass (194.6)

14th versus the run (109.6)

Fifth in allowing opponents touchdowns per game (2.0)

20 interceptions in 2019

2. San Francisco 49ers

This defense was the third best fantasy defense last season, and they will come into 2020 with no major personnel loss.

ADDITITONS

VIA FREE AGENCY: Kerry Hyder, Defensive End; Johnathan Cyprien, Safety; Dion Jordan, Defensive End; Jamar Taylor, Cornerback; Joe Walker, Linebacker;

VIA 2019 NFL DRAFT: Javon Kinlaw, Defensive Tackle

DEPARTURES

DeForest Buckner, Defensive Tackle; Sheldon Day, Defensive Tackle; Anthony Zettel, Defensive End; DJ Reed, Safety; Elijah Lee, Linebacker

2019 STATS

Second versus the pass (178.8)

12th versus the run (106.0)

10th in allowing opponents touchdowns per game (2.4)

12 interceptions in 2019

1. Baltimore Ravens

Even with the sudden departure of Earl Thomas, the Ravens are that good.

ADDITIONS

VIA FREE AGENCY: Calais Campbell, Defensive End; Derek Wolfe, Defensive End;

VIA 2019 NFL DRAFT: Patrick Queen, Linebacker; Justin Madubuike, Defensive Line; Malik Harrison, Linebacker; Broderick Washington, Defensive Line; Geno Stone, Safety

DEPARTURES

Patrick Onwuasor, Linebacker; Josh Bynes, Safety; Chris Wormley, Defensive End; Daylon Mack, Defensive Tackle

2019 STATS

Fifth versus the pass (199.9)

Seventh versus the run (100.6)

Fourth in allowing opponents touchdowns per game (1.9)

13 interceptions in 2019

There is no way this is a ‘normal’ year. But it looks like we are going to have some football. Let’s go!

Talk at me on Twitter @neverenoughglt

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