Top 12 D/ST Rankings, Tiers & Ratings (Fantasy Football 2022)

It’s never too early to look at the rankings ahead of the 2022 fantasy football season. Now is the time to see where the pundits have ranked the players against the average early draft position (ADP).

Check out our top D/ST rankings as well as player ratings as you prepare for your fantasy football draft.

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D/ST Fantasy Football Rankings and Player Ratings

Level 1

1) Buffalo Bills
Buffalo’s D is slightly overrated from last year. To open the season, they get the Rams and Titans — two offenses that aren’t exactly the best matchups you’d expect from the No. 1-ranked DST. Still, they land in the top 5 after posting the n 1 in the league by setback with Von Miller added into the fold.

2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
These are a tough first four games for the Buccaneers DST to start the season. On the road against a high-powered Dallas offense followed by a divisional road clash against the Saints, who owned Tampa during the regular season. After that, it’s at home against a non-turnover Aaron Rodgers, then Kansas City.

Level 2

3) San Francisco 49ers
You want the 49ers defense in fantasy football drafts. Their first two clashes – Chicago, Seattle – should allow them to increase the pressure on the marginal QBs. A season ago, they were the 4th-highest ranked pass-rush unit in PFF and added USC pass-rusher Drake Jackson in the second round of the draft.

4) Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are likely due to a defensive regression with all the turnover they’ve had on that side of the ball this offseason, but it’s hard to ignore their two juicy matchups to start the year: @HOU and @ JAC. They are definitely worth drafting if you can’t get a better option, but don’t consider them an elite unit. Two-division games on the road might not be as easy as they look on paper. Indy also tied Dallas with the highest turnover differential in 2021, despite ranking 31st in pressure ratio (18%).

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5) Los Angeles Rams
The Rams take on the Buffalo Bills Week 1. While they should have a solid season as a fantasy defense, it’s not a target to go for in the draft given the tough Week 1 game.

6) New England Patriots
The Patriots tend to be one of the most reliable units from season to season – top 12 DST since 2018 – and 2022 is no different. They open against Miami and Pittsburgh, which will feature QBs that shouldn’t scare off any fantasy GM.

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7) Denver Broncos
The Broncos tick all the boxes you’re looking for in a draftable fantasy DST. They feature an elite real-life defense that includes the likes of Randy Gregory, Bradley Chubb, and Pat Surtain II. Denver will pose problems for its first two opponents: Seattle and Houston.

8) New Orleans Saints
The Saints still possess a top defense and should therefore not be overlooked with a cake of easy matchups. Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Carolina round out New Orleans’ first 3 games. Two are against QB pushovers, while Tampa is a game the Saints have dominated since TB12 arrived. In four regular season games against the Brady Buccaneers, the Saints have never scored less than a fantastic 16 points.

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Level 3

9) Dallas Cowboys
Dallas had the NFL’s No. 1 turnover differential in 2021, which is likely to decline. 26 interceptions are simply not repeatable. It’s hard to confidently draft them in that spirit, considering they also open the season against Tampa Bay and the Bengals.

10) Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers obviously have a ton of talent on the defensive side of the ball, but their two matchups to start the season against foes AFC West could make them hard to trust upfront.

11) Miami Dolphins
Miami’s defense is legitimately one of the best built units in the NFL. They are well stacked at all three levels and ranked third in pressure a season ago. They play on the sidelines of the DST1 at home to New England in Week 1, which regularly drops the ball every time they play in South Beach.

12) Green Bay Packers

Others to consider:

Cleveland Browns
The Browns are strong at all levels on defense and are getting dream matchups in the first month of the year. In Carolina, at home to the New York Jets, at home to the Steelers and in Atlanta, Myles Garrett and company should translate into fantastic double-digit points. This is by far the easiest schedule for any DST to open the season.

Baltimore Ravens
Week 1: Jets. Week 2: Dolphins. Despite the health, expect the Ravens to return to top-5 form sooner rather than later. They are behind for a positive TO differential after finishing five worst in this category a season ago.

Tennessee Titans
At home against Daniel Jones and the turnover-prone New York Giants in Week 1.

FantasyPros Staff Consensus 2022 Redraft Fantasy Football Rankings

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