Andrew's 2012 Fantasy Football Preview - Part 1: Defense/Special Teams

In anticipation of the upcoming 2012 Fantasy Football season, I'll be breaking down my Top 10 Players at each position. I'm skipping kickers because, well, frankly they don't matter. I don't pick one until the final round of my drafts and I just grab the kicker with the most explosive offense left on the board. So there's my advice for that one. As for this post, we'll be covering my Top 10 Defenses.

1. San Francisco 49ers
It would make sense that the best defense in the NFL would be the best fantasy defense as well. They don't give up a lot of points which will gain your team a lot of points.

2. Houston Texans
Even without Mario Williams, the Texans will continue their ascent into the elite group of NFL defenses. Wade Phillips knows what he's doing.

3. Chicago Bears
Even with aging superstars like Brian Urlacher and Julius Peppers, the Bears D is still solid. Devin Hester helps quite a bit on special teams, as well. He's good for a few return TDs every season.

4. Baltimore Ravens
Ed Reed and Ray Lewis will get the rest of the guys on this defense ready to play this season, even without T-Sizzle, who still claims he'll be back at some point. The Ravens D is the model of consistency in the NFL.

5. New York Jets
I'm really not a huge fan of the Jets D, but at this point you could probably flip a coin between these next few teams. The Jets have Darrelle Revis and should still be stout against the run, so that's why I'm going with them here.

6. Green Bay Packers
Maybe I'm a homer here, but I think the Packers D is going to be vastly improved from last season. The likely loss of Desmond Bishop for the season will hurt a lot, but backup D.J. Smith is no slouch. The big change from last year will be the pass rush, which should be back to where it was during the Super Bowl run of 2010.

7. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles D wasn't where it was expected to be last season after the big splash they made in free agency. They still have a ton of talent, however, and another year together in the system should only make them better.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers
Another staple in the Top 10 every year. You should feel pretty comfortable taking the Pittsburgh defense in any draft during any year, especially if you're one of the last people to be selecting a D/ST as you would be if they were in this position.

9. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks were an underrated defense last year and they should only improve. Their secondary was good enough, but their ability to stop the run was where they really thrived.

10. New England Patriots
I think the Patriots had an amazing draft defensively, and couple that with Bill Belichick's scheming and this defense should be improved from last season. Their pass rush should be their best asset which can help mask the below-average secondary.

Look for my next post coming soon where I'll be giving you my Top 10 Tight Ends.