I enjoyed writing the first four days of my Fantasy Fodder 2011 season preview. Today is not as exciting, though, because all that’s left are the kickers and the defense-special teams combinations. You guys know by now that you shouldn’t address these areas until the end of your draft, so let’s get right to the rankings.
(If you have a scorching question about Josh Scobee or if you absolutely need to know if the Browns’ D/ST is worth a late-round flyer, shoot me a question on Twitter or leave it in the comments section. I can’t wait.)
On to the kicker rankings…
1. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots: He’s again my top kicker, but don’t take him until the last two rounds.
2. Nate Kaeding, Chargers: The Chargers offense should get a boost with a full year of Vincent Jackson.
3. Mason Crosby, Packers: At the very least, he’ll be kicking a lot of extra points this season.
8. Matt Bryant, Falcons: The Falcons have a ton of red-zone weapons, which hurts his value.
13. Garrett Hartley, Saints: The Saints are confident enough in Hartley that they didn’t bring in competition.
And your D/ST rankings…
1. Steelers: They get sacks, force turnovers and keep opponents out of the end zone…
2. Packers: …And the same can be said for the Packers, so it’s no surprise they met in the Super Bowl.
3. Patriots: The Patriots, who forced 38 turnovers last season, added Albert Haynesworth to the mix.
4. Ravens: If Chuck Pagano lives up to the billing, sacks and interceptions should go up in 2011.
6. Chargers: The Chargers had the NFL’s top-ranked defense last year, but they only forced 23 turnovers.
7. Saints: The Saints have quietly upgraded their defense, especially on the defensive line.
8. Giants: The Giants recovered 23 fumbles in 2010, a crazy stat they aren’t going to duplicate.
9. Bears: I expect the Bears and their defense to take a step back in 2011
10. Eagles: They’re going to have one of the best defenses in the league, but will it translate to fantasy?
11. Vikings: Don’t forget about the Vikings defense. Last year was a down year, but they will bounce back.
13. Cowboys: What will Rob Ryan be able to do with the caliber of talent the Cowboys have?
14. Falcons: This defense will be dangerous if they can muster a pass rush outside of John Abraham.
15. Chiefs: The Chiefs appear to be on the rise, and they should have one of the NFL’s best return games.
Matt Vensel is a blogger and community coordinator for The Baltimore Sun. Send your fantasy questions and comments to Matt.Vensel@baltsun.com, @mattvensel on Twitter or leave them in the comments section below.
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