Pre-Season Ranks, D/ST and K
Today I conclude my pre-season ranks with defenses and kickers. Many leagues (including several I play in) are going kicker free, but for those who aren't, enjoy.
Top 20 D/ST:
1. Denver Broncs
2. Seattle Seahawks
3. Carolina Panthers
4. Arizona Cardinals
5. Kansas City Chiefs
6. Houston Texans
7. Cincinnati Bengals
8. New York Jets
9. Minnesota Vikings
10. New England Patriots
11. Oakland Raiders
12. Green Bay Packers
13. Baltimore Ravens
14. Buffalo Bills
15. St. Louis Rams
16. Jacksonville Jaguars
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
19. Detroit Lions
20. Indianapolis Colts
* A lot of people have the Broncos between 4-6 in rankings. I put them one. Call me a homer if you want, but they were No. 1 last year, and I think they'll be there, or at least have a good shot, again this year. Sure, Malik Jackson and Danny Trevanthan are gone, but Denver is hardly stripped bare. The secondary returns, we have a great pass rush, and I like the potential on the defensive line. I still believe.
* The Houston Texans are often a lot higher on people's rankings. I get it. I love J.J. Watt, too. And they finished strong in '15, but as an early season owner, I can tell you it was not a smooth or dominating season.
* The Oakland Raiders might be the most improved defense, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them make the leap to the top 10. I have them just on the cusp at 11.
* The other surging defense is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who I expect to be greatly improved. They are a defense on the rise.
Top 20 Kickers:
1. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots
2. Stephen Hauska, Seattle Seahawks
3. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
4. Graham Gano, Carolina Panthers
5. Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers
6. Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys
7. Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons
8. Adam Vinateri, Indianapolis Colts
9. Brandon McManus, Denver Broncos
10. Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings
11. Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh Steelers
12. Matt Prater, Detroit Lions
13. Chandler Cantazaro, Arizona Cardinals
14. Josh Brown, New York Giants
15. Robert Aguayo, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
16. Mike Nugent, Cincinnati Bengals
17. Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears
18. Dan Carpenter, Buffalo Bills
19. Nick Novak, Houston Texans
20. Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers
* The rule with kickers is you generally do better if you pick people from high scoring offenses. I've done that a lot here.
* Most people won't have McManus in the top 10. I get it. Limited track record. Potentially poor offense. But he also plays in Denver, where the depth of kicks is longer. I think the distance bonuses will help and he could get a lot of field goals. I'm also a homer...
* Aguayo is a rookie, but he was taken in the third round of the NFL draft. I've seen some rank him in the top 10. He's obviously a talent. But I don't think the Bucs have a great scoring offense, and he's a rookie, so I have him at 15.