Fantasy Football 2017: Top 20 defense and kicker rankings

By Alex Butler  |  Aug. 16, 2017 at 8:14 AM
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Aug. 16 (UPI) -- There is always that person in your fantasy football draft who decides to snag a defense first, in the fifth round, and smiles with glee.

Don't be that person.

Before you even think about drafting one of these units, fill out your roster with young players, risky options, insurance policies and lottery tickets. When you do start thinking about drafting a kicker, go for one in a good offense. Consider which kicking prospects play their home games indoors. Think about where some of their games will be in the winter. All of these factors might not sound like a big deal, but if your kicker shanks an attempt late in the season, when every point matters, it could mean a loss in your weekly matchup.


1 Denver Broncos 5
2 Kansas City Chiefs 10
3 Houston Texans 7
4 Seattle Seahawks 6
5 Minnesota Vikings 9
6 Arizona Cardinals 8
7 New England Patriots 9
8 Jacksonville Jaguars 8
9 Pittsburgh Steelers 9
10 Carolina Panthers 11
11 Los Angeles Chargers 9
12 Atlanta Falcons 5
13 Baltimore Ravens 10
14 Cincinnati Bengals 6
15 Los Angeles Rams 8
16 New York Giants 8
17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11
18 Oakland Raiders 10
19 Philadelphia Eagles 10
20 Green Bay Packers 8

For defenses, you most definitely want a unit that can force turnovers and get to the quarterback. You should also consider schedule. Mostly likely, you won't be starting the same unit for every game of the season. That means picking a unit with an easier early season slate isn't a bad idea.

At UPI, we have ranked our top 20 kickers and top 20 defense/special teams units for your 2017 fantasy football draft kit.

1 Stephen Gostkowski New England Patriots 9
2 Justin Tucker Baltimore Ravens 10
3 Matt Bryant Atlanta Falcons 5
4 Adam Vinatieri Indianapolis Colts 11
5 Dan Bailey Dallas Cowboys 6
6 Mason Crosby Green Bay Packers 8
7 Matt Prater Detroit Lions 7
8 Will Lutz New Orleans Saints 5
9 Dustin Hopkins Washington Redskins 5
10 Steven Hauschka Buffalo Bills 6
11 Chris Boswell Pittsburgh Steelers 9
12 Cairo Santos Kansas City Chiefs 10
13 Sebastian Janikowski Oakland Raiders 10
14 Blair Walsh Seattle Seahawks 6
15 Josh Lambo Los Angeles Chargers 9
16 Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys 6
17 Brandon McManus Denver Broncos 5
18 Nick Novak Houston Texans 7
19 Phil Dawson Arizona Cardinals 8
20 Graham Gano Carolina Panthers 11
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