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Fantasy football 2019: Defense and kicker rankings

By
Alex Butler
Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell (9) and New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz (3) are great options for your fantasy football team this season. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI
Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell (9) and New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz (3) are great options for your fantasy football team this season. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 29 (UPI) -- The Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams are my top fantasy football defense/special teams units entering the 2019 season.

The Saints' Wil Lutz, Rams' Greg Zuerlein, Kansas City Chiefs' Harrison Butker, New England Patriots' Stephen Gostkowski and Baltimore Ravens' Justin Tucker are my top fantasy football kickers.

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You can check out the rest of my rankings below for both positions ahead of your fantasy football draft.

For kickers, I like to target players in great offenses first. Another factor for choosing a good kicker for your squad is checking on what type of weather they will be kicking in. Some kickers play home games in domed stadiums, meaning they are not impacted by outdoor elements, such as wind, rain, snow and more.

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That is especially important later in the season, when you are trying to get into the playoffs or are already in the playoffs. You don't want to have a kicker trying to make field goals in the middle of a snowstorm or on a slippery surface.

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For defenses you should first target units that have a good pass-rush and limit scoring from opposing offenses. After that, you should look at defensive units with easy schedules. You should also consider units that have skilled return men and can get you a touchdown on special teams during any given week.

While you shouldn't take a defense or kicker until the later rounds, don't underestimate the value of having difference makers at these roster spots. If you are in a close game, a long field goal, sack or touchdown return could be the difference between a win and a loss for your fantasy team.

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Top 20 fantasy football defenses/special teams

1. Jacksonville Jaguars, Bye Week 10

2. Chicago Bears, Bye Week 6

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3. New Orleans Saints, Bye Week 9

4. Los Angeles Chargers, Bye Week 12

5. Los Angeles Rams, Bye Week 9

6. Buffalo Bills, Bye Week 6

7. Minnesota Vikings, Bye Week 12

8. Denver Broncos, Bye Week 10

9. Tennessee Titans, Bye Week 11

10. Dallas Cowboys, Bye Week 8

11. New England Patriots, Bye Week 10

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12. Kansas City Chiefs, Bye Week 12

13. Detroit Lions, Bye Week 5

14. Baltimore Ravens, Bye Week 8

15. Houston Texans, Bye Week 10

16. Cleveland Browns, Bye Week 7

17. Atlanta Falcons, Bye Week 9

18. Pittsburgh Steelers, Bye Week 7

19. Green Bay Packers, Bye Week 11

20. Philadelphia Eagles, Bye Week 10

Top 15 fantasy football kickers

1. Will Lutz, New Orleans Saints, Bye Week 9

2. Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams, Bye Week 9

3. Harrison Butker, Kansas City Chiefs, By Week 12

4. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots, Bye Week 10

5. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens, Bye Week 8

6. Robbie Gould, San Francisco 49ers, Bye Week 4

7. Brett Maher, Dallas Cowboys, Bye Week 8

8. Matt Prater, Detroit Lions, Bye Week 5

9. Ka'imi Fairbairn, Houston Texans, Bye Week 10

10. Jake Elliott, Philadelphia Eagles, Bye Week 10

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11. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts, Bye Week 6

12. Mike Badgley, Los Angeles Chargers, Bye Week 12

13. Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers, Bye Week 11

14. Dan Bailey, Minnesota Vikings, Bye Week 12

15. Jason Myers, Seattle Seahawks, Bye Week 11

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