Instead of just looking at specific players that can take your fantasy teams to the top of the leaderboard this year, it’s also important to know the ins and outs of the teams those players are playing for or against. In this series, we’ll take a look at some of the top units around the NFL.
Be sure to check out the rest of the series by following the links below:
NFL: Top 5 Secondaries
5. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs were solid against the pass last year, but did fail to force many turnovers as they had just six interceptions. That being said, their starting unit is composed of corners Sean Smith and Phillip Gaines, and safeties Ron Parker and Husain Abdullah. In addition, they drafted cornerback Marcus Peters in the first round of this year’s draft and used a third round pick on corner Steven Nelson. Peters brings the big playmaking ability that this secondary lacked last season. Despite being poor in the turnover department, this secondary was one of the best in the pass rush and allowed the second fewest passing yards per game. This unit was already solid, but added some depth in the draft to help them. I like their chances to be better all-around in 2015.
4. Cleveland Browns
While this is not a team you’ll often hear positive things about, the Browns secondary is one of the best in the league. Last season they had three pro-bowlers, Cornerback Joe Haden, safety Tashaun Gipson and safety Donte Whitner, all of which are still part of this unit. While they lost Buster Skrine to the Jets, they signed corner Tramon Williams, who had a solid season last year. The Browns secondary accounted for the second most interceptions (21) and eighth fewest passing yards last year. If there’s something the Browns fans have to look forward to it’s their defense, who could surprise some people this season.
3. New York Jets
While this secondary wasn’t one considered one of the best last season, many things changed this offseason and it has quickly become an elite unit. They signed cornerbacks Darrell Revis and Antonio Cromartie, as well as signing safety Marcus Gilchrist. They also added corner Buster Skrine. Revis did an excellent job in New England last season and was one of the key components to their Super Bowl title. He and Cromartie were once considered one of the best tandems in the league, and while they are passed their primes, they both still have plenty left in the tank to be a very good secondary. Not to mention, their D-line is very good which will create problems for quarterbacks and give the secondary a break. Barring injuries, this should be a tough secondary all season.
2. Buffalo Bills
As I mentioned in my top defenses piece, the Bills were one of the top defenses in 2014, and I’m also projecting them to be a strong defense this season. With that said, this secondary was one of the best in 2014 and should remain a stout unit this year. They allowed the fewest passing touchdowns and the third fewest passing yards. Cornerbacks Leodis McKelvin and Stephon Gilmore did a solid job on the outside, while Aaron Williams took care of the deep and middle parts of the field. The Bills lost safety Da’Norris Searcy, but did use a second round pick on Ronald Darby. Another plus is the addition of head coach Rex Ryan who is a defensive guru. I’m excited to see how Ryan uses this dangerous secondary. The Bills are set to be one of the best secondaries in the league once again.
1. Seattle Seahawks
It should come as no surprise that the “legion of boom” is ranked atop the secondary rankings. Last season, this unit allowed just 186 yards per game through the air (fewest in the NFL) and the second fewest touchdown passes. This secondary has the best tandem at the safety position, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. The hard hitting Chancellor shuts down the middle of the field and is capable of plugging in any holes at the line and stuffing running backs. Thomas on the other hand covers the deep area and is one of the best instinctive safeties in the league. Let’s not forget, corner back Richard Sherman shuts down one side of the field. They did lose Byron Maxwell in free agency, but there’s still plenty of talent on this secondary to remain as the best.