Redraft Rankings 2023: Top Fantasy Options at D/ST Include the Jets, Eagles, and 49ers

    How do our redraft fantasy football defense rankings shape up as we move closer to the start of the 2023 NFL season?

    Identifying which defenses to start in fantasy football lineups in a given week can be tough, and while many leagues have opted to remove the position from starting lineups, managers in leagues featuring D/STs in their fantasy lineups can gain a noticeable advantage over their competitors by making correct roster decisions.

    With another group of highly talented defensive rookie players entering the league, plus shakeups thanks to a wild offseason of moves, here are the current 2023 fantasy football redraft D/ST rankings.

    2023 Redraft Defense Rankings

    The below rankings are intended as a guide for 0.5 PPR formats. They do not take into account individual league rules and setups.

    1) Philadelphia Eagles
    2) Dallas Cowboys
    3) San Francisco 49ers
    4) New England Patriots
    5) Buffalo Bills
    6) New York Jets
    7) Baltimore Ravens
    8) Seattle Seahawks

    9) Kansas City Chiefs
    10) Miami Dolphins
    11) Pittsburgh Steelers
    12) Jacksonville Jaguars
    13) Denver Broncos
    14) Cleveland Browns
    15) Green Bay Packers
    16) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    17) Los Angeles Chargers
    18) Cincinnati Bengals
    19) New Orleans Saints
    20) Detroit Lions
    21) Minnesota Vikings
    22) Indianapolis Colts
    23) New York Giants
    24) Los Angeles Rams

    25) Tennessee Titans
    26) Arizona Cardinals
    27) Carolina Panthers
    28) Washington Commanders
    29) Houston Texans
    30) Chicago Bears
    31) Atlanta Falcons
    32) Las Vegas Raiders

    Who Are the Best Defenses To Draft in 2023 Redraft Leagues?

    Out of all positions in fantasy football, D/ST is likely the most difficult to project year over year. Defensive performances are unstable at best compared to offenses that can stay somewhat static.

    Look at a team like the 49ers, who had a sensational defense last year, despite sitting 14th in EPA per play in 2021. The Eagles are another prime example who went from 17th to fourth.

    Whereas someone like the Rams, whose style of play took over the NFL, completely fell apart, and despite being drafted firmly inside the top four at the position, were sitting on waiver wires in most leagues by the midway point.

    The biggest draft day tip for defense is not to be the first person to draft one but also don’t be the last.

    Unquestionably, Philadelphia will be the favorite of many, and they are still sitting as my No. 1 overall defense in 2023 fantasy football rankings. Just look at what they did in the draft by adding Nolan Smith and Jalen Carter to an already dominant defense, and there is no reason to think they will have any drop-off this year despite a demanding schedule.

    MORE: Redraft Rankings 2023 — Top Fantasy Options at RB

    However, I would not be surprised if the New York Jets have the best defense in the NFL and fantasy in 2023. Eighth in EPA last year and sixth in expected points, New York will be even scarier this year as Sauce Gardner goes into Year 2 paired with D.J. Reed on the backend, along with some improvements in the secondary with Chuck Clark.

    Throw in the selection of Will McDonald IV to pair with Quinnen Williams, and the team that ranked fourth in points allowed last year will be a daunting unit to face this year, given their strength of schedule. Especially now that they have a QB who will stop turning the ball over constantly, leaving them with their backs against the wall, or needing to adjust their play to

    If you want to avoid taking a long-term approach, assuming you missed out on an elite unit, draft the D/ST you feel has the best Week 1 matchup and stream the position all year.

    Take a look at the Baltimore Ravens, who are expected to have a top-10 defense but will start the season off against Houston. They’ll probably be my No. 1 ranked defense for fantasy football come Week 1. I also like the Jacksonville Jaguars as an option who will start the season against Anthony Richardson and should be a sneaky unit.

    For those looking to get a little bit spicier, the Washington Commanders, despite their issues last season, open up the year against the Arizona Cardinals, who will not only be without DeAndre Hopkins as he searches for a new team but likely Kyler Murray, who is recovering from his late-season ACL tear. Even if you don’t draft the Commanders’ defense, leave them on your shortlist for Week 1 Best Ball lineups.

    Tommy Garrett is the Senior Fantasy Football Analyst at Pro Football Network. He is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can read all of Tommy’s work here and follow him on Twitter: @TommyGarrettPFN.

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