A list of the top defensive players to draft for the 2017 fantasy football season.
1. Luke Kuechly Carolina Panthers Linebacker
|2017 Projections||View Luke Kuechly's 2017 projected stats.|
Despite concussion issues, Kuechly makes a compelling case for the top ranking among linebackers, particularly after Lavonte David's down year last season. When healthy, Kuechly is in his own class --- 694 tackles in 71 games means he can be an IDP game-changer any given week, and that's without factoring in his strong production as a blitzer (nine career sacks) and in coverage (12 career interceptions). Nine missed games due to concussions the last two years is, of course, a concern, but if he stays healthy, Kuechly likely won't have competition for the top LB spot.
2. Alec Ogletree New York Giants Linebacker
|2017 Projections||View Alec Ogletree's 2017 projected stats.|
Ogletree has been accused of being more athlete than linebacker, but entering his age-25 season he appears to be approaching a new level of productivity. In his last 20 games he totaled 178 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions, and the arrival of defensive coordinator Wade Phillips should mean new playmaking opportunities under the tutelage of one of the best defensive coaches ever. Ogletree has shown the ability to make an impact in coverage and as a blitzer, and he might finally make all the pieces fit as he heads into his prime.
3. Zach Brown Washington Redskins Linebacker
|2017 Projections||View Zach Brown's 2017 projected stats.|
A 2012 second-round pick, Brown was considered a bust prior to last year, but an age-26 breakout after leaving Tennessee for Buffalo rehabilitated his stock. Always an incredible athlete, Brown's instincts often failed him in the past, keeping him on the bench despite enticing per-snap statistical volume. With a career-high 980 snaps last year, Brown's stats exploded as he finally hit his potential. Now with the Redskins, even if his real-life play falters, Washington likely lacks the alternatives to consider benching him. The stats should stay.
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2017 Positional Rankings
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A team's offensive line can have a tremendous impact on how its quarterback, running backs, and wide receivers perform. Consult our rankings for help.