It’s nearly impossible to know what each team’s roster and D/ST will look like next season because of free agency and the 2022 NFL draft, but our early 2022 fantasy defense rankings will be based on what we know now — and what we can project heading into next season.
New England is back as one of the NFL’s elite stop units, but heading into 2022, you’ll have to pay up for if it in your draft. We also don’t see the Bills’, Colts’, or Saints’ defenses dropping off much since those units have been some of the best in the league over the past few seasons.
On the other hand, the Rams defense wasn’t quite as good as expected this year, but with Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald, it should rebound and always have big-play potential. Pittsburgh and Baltimore are two of the first franchises that come to mind when we think about defense, but both struggled in 2021, although the Steelers still led the NFL in sacks. For now, we didn’t move either of those units into our top-10, but both are just outside of it.
Miami, Carolina, Denver, Arizona, Tampa Bay, and Kansas City all looked like elite defenses in some spots this season, and each have no shortage of talent on that side of the football, so we like their chances, too.
Ultimately, this list could be turned completely upside down by the time the season rolls around, and a sleeper defense often makes its way into the top 10. In 2021, Dallas finished as the No. 1 fantasy defense thanks to a ton of takeaways, but those are impossible to project, so we rely on teams that will generally have a good “real-life” defense.
Early 2022 Fantasy Defense Rankings
|1||New England Patriots|
|4||New Orleans Saints|
|6||Los Angeles Rams|
|11||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|12||Kansas City Chiefs|
|14||San Francisco 49ers|