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Draft Strategy

Team Defense by Committee

By Joe Charlton 12:13pm EDT 8/6/13

It's standard procedure to see the "elite" Ds start getting plucked in the middle of most drafts. But the zealous believers in these squads tend to leave lots of individual talent on the board. And savvy fantasy drafters can capitalize on this. How? By continuing to take valuable skill players and ignoring a D until the final rounds.

The approach here is fairly simple. You'll target an underrated pair of team Ds that will almost always fall to the bottom of the draft. Snagging 1 of these duos should help keep you stress-free on weekly basis. Instead of playing the waiver-wire carousel or over-thinking the free agent pool, you'll have a viable option each week.

Below you'll find some promising pairs of underrated fantasy Ds currently going outside the top 10. The charts give you a few combinations you can feel comfortable with for all (or most) of the upcoming season. The most favorable weekly matchup is highlighted in green:

Week Jets (ADP 15.04)
Dolphins (ADP 14.08)
vs Tampa Bay at Cleveland
2 at New England at Indianapolis
3 vs Buffalo vs Atlanta
4 at Tennessee at New Orleans
5 at Atlanta vs Baltimore
6 vs Pittsburgh BYE
7 vs New England vs Buffalo
8 at Cincinnati at New England
9 vs New Orleans vs Cincinnati
10 BYE at Tampa Bay
11 at Buffalo vs San Diego
12 at Baltimore vs Carolina
13 vs Miami at New York Jets
14 vs Oakland at Pittsburgh
15 at Carolina vs New England
16 vs Cleveland at Buffalo
17 at Miami vs New York Jets
Week Browns (ADP 14.12)
Steelers (ADP 14.02)
1 vs Miami vs Tennessee
2 at Baltimore at Cincinnati
3 at Minnesota vs Chicago
4 vs Cincinnati at Minnesota
5 vs Buffalo BYE
6 vs Detroit at New York Jets
7 at Green Bay vs Baltimore
8 at Kansas City at Oakland
9 vs Baltimore at New England
10 BYE vs Buffalo
11 at Cincinnati vs Detroit
12 vs Pittsburgh at Cleveland
13 vs Jacksonville at Baltimore
14 at New England vs Miami
15 vs Chicago vs Cincinnati
16 at New York Jets at Green Bay
17 at Pittsburgh vs Cleveland
Week Steelers (ADP 14.02)
Bills (ADP 16+)
1 vs Tennessee vs New England
2 at Cincinnati vs Carolina
3 vs Chicago at New York Jets
4 at Minnesota vs Baltimore
5 BYE at Cleveland
6 at New York Jets vs Cincinnati
7 vs Baltimore at Miami
8 at Oakland vs New Orleans
9 at New England vs Kansas City
10 vs Buffalo at Pittsburgh
11 vs Detroit vs New York Jets
12 at Cleveland BYE
13 at Baltimore vs Atlanta
14 vs Miami at Tampa Bay
15 vs Cincinnati at Jacksonville
16 at Green Bay vs Miami
17 vs Cleveland at New England
Week Steelers (ADP 14.02)
Chiefs (ADP 14.12)
1 vs Tennessee at Jacksonville
2 at Cincinnati vs Dallas
3 vs Chicago at Philadelphia
4 at Minnesota vs New York Giants
5 BYE at Tennessee
6 at New York Jets vs Oakland
7 vs Baltimore vs Houston
8 at Oakland vs Cleveland
9 at New England at Buffalo
10 vs Buffalo BYE
11 vs Detroit at Denver
12 at Cleveland vs San Diego
13 at Baltimore vs Denver
14 vs Miami at Washington
15 vs Cincinnati at Oakland
16 at Green Bay vs Indianapolis
17 vs Cleveland at San Diego
Week Jets (ADP 15.04)
Panthers (ADP 16+)
1 vs Tampa Bay vs Seattle
2 at New England at Buffalo
3 vs Buffalo vs New York Giants
4 at Tennessee BYE
5 at Atlanta at Arizona
6 vs Pittsburgh at Minnesota
7 vs New England vs St. Louis
8 at Cincinnati at Tampa Bay
You'll want to drop Carolina after Week 7 here and try to target a team like Buffalo or Miami, who both have favorable Week 9-10 matchups.  After the Jets get through New Orleans and a bye over that span, they can carry you for the rest of the season.

Week Cowboys (ADP 14.11)
Chiefs (ADP 14.12)
1 vs New York Giants at Jacksonville
2 at Kansas City vs Dallas
3 vs St. Louis at Philadelphia
4 at San Diego vs New York Giants
5 vs Denver at Tennessee
6 vs Washington vs Oakland
7 at Philadelphia vs Houston
8 at Detroit vs Cleveland
9 vs Minnesota at Buffalo
After Week 9 it'll be time to jettison the Cowboys D, which has a brutal schedule the rest of the way.  Pair the Chiefs with a team like Pittsburgh, Buffalo, or Miami if possible.  Those squads can get you through the remainder of the season.

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