Using Strength of Schedule to Find Ideal D/ST Pairings

Aug 07, 2019
Using Strength of Schedule to Find Ideal D/ST Pairings

In leagues with typical roster sizes, it usually makes sense to draft only a single defense or, in some cases, to draft no defenses at all and instead to pull defenses off the waiver wire each week (so-called "streaming"). Those options let you stash more running backs and wide receivers with upside potential in hopes that they will break out before you need the roster spot.

In leagues with very deep rosters, where it might be difficult to stream, it can be sensible to draft two defenses. Since you'll want to wait as long as possible to take defenses in the draft, given the limited value of the position, you should be looking for a pair of late-round defenses whose schedules work well together. In this article, we'll point out a few particularly good possibilities.

Late-Round Targets

If you want to wait until the last round to start drafting defenses, the New York Giants look like an especially good option. In addition to pairing well with a number of other teams (as discussed below), they have the easiest projected schedule this season, for fantasy purposes, and have a real chance of being better than expected this year. After taking Daniel Jones with their first draft pick, the Giants spent the next five picks on defense. In trading away Odell Beckham, they also received safety Jabril Peppers as part of the compensation. Improving the defense has been their primary focus.

If you want to take your first defense a little earlier, I'd look at the Packers in the 18th round. Like the Giants, they pair well with other teams and could be better than many are expecting. The Packers used both of their first-round draft picks on defensive players. Some analysts are projecting them to have a top-10 defense this season.

Strength of Schedule

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