Draft Dilemma on DST

Many believe you wait for D on next to last pick and K on the last pick. I have seen that on all draft simulations here and think it’s silly.

At this point there are few D’s the “experts” agree on. For example, all 3 experts on CBS have the Rams #1 but not close here.

In my view, ya got Buff, Rams, SF and maybe TB. That’s it for me. If they are there around #9-10 and I do not see a player to make a difference, I take one.

After that, I pass and take a shot at a rookie, not drafting a D and streaming one.


The idea of a draft is to get an edge over your competition, ideally on all positions. If you are on the clock, don’t see a player who could potentially make a difference, but have a chance to draft a top DST, I won’t blame you. I’ve opened the DST race myself in quite a few drafts.

However, the falloff on DST is usually not as steep as on other positions. And the top 3 are sometimes a bit random to project. Last year, Dallas and Miami had the best fantasy defenses, which was not what ADP had projected.

Plus, the difference between #3 and #10 is usually not more than 1 FFP per game. Not exactly a game changer.

So most of the time, I’ll wait.

I do wait for the last 4 picks of the draft to get K’s and D’s. And yes, I do draft a reserve at each position, because it usually takes a few weeks to see which one will be my starter, unless I see better starters on the waiver wire. By the time the bye week for my favorite starters on K and D pass, I can dump the unneeded K’s and D’s, and grab other positions.

The scoring difference on D’s is not much. However, match ups really matter and we won’t know who is good for about 4 weeks. The top few have a good shot at holding their own in most games based on talent and schedule. I have and will go for one as high as the 8th or 9th round if no one appeals to me.
Then after 4 weeks I adjust.

A couple years ago I started looking at the schedules of the worst teams on O and picking up whoever the D was gonna be on waivers. Huge success.

Then a couple others caught on and had to move my waiver picks back to 3 and then 3 weeks, It was fun while it lasted. lol


That’s exactly my approach. My magic Excel file generates an offense index for every team. Based on projections for the first 3 weeks, based on current performance after that.

Plus, I create an index for the performance of a DST vs expectation. Basically how a DST should be ranked based on previous opponents, vs how it does rank.

The result is a weekly ranking for DSTs that gets better the further we go into the season. I was #3 in my league in DST scoring in weeks 1-14, despite streaming defenses most of the time in a 12-team league where most teams hold 2 DSTs.

1 Like

Your research and expertise is appreciated and impressive.
I just look at the teams, say this O really sucks and add the D they play. :slight_smile:


That’s basically what I do, too. Only I also check which Ds have underperformed in recent games, and which ones overperformed.

E.g. a D that’s ranked #24 in the season, but should really be #31 because they had the second worst schedule so far, has overperformed. If such a D now plays against an underwhelming O, it can lead to fantasy goodness.

Whereas a D that ranks #8 but had the easiest schedule so far may struggle against a mid-range O.

With all the confidence in my research, I still have to acknowledge one thing: DST scoring can be highly random at times. Mostly because of defensive TDs, that are almost impossible to project, but heavily affect defensive scoring.


My success with TB’s weak schedule last year.


In all due respect I do not believe you can project D’s with numbers. Every roster and schedule changes from what was done in the year before. JMO