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Defensive Team by Committee - Footballguys

Finding a Defensive Team by Committee for 2018

Over the past few years, there have been two very popular articles written by our very own Chase Stuart that look at an interesting approach to building a fantasy team with late value picks. Based on the theory of using both Strength of Schedule ("SOS") and taking two players as a combination to build one very good player, he has discussed both Team Defense by Committee ("TDBC") and Quarterback by Committee ("QBBC") as a general fantasy league strategy. In general, I think that this is a wise move because very early on in fantasy drafts there are a ton of running back and wide receiver prospects to go after to build a great team. While there are a few studs at quarterback and also a few choice defenses, I do not see a huge need in leagues to pursue either too hard in the beginning stages of a fantasy draft.

Well, this year Chase asked me to help him out with the Defensive Team by Committee Article, since I am so familiar with the concept. Our methods sometimes differ, but the end result is usually close to the same. So with this in mind, I decided to apply my normal method for the other positions (running back, wide receiver, and tight end) to the defensive team position. Let's take a look at how I went about building this committee and then we can digest and discuss the results.

HUDDLE UP

So how to begin? Defenses and quarterbacks are relatively easy to committee together. There's usually only one quarterback and certainly only one team defense per NFL club, so the approach is pretty simple as far as picking out which players / teams to try and pair up. However, I cannot expect to have every defensive team available to me for this process. After all, the goal here is to wait at the position and pick up two value picks later in the draft to form our combo and serve as a solid committee. I decided that I would use the following criteria to decide which players to start with for evaluating:

CRITERIA #1 - D/ST11 AND BEYOND

This seems pretty simple. If we want to have a duo that puts up D/ST1 numbers, that means we want D/ST12 or better production - else we would just draft D/ST12 or higher and forget the whole idea. This year I am cheating a little bit as I took a harder look at both schedules and, more importantly, ADP information. I decided that, this season, both Pittsburgh (D/ST11, ADP of 218) and New England (D/ST12, ADP of 227) needed to be in the mix. Picking an arbitrary line of D/ST13 does not make sense if including D/ST11 or D/ST12 makes the result so much better. Both Pittsburgh and New England have very favorable schedules this year, and their respective ADPs are still quite low (after Round 18), so drafting either of these teams (or both) late is not that much of a reach at all. After all, ADP values tend to go out the window in the back half of most drafts anyway, so it makes a ton of sense to include but the Steelers and the Patriots in possible teams for 2018. So here is the list of team which I am considering for DTBC, listed by their Average Draft Position (ADP):

ADP
Team Defense
ADP
Team Defense
D/ST11
Pittsburgh
D/ST19+
Cleveland
D/ST12
New England
D/ST19+
Dallas
D/ST13
Chicago
D/ST19+
Green Bay
D/ST14
Kansas City
D/ST19+
Indianapolis
D/ST15
San Francisco
D/ST19+
Miami
D/ST16
Seattle
D/ST19+
NY Giants
D/ST17
Atlanta
D/ST19+
NY Jets
D/ST18
Detroit
D/ST19+
Oakland
D/ST19
Arizona
D/ST19+
Tampa Bay
D/ST19+
Buffalo
D/ST19+
Tennessee
D/ST19+
Cincinnati
D/ST19+
Washington

Table 1: Defensive Teams 10-32 Based on ADP

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