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Top NFL DFS Defenses To Target In 2020

Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers made quite a splash when they sent a future first-round selection to the Miami Dolphins for Minkah Fitzpatrick last season. This all happened after Ben Roethlisberger went down for the season. Despite playing with Mason Rudolph (primarily), the Pittsburgh defense held its own, allowing the fifth-fewest yards per contest and tied for the fifth-fewest points allowed.

Fitzpatrick’s five interceptions boosted Pittsburgh’s total to 19 last season, good for second-most. They also tied for the most sacks in football at 49, which bolstered their fumble recoveries to 16 on the season, tied for the top mark. They added to their pass rush by drafting an outside linebacker (Alex Highsmith) in the third-round.

It’s fair to assume that the offense will spend a bit more time on the field in 2020 with Roethlisberger back at the helm. The Steelers were one of the best teams for NFL picks against the spread, and this defense could be even better if they’re consistently rested in 2020.

New England Patriots
Tom Brady is gone, but this terrific defense is still intact. The New England Patriots spent their top three draft picks on defense, too. The secondary that features Stephon Gilmore, Patrick Chung, and the McCourty brothers remain together after leading football with 25 interceptions. The pass rush helped bolster those pick numbers by contributing 41 sacks (tied for ninth-most).

New England allowed a staggering 14.1 points per game in 2019, good for best in football. They held opponents to the least total yards per contest (275.9) as well. Their next starting quarterback is unknown, but it’s lining up to be one of Brian Hoyer or Jarrett Stidham. With Brady out and one of these two in, it’s likely that the defense will spend more time on the field in 2020. Look for this defense to regress slightly, as they won’t have an offense that’s nearly as competent. How their defense will perform is almost as big of a question as will the Patriots go over on their NFL over under line of 9 wins this season. A lot of questions in New England this year.

San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers elected to save some future cap space in the offseason by trading away DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts for a first-round pick. That draft selection was used on a younger, less expensive defensive tackle in Javon Kinlaw of South Carolina. Besides this move, the gang is back!

Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa’s combined 19 sacks boosted the team’s total to 47 total sacks (third-most), including 15 fumble recoveries (third-most), and four defensive touchdowns (tied for fourth-most). The pass rush allowed the secondary to take some extra chances, holding opposing pass games to the fewest air yards per contest at 179.9. San Francisco’s schedule is on the easy side. Just be careful of a daunting three-game stretch during weeks 8-10 when the team visits the Seattle Seahawks, hosts the Green Bay Packers (short week on Thursday Night Football), and visits the New Orleans Saints before their bye week. The NFL odds point towards the 49ers having another big year and for that to happen the 49ers defense will really need to be clicking when the season starts.

Honorable Mentions: Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills

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