FANFOOD FF’13 – Get & Forget DST











The next preseason edition of the FANFOOD Get & Forget will focus on the Defense and Special Teams position and some draft strategies when it comes to them.


There is a wealth of information out there and we have an index of well over 400 Fantasy Football links on the FANFOOD Fantasy Football Tools page. Combing through them all we have come up with some Defenses you should get and some you should forget, followed by a recipe for Spicy Root Beer Barbecue Sauce.


When it comes to Fantasy Football, it’s all about the skill players, drafting the right ones and making the right moves will determine if you are in the money or on the outside looking in come playoff time. Most standard leagues require you to start a team defense/special team (DST) along with a kicker each week. Most weekly matchups will not be won or lost based on the points earned from each, but there are always those times when starting the right ones will put you over the top.

The most important thing to consider when picking a DST is to have a full understanding of your league settings. A league that rewards points for shutouts and has bonuses or penalties for points and yards against can make a DST the difference between winning and losing each week. So make sure you study the nuances of your league’s scoring system. This can be a great way to gain an edge on your competition.

If you are in a standard league without big bonuses and/or penalties, what strategies can you use in picking a DST? When do you pull the trigger on draft day? What do you look for when ranking them? All important questions that will be answered in this article and help you determine which DST to get and which ones to forget.


Let’s get to it!


FANFOOD   | Get & Forget | - Preseason

QB | RB | WR | TE | DST |


Defense / Special Teams Drafting Strategies :


Forget the Past

There is no correlation year to year on which defenses will dominate. New coaches come in, schedules change, players get injured, weather happens. So don’t base your DST from last year’s stats.


Don’t reach on ANY defense

There will come a time on draft day when you will have all your starting skill positions selected and you will see that gaping hole in your DST slot. You will say to yourself, “I’m happy with my team so far, why don’t I go out and get the highest ranked DST to continue my domination of my draft”? This will happen around the 11th round. You will feel that if you don’t grab one of the top 5, you will be stuck with a bad one. This is known as lineup filling and you will be sacrificing depth and miss out on a valuable pick. Of course strategy may change if your league awards crazy bonuses or issues harsh penalties, so as said before, it’s vital that you understand your leagues settings for DSTs.


I Coulda been a Contender

If you wait on picking a defensive unit until a few have already been drafted, you’ll need to be more clever in how you select one. Take a contending team’s unit. No matter the talent on the unit, contending teams win games and their defenses tend to benefit. Teams that win a lot, get big leads, and when they do, their defenses can get after the quarterback. That leads to turnovers, scores and blowouts. Using this approach…






Pick Defense-minded Squads
Some NFL teams still believe that games are won or lost on defense. They take this approach week in and week out. This is good for you because they will keep scores low on defense and play conservatively on offense. Their games don’t get out of hand and you will not be hurt by penalties for points scored or yardage allowed. Using this approach…






Stream your DST

If you don’t get a top ranked defense, you can consider waiting to the end of your draft and picking one with a favorable week 1 real football matchup. Since you won’t be using them all year long, you will use the waiver wire as a bench position and “stream” your DST all year long. This will require planning and research, but you will be rewarded with depth at other positions and you will not be hurt (as much) by injuries. Using this approach…


(week 1 opponent: NYJ)



(week 1 opponent: N.O.)



Pick a DST with a late season Bye

If you do not want to put a lot of work each week into playing the waiver wire and you are in a league that doesn’t award big bonuses or issue large penalties, one option for you is to pick a DST that don’t take a week off until later in the season. this will allow you to NOT make any changes to your DST until lets say week 10. Using this approach…


bye: week 10



bye: week 10



Get a Must-Start Top DST

There is definitely something to be said about getting one of the top DST. Each week, you can sit back, plug them in, and not have to think about it. I know, the theme of this article is not “wasting” a valuable pick on a DST, but lets play devil’s advocate here and recommend that you get one of the highest ranked defenses and hope that they carry you over the top each week. This strategy works best if your league settings award big bonuses for DSTs. Using this approach…






Strength of Schedule (SOS)

As mentioned before, you can’t put a lot of weight on last years stats, but you can take it as a baseline and look forward to this year’s schedule. The AFC West was by far the worst division last year (the only division not have won at least 31 games collectively – they only won 26), so since they get to play each other twice during the season each of their strength-of-schedule percentages will be very low. The AFC South & NFC East get to play the AFC West this year and those team DSTs are very appealing in ’13. Using this approach…


 (SOS = .480)



 (SOS = .539)



Go with your Favorite Team

Not many people will tell you to use this strategy, and we are not big on it either. Drafting with your heart over your head is not going to work for you when it comes to the skill positions, but if you want to pick one DST and stick with them all year long, why not pick a team that you root for? Nobody really likes rooting for their fantasy DST squads of NFL teams they hate. This strategy may cost you’re a game or two, but it will be more enjoyable on Sundays when you are refreshing your matchup score.



Don’t Pick more than One

I know you will need to cover a bye week and you will not want to drop your top rated defense to pick one up. So you feel like you need to roster 2 DSTs. Don’t. Every Fantasy team has that one player that gets injured or underperforms. Use this player to drop to pick up a DST to cover your bye. If you have a top DST on a bye and are in a position where you can’t afford to lose a skill player (rare) you can always go without a DST in your fantasy matchup that week, it won’t be the end of the world.




The further you get into the draft, the more it becomes a guessing game when drafting for depth at a skill position, so you have some decisions to make. Do you take a chance on a player with high upside? or do you get one of the top DSTs? You only have 32 NFL defenses to choose from, so position depth is a factor. Making it worse, out of those 32, about a handful or so are consistent enough to be considered must starts every week. What DST you pick and when you do it just depends on your league settings what teams are available when it is your turn to pick in the round, and how you feel your draft is going.


But don’t just take our word on it, see what other’s have to say:


FANFOOD Fantasy Football Tools

DST Rankings





Spicy Root Beer Barbecue Sauce


This sauce works fantastic on poultry and pork and adds a slightly sweet and spicy flavor to your barbecue.



1 cup root beer
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season with salt. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Sauce can keep in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.




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