My longest-running fantasy football league has been an annual treasure since 1998. Next year, for the first time, we will not have D/ST or K as part of our rosters. Here's why:
1. The performance of defenses are almost always situational and random. That's why no one spends more than $1 on them in an auction or a 15th-round pick. We could have the best defense all year -- like the Texans -- but then have to bench them against the Patriots. It's just random luck -- much more so than the rest of fantasy's positions.
2. They score way too much. The Seahawks' D/ST had 41 points in Yahoo standard formats yesterday. 41! Adrian Peterson had 170 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 30 points. Should a defense ever score more than a beastly day from a running back? Never! If you played the SEA D yesterday, you lost. Period. And it's not because your opponent uncovered some gem via in-depth research or scouting. It's because they happened to be playing Arizona at the best possible time and had some breaks go their way.
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3. Most kickers' talent level is the same. For example, if we give X NFL kicker and Y NFL kicker 30 FG attempts this season, they'll both convert around 75-80 percent. So the only thing that we are betting on in fantasy is how many opportunities they will get. And those opportunities have nothing at all to do with their skill level -- it's just how well their offense plays (until that offense gets in the red zone, when we root for them to fail).
I'm not complaining because I played against the SEA D or Matt Prater this week. I didn't. I just want to see the hardest-working, sharpest owners rewarded each week. Not the ones that get the luckiest via D or K.