College Fantasy Football: Interesting storylines - defense
Hard to believe but we’re approaching the midpoint of the college football season, so it’s time to take a close look at some storylines that have emerged in the college fantasy football game. Today, we move to defense.
BIG TEN LEADS THE WAY
Penn State and Michigan State (owned in just 22 percent of leagues) are fifth and sixth in fantasy points and then Maryland and Nebraska are ninth and No. 11, respectively, although neither the Spartans nor the Huskers are owned in more than 10 percent of leagues.
That means half of the defenses in the top 10 of fantasy points are in the Big Ten alone, and that’s pretty impressive.
MISSOURI IS A BIG SURPRISE
The narrative on Missouri for many years was that its offense was fantastic but its defense couldn’t stop anybody, and so the Tigers were never legitimate contenders because of that issue.
That has changed this season. It’s helped Missouri start the season 4-1 and the Tigers’ defense is ranked fourth nationally in fantasy points behind Wisconsin, Ohio State and Florida. Through five games, Missouri has allowed only seven offensive touchdowns and the Tigers have seven interceptions.
OREGON HAS DELIVERED
The Ducks are not traditionally known as a defensive stalwart - instead Oregon has developed a reputation for putting up big numbers on the offensive end - and that remains the case - but the defense has been fantastic as well.
Oregon is giving up just 9.8 points per game and hasn’t given up double-digit points in its last four wins. Only Auburn reached that level with 27 points in the season-opener. So far this season, the Ducks have eight interceptions and 19 sacks, led by freshmen Mase Funa and Kayvon Thibodeaux.
AUBURN IS OVERRATED
Let’s start with this: Auburn has a very good defense, especially up front. But we’re considering fantasy points here and the Tigers are overrated this season, with seven SEC teams alone performing better in fantasy leagues.
As it stands heading into this weekend, Auburn is outside the top 25 in fantasy points for defense nationally and the Tigers have only one interception this season. Florida, Missouri, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, LSU and Ole Miss have more fantasy points than Auburn so far.
Michigan is 4-1 and defensive coordinator Don Brown is arguably the best in the business, but for numerous reasons things still don’t look particularly right with the Wolverines - especially on offense and in big games. So, let’s pile on.
Owned in 80 percent of leagues, the Wolverines’ defense is right on the cusp of falling out of the top 25 nationally with decent numbers (14 sacks and five interceptions), plus they held Iowa to three points and held Rutgers scoreless. But what really hurt them was Wisconsin pasting them, 35-14, not only for their fantasy defense but for their reputation as a national powerhouse.