Fantasy Positional Rankings: DL
Jared Allen - MIN:Â Consensus #1 on most people’s rankings.Â In a division that sports QB’s named Kitna, Grossman and Rodgers…big #69 should have no problem recording double digit sacks.
Patrick Kerney - SEA:Â Kerney is in the same mold as Allen.Â They both have non stop motors and never take plays off.Â Look for Kerney to duplicate his numbers from last season.
Mario Williams - HOU:Â A defensive lineman on the rise.Â After 2008 we might be talking about super Mario as the top DL, for now, he’ll have to be happy with #3.
Aaron Kampman - GBP:Â Yet another hard worker that doesn’t get enough credit.Â He’s put together back to back great campaigns.Â Look for him to add a third.
Kyle Vanden Bosch - TEN:Â Tennessee’s go to guy on the defensive front.Â Vanden Bosch’s numbers will probably mimic what they were last season.Â If Kearse is rejuvenated in TEN, Bosch’s numbers could go up.
Trent Cole - PHI:Â Cole has done nothing but improve every year he has been in the league.Â There is no reason to believe that trend will not continue.Â Cole may not experience the jump in sacks he did last season (from 8 to 12.5) but a 1 or 2 sack improvement is not out of the question.
Jason Taylor - MIA:Â Taylor falls to #7 because of his situation.Â If Miami commits to Taylor and vice-versa, Taylor moves up into the top 5 as he is still one of the best athletes in the NFL.
Osi Umenyiora - NYG:Â How can one of the Giants DL not be in the top 10?Â The logical choice is Osi.Â He’s a great all around DE.Â The great thing about Osi is that he’s capable of putting up a 7 tackles, 4 sacks, FF, INT. game at any point.Â He can pick up the slack for an under performing fantasy squad on a given week.
JustinÂ Smith - SF:Â Smith will love the new scenery out west and the 49ers are going to love having him around.Â Smith is another high energy guy.Â He isn’t most gifted athlete, but he does make up for it in tenacity.Â Look for around 70-80 tackles & 10 Sacks.
Derrick Burgess - OAK: Derrick’s numbers have been declining since his first year in Oak.Â I look for him to steady his numbers on a much improved defense.Â 10-13 sacks should not be out of the question.
Julius Peppers - CAR:Â A horrible year for Peppers last forced the Panthers staff to make some changes.Â One of the changes involves moving Peppers from left end to right end.Â Peppers originally played right end in college, so he is familiar with the position.Â Something to note is that Peppers new position will put him on right handed QB’s blind side…makes me glad I’m a lefty.
Will Smith - NOS:Â Smith’s numbers took a bit of a dip last season.Â New Orleans did get better on defense which should help Smith.Â Look for Smith to hover around 9-11 sacks.
Aaron Schobel - BUF:Â Schobel’s numbers were down last season.Â Schobel still ranks as a low end DL1.Â He should bounce back to record double digit sacks again.
Tamba Hali - KCC:Â Allen is gone and Hali will be the man of the hour.Â Kansas City is not expecting him to be Allen, but he needs to perform as a #1 DE should.Â Life will be tough without Allen soaking up any double or triple teams, but if Dorsey is as good as everyone thinks, Hali should be fine.
Elvis Dumervil - DEN:Â This guy is fun to watch.Â 5-11, 260 lbs. great speed & one of the best motors in the league.Â Look for Elvis to improve on his superb numbers from last season.Â Don’t expect great tackle numbers, but his sack numbers could approach
Terrell Suggs - BAL:Â Suggs won’t approach double digit sacks, but he has the ability to record 100 tackles.Â He will probably be more in the neighborhood of 80-85 tackles an a maximum of 6 sacks.
Justin Tuck - NYG:Â Tuck could sneak up into the top 15 or so if Strahan announces his retirement.Â For now, I can’t rank him higher than this.Â Tuck will still put up good numbers if Strahan returns.Â If Strahan retires, Tuck’s tackles could go up by 10 and sacks by 2.
Andre Carter - WAS:Â Carter is a solid DL.Â Not spectacular, just solid.Â I believe his numbers last year were just a tad inflated.Â Look for his sack numbers to go to about 8 or 9 and his tackles to be around 55.
Leonard Little - STL:Â Last season was a lost season for Little due to injuries.Â This season sees the addition of Chris Long and a more experienced Adam Carriker.Â Before last season, Little had a great 6 year run.Â I expect him to bounce back to his old numbers.Â Little probably won’t reach that 14 sack plateau again, but 12 sacks is not out of the question.
Adewale Ogunleye - CHI:Â Same assessment as Andre Carter.Â I believe Ogunleye’s sacks go down by about 2 and tackles by about 10.
Robert Mathis - IND:Â Year in year out Mathis doesn’t receive much hype for the colts, but he’s a big part of the defense when healthy.Â Mathis missed a couple of games last season, but still recorded 7 sacks.Â If you can steal Mathis as your DL2, you will be quite happy at seasons end.Â **Note** Keep an eye on Mathis, he could be moving up my board as 21 seems a little low to me.
Kelly Gregg - BAL:Â I really resisted putting a DT on my list, but I can’t ignore Gregg’s numbers.Â Since 2002 Greg has averaged 66 tackles & 2.6 sacks per season.Â The sacks are not impressive, but the tackles sure are.Â 4 tackles per game is solid when you are talking about the #22 ranked DL.
Kenyon Coleman - NYJ:Â Coleman was the top ranked 3-4 DE last season.Â Coleman may not grab many sacks, but he can approach 90 tackles.
Darryl Tapp - SEA:Â I believe Tapp keeps his job in Sea. over first round pick Lawrence Jackson.Â Playing with Kerney should open things up for Tapp.
Darnell Dockett - ARI:Â I have Dockett ranked lower than Coleman for the simple fact that Dockett is in a contract dispute right now.Â If Arizona and Dockett can come to terms on a contract one way or another, Dockett moves up at least a few spots.
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