The Chicago Bears run a 3-4 base defense coordinated by Chuck Pagano
The Bears signed CB Buster Skrine and S HaHa Clinton-Dix as cheaper replacements for Bryce Callahan (Broncos) and Adrian Amos (Packers), but they still have a fierce front seven and plenty of talent in the secondary. Khalil Mack, S Eddie Jackson and DE Akiem Hicks are studs, and 30-year-old CB Prince Amukamara is the oldest projected starter. New DC Chuck Pagano figures to blitz more often than Vic Fangio did.
The Los Angeles Rams run a 3-4 base defense coordinated by Wade Phillips
The Rams can't replace Ndamukong Suh and lost some range when they swapped out S Lamarcus Joyner for Eric Weddle, but they still have the best player in the league (Aaron Donald) working under the best defensive coordinator (Wade Phillips). Playmaking cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters complete the perfect recipe to pile up takeaways, though the Rams may be only average at limiting points and yards.
The Baltimore Ravens run a 3-4 base defense coordinated by Don Martindale
C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs, Za'Darius Smith and Eric Weddle all found new homes during the offseason, but Baltimore may have the league's best secondary with Earl Thomas joining Tony Jefferson at safety behind a CB group that runs at least four or five deep. Mammoth tackles Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce should keep the front seven afloat while the blitz-happy Ravens sort things out in the linebacker corps.
The Minnesota Vikings run a 4-3 base defense coordinated by George Edwards
While they tend to be better in real life than in the fantasy game, the Vikings have retained the same core group of players that had 27 takeaways and four defensive TDs in 2016. DT Sheldon Richardson was a significant offseason loss, but the team did sign Shamar Stephen for interior line depth and returns all its other starters from last year. A healthy season from No. 1 corner Xavier Rhodes would be huge.
The New England Patriots run a 4-3 base defense coordinated by Bill Belichick
Consistently in the top 15 for fantasy points, the New England defense finally broke through to the top five last year. A dominant Super Bowl reinforces confidence, and the only major offseason loss (DE Trey Flowers) was promptly replaced by Michael Bennett. Bill Belichick may call the plays himself after Brian Flores left for Miami and Greg Schiano resigned - a soft early schedule should smooth the transition.
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