Drafting a defense is a lot like drafting a tight end. There are a few elite defenses, and then the rest.
Full FNH 2015 Draft Kit
I rarely draft an elite defense. It's not worth wasting anything other than a last two or three round pick on. And, when I do end up with an elite defense, it's a team that wasn't ranked "elite" on draft day. Stock up on running backs and wide receivers, and stream your defense based on match-ups. The only exception I can think of is a deep league, 14-16 teams or more, where streaming options are terrible every week.
Also, draft defenses based on your league settings. For example, if your league scores DST return yards, bargain shop for a mid-level defense with a good return man to make up for lost sack and interception points. Know your league defensive scoring and take advantage.
These are my top-20 team defenses:
1. Houston Texans – A bit of a homer pick, but an elite D with value.
2. Seattle Seahawks – I’m probably too low here.
3. Buffalo Bills – Stout defense, and now they have Rex.
4. St. Louis Rams – Great value in the draft.
5. New York Jets – Should be great, but they are the Jets, so...
6. Miami Dolphins – They get the Bills’ and Jets’ offenses, twice.
7. Arizona Cardinals – Desert swarm?
8. Denver Broncos – Will sack as often as a grocery clerk.
9. Detroit Lions – No Suh for you!
10. Minnesota Vikings – Higher if they didn’t play the Pack & Lions twice.
11. Cincinnati Bengals – Could be top ten; could disappoint worse than last year.
12. Kansas City Chiefs - Not 2013, but better than 2014.
13. Baltimore Ravens – Consistency.
14. New England Patriots – Nice division for this D.
15. Carolina Panthers – Best value in the draft.
16. Cleveland Browns – Soft schedule early. Great streaming option.
17. Philadelphia Eagles – Big play potential.
18. Green Bay Packers – Better real D than fantasy D.
19. San Francisco 49ers – Not as bad as they played last year.
20. Dallas Cowboys – I hope I’m wrong.
Like I said, if you don't snag an elite Defense (and don't burn an early round pick to do it), play the weekly match-ups. It takes a little more effort to stream defenses, but it's worth the trouble.