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Factoid

Patriots Defense

2022 one of New England's best years

Tom Brady won a Super Bowl in his first season without Bill Belichick, while Belichick hasn't come close without Brady. It's debatable whether New England has its quarterback, and a lot of other offensive draft picks haven't panned out. But no one would question Belichick's defensive acumen. The 2022 season was one of his more impressive ones.

Especially in fantasy terms. It was the top fantasy defense, in scoring systems that gave 1 point for sacks, 2 for takeaways and 6 for all touchdowns. New England was one of the league's very best groups in all of those areas.

The Patriots scored 8 defensive touchdowns, leading the NFL in defensive points scored. They had 11 fumble recoveries (4th), 19 interceptions (3rd) and 54 sacks (4th). Their 30 takeaways ranked 2nd. Top-5 across the board.

(For the cleanliness of the table, I ordered teams 1-32 in all of these areas, even though there were lots of ties.) In any case, the Patriots ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th in every area.

FANTASY DEFENSE PERFORMANCE, 2022
DefensePtsRkFumRkIntRkSckRkTkRkFFRk
New England4811141935443029.51
Dallas18101711675433318.12
Philadelphia121910111747012748.03
Buffalo226101217540142757.34
San Francisco1812101020144103037.25
Jacksonville244132141635252766.66
Kansas City1416918112155220206.47
Seattle121811714134572586.38
Arizona3029191122362420216.29
Baltimore62411614124852596.110
Indianapolis18111191025441121196.111
Green Bay208723176342724116.012
Houston82211516839182775.913
Minnesota122010131510382125105.914
Washington207921928431218265.815
Cleveland2459201123342820225.816
Detroit141510151220391922175.717
LA Chargers82310141414401524125.618
Pittsburgh630332202401623145.419
Tampa Bay6261016102445820235.420
NY Giants1217133631411319255.421
Cincinnati6251181318302924135.322
LA Rams628628169382222185.223
Miami209630829401714305.224
NY Jets1021431121945916295.125
Carolina18137241026352617275.126
Tennessee6296291415392020245.027
Denver2318221511362323154.928
New Orleans62772673048614314.829
Atlanta2637251027213117284.830
Las Vegas1814727632273013324.231
Chicago0329171417203223163.932

For 2023, the Patriots have a couple of uncertainties to work out. Safety Devin McCourty retired, that's the big one. But I expect they'll rank among the best fantasy defenses (and NFL defenses) again.

--Andy Richardson

Fantasy Index