Ranking the 32 Defenses for the 2021 NFL Season. (23 of 32) #wherestheD #IDP
10. Pittsburgh Steelers
2020 Record 12–4
Key additions: Melvin Ingram, Arthur Maulet
Fantasy Football Starters: TJ Watt, Devin Bush, Terrell Edmunds, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Stephon Tuitt, Joe Haden, and Cameron Heyward
Best Position Group: LBs
The Pittsburgh Steelers had an elite defense last year, and they will have an elite defense this year. They brought in veteran LB Melvin Ingram to replace LB Bud Dupree, but made only a couple defensive acquisitions via free agency.
LB TJ Watt will lead the way for the Steelers, and maybe the NFL. He is worthy of being the 1st IDP of the board in almost all formats. He will be asked to bring pressure in deciding moments of the game, and often times with double teams. He was the best defensive player last year, and has the realistic opportunity to be the Defensive Player of the Year. Many felt he was snubbed when DL Aaron Donald won his third DPoY title last year.
LB Devin Bush will be asked to be healthy, available, and also to roam sideline to sideline. He is joined in the middle by LB Robert Spillane. The Steelers have great defensive lineman, able to generate pressure in a 3–4 defense. DL Stephon Tuitt and Cameron Heyward will bring the pressure often and will likely see several 1-on-1 opportunities with focus on TJ Watt.
The secondary of the Steelers is in contention for best in the NFL. DB Terrell Edmunds had his 5th year option exercised, and is one of the best strong safeties in the AFC. DB Minkah Fitzpatrick is also an elite safety with a nose for the football. He seems to be involved with a half a dozen or more big plays a year. DBs Joe Haden and Cameron Sutton hold down the outside as well as any cornerback tandem in the league.
The Steelers have one of the most well rounded defenses in the league and it is no surprise they are in the top 10 defensive rankings again. Coach Mike Tomlin demands great defensive play, and the team usually delivers. If indeed it is Big Ben’s last year, the defense likely realizes they need to play at their best before this narrow Super Bowl window closes.
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