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2010 49ers Defense: A fantasy football force?

Fooch's Note: For those in our fantasy football league, after the jump I've posted the usernames of those who have not responded to two league invites. If you don't join by Monday I'll be forced to find new team owners.

As fantasy football leagues roll through their respective drafts, players have different strategies for selecting a team defense. There are a few defenses that are considered top of the line and will go fairly early. The Vikings, the Jets, and the Packers are three defenses that tend to go fairly early in the draft. The Steelers and Ravens can get up there as well, but beyond that, defenses will generally start going my later.

The 49ers defense intrigues me as a fantasy football "player." Although they gave up a fair amount of points and yards at times, the 49ers defense finished in the top 5 in points scored for several fantasy football leagues. I had them in my keeper league and they were an amazing force late in the season. In winning my fantasy football league they had separate weeks where they put up 34, 24, 19, 15, 15, and 13 points. Considering they scored zero kick or punt return touchdowns and the 49ers D/ST was really quite impressive last season.

As we head into 2010, has the 49ers defense reached that rarified air of defenses that get selected early? I think they're good enough that in a league of 49ers fans they'll go relatively high. However, among non-49ers fans, will they get the respect of a Vikings, Packers and Jets fantasy defense? Over at, they're projected as the #5 defense. They've got the 49ers snagging 17 interceptions, recovering 14 defensive fumbles, netting 35 sacks, and scoring 4 defensive touchdowns. The defensive touchdowns number is a tough one to project, but that could be what moves them from solid fantasy defense to amazing fantasy defense.

I lost out on getting them in my fantasy league because somebody grabbed them pretty high (8th round of a 14-team league). However, with a couple more fantasy drafts to go, they're somebody for whom I'll be keeping an eye out.


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