Fantasy Football Defenses: Top Ten You Should Target In 2014

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St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn (94) Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Rams. 7. player. 51. <a href=. 2013 Record. 7-9 (4th in NFC West)

The St. Louis Rams appear at #7 on my countdown. Like the Browns, St. Louis is another team that did not go .500 last season. I think they are a much better team than that, but playing in a division with the Seahawks and 49ers will give you some trouble.

The strength of the Rams is in the defensive line. Defensive ends Chris Long and All-Pro Robert Quinn bookend a formidable defensive line to form a pass-rushing duo they call “The Thunder Storm”.

Quinn sacked the quarterback a whopping 19 times last season, while Long added 8.5 sacks. Quinn and Long combined for eight forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries last year. They truly do bring the storm with them whenever they are on the field.

Defensive tackles Michael Brockers and rookie Aaron Donald will handle the run-stopping duties for this team. Brockers has proven he can get to the quarterback, registering 5.5 sacks last season, but the 325 lb. defensive tackle’s main job is to sit there and eat up the run.

Linebackers Jo-Lonn Dunbar, James Laurinaitis, and Alec Ogletree round out the Rams’ front seven. Ogletree and Laurinaitis were the leaders in tackling for St. Louis in 2013, with 95 and 85 tackles, respectively. Although these linebackers aren’t sack specialists, they are hard hitters; Ogletree himself caused six fumbles last season.

While the front seven is strong, the Rams’ secondary is fairly weak. With cornerback Cortland Finnegan being released, the Rams will turn to Trumaine Johnson to team up with Janoris Jenkins to start at cornerback. While those two combined for four interceptions last season, it remains to be seen if they will be able to shutdown the likes of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.

The Rams have their share of weaknesses, but there are many reasons this defense is worth picking up for your team. They have innate ability to get to the quarterback, and their hard hitting habits force fumbles frequently. One final reason is their special teams capabilities.

Tavon Austin has big play ability when he gets the ball on kickoffs, giving fantasy owners reason to give the Rams a chance.

Pro: Tenacious pass attack
Con: Unproven secondary