If it seems defensive scoring -- fantasy defense scoring, that is -- is up, you're right. It's primarily because sacks are up across the league, with pass rushers having the early edge over NFL offenses.
In Week 1, the Jaguars sacked Texans quarterbacks 10 times, and the Steelers sacked DeShone Kizer 7 times. Those are kind of outlier games, but there have been a lot of big sack numbers being turned in so far.
NFL teams tend to average around 35-37 sacks per season. Last 10 years: 35, 33, 35, 35, 37, 37, 40, 38, 37 and 35.
Thus far -- and yes, it's early -- teams are on pace to average 42 sacks each. More than half of the league's teams (17) are on pace to finish over 40, and a quarter of them (8) are on pace for over 50. Last year only 7 NFL teams reached 40 sacks; none made it up to 50. (Statistics do not include last night's 49ers-Rams game.)
|NFL TEAM SACKS, 2017 (ACTUAL/PROJ)|
|Los Angeles Rams||6||48|
|Green Bay Packers||6||48|
|Los Angeles Chargers||6||48|
|New York Giants||4||32|
|New England Patriots||4||32|
|San Francisco 49ers||3||24|
|New Orleans Saints||3||24|
|New York Jets||2||16|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1||16|
We can be fairly confident that Jacksonville will not reach 88 sacks; eight teams won't actually finish over 50. But for now, worthwhile to tap into those productive pass rushes in weekly lineups whenever possible.