What is Darrelle Revis' true fantasy impact?

Updated: August 12, 2010, 5:51 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
While I remain skeptical that the New York Jets will actually be without awesome cornerback Darrelle Revis this season, the fact is that the ugly, prolonged holdout is a great reminder to fantasy owners to not overrate the impact any result would have in fantasy football. Yes, Revis is arguably the top defensive player in football, a true difference-maker … but I can't say I would alter my thinking, from a broad standpoint, in analyzing the fantasy potential of the Jets' defense with or without him.

I'm one of those owners -- and there are plenty like me -- who rarely selects any defense before Rounds 14 or 15, and I do so even that early because I save the kickers for Round 16 -- the very end. As we at ESPN Fantasy continually point out in various forms, there's constant upheaval when it comes to how fantasy defenses perform from year to year. The Jets were terrific last season, and on paper they should be again. But they weren't the best fantasy defense last season. They hardly distinguished themselves from others in terms of fantasy points, which factors in defensive touchdowns, turnovers, sacks, etc. I could probably give you 10 guesses and you wouldn't have picked the top defense from 2009 (the San Francisco 49ers).