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In 2012, J.J. Watt nearly unanimously won NFL defensive player of the year, thanks to video-game-on-easy numbers (and, as a result, the success of his Houston Texans). Is the 24-year-old already the best defensive lineman in football? Or will the rest of the pack catch up in 2013? Click on the images below to set your rankings!

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NFL DLs in 2013

Jared Allen

Jared Allen

Vikings
2012: 45 tackles, 12 sacks, FF

Geno Atkins

Geno Atkins

Bengals
2012: 53 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 4 FF

Elvis Dumervil

Elvis Dumervil

Ravens
2012: 54 tackles, 11.0 sacks, 6 FF

Chris Long

Chris Long

Rams
2012: 33 tackles, 11.5 sacks

Haloti Ngata

Haloti Ngata

Ravens
2012: 51 tackles, 5 sacks

Julius Peppers

Julius Peppers

Bears
2012: 39 tackles, 11.5 sacks, FF

Jason Pierre-Paul

Jason Pierre-Paul

Giants
2012: 66 tackles, 6.5 sacks, FF

B.J. Raji

B.J. Raji

Packers
2012: 26 tackles

Justin Smith

Justin Smith

49ers
2012: 66 tackles, 3 sacks

Ndamukong Suh

Ndamukong Suh

Lions
2012: 35 tackles, 8 sacks

J.J. Watt

J.J. Watt

Texans
2012: 81 tackles, 20.5 sacks, 4 FF

Cameron Wake

Cameron Wake

Dolphins
2012: 53 tackles, 15 sacks, 3 FF

DeMarcus Ware

DeMarcus Ware

Cowboys
2012: 56 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 5 FF

Vince Wilfork

Vince Wilfork

Patriots
2012: 48 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 2 FF

Kevin Williams

Kevin Williams

Vikings
2012: 30 tackles, 2.0 sacks

Mario Williams

Mario Williams

Bills
2012: 46 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 2 FF

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Should we offer a moment of silence for fantasy football owners coming to the realization that Saints safety Darren Sharper has scored more touchdowns this season than Steven Jackson, Brandon Jacobs or Anquan Boldin?

The Saints are just outside the top 10 in total defense at the moment, which is kind of remarkable when you think about how often their opponents have the whole field to work with after yet another Saints touchdown and yet another Saints kickoff. Sharper may not be the sole reason for the success, given that he shares the field with guys like Charles Grant and Jonathan Vilma, but as a newcomer with a league-best six interceptions and three touchdowns, he's becoming the face of it.

When push comes to shove, 67 percent of SportsNation prefers a great defense to a great offense. But are you ready to give a guy like Sharper MVP consideration?

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Why didn't AIG have this kind of foresight? As recounted in the Wall Street Journal, Fantasy Sports Insurance launched this year to offer fantasy football owners some peace of mind on their high-dollar investments. Drafted Adrian Peterson but worried about an injury ruining your season? Buy insurance on him and recoup your league fees if he gets hurt (although in Peterson's case, based on his chat with SportsNation, Frank Gore insurance would have been a better investment).

One of the only 50 stars the company offered to insure? Cedric Benson. The same guy who averaged 3.5 yards per carry last season while rushing for a career "best" 747 yards. Forget insurance; we're going to these guys for our draft cheat sheet next year.

Thanks in no small part to Benson, who has 487 rushing yards in five games, the Bengals are 4-1. But does that make him a better MVP pick than Carson Palmer, let alone Peterson, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning or other standouts?

Where do Benson and Palmer rank on your MVP ballot?

Scott (Bakersfield, CA)

Which offseason add has helped their team more Dawkins or Sharper?

Gary Horton
Gary Horton

That's almost a push. They are both great veteran players with tremendous leadership skills. Your first inclination might be to say Sharper because of his big plays and his instincts. He can turn around a game with those interceptions. My sources in Denver tell me Dawkins is like another coach on the field and is a huge part of the speed in which Denver has made the transition from a 43 to a 34. That may not show up in the box score, but it is a big factor in their success. Full transcript.

Random (Dude)

DO u have yourself on your fantasy team?

Adrian Peterson
Adrian Peterson

Nope. Frank Gore. And Matt Forte. Full transcript.

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Save for the Falcons, Eagles, Cardinals and Panthers, NFL teams are already a quarter of the way through the regular season. Most places, that means an opportunity for fans to take stock of what they've seen and set expectations for the remaining 12 games. In St. Louis, where the Rams have been voted the worst of the worst four weeks running, we don't recommend diverting your attention from the Cardinals. (Or the Blues, for that matter. In fact, if the Saint Louis Billikens have any halfway decent post players, you might just want to skip ahead to basketball season).

Through just a quarter of the season, we've already seen three teams trade the top spot in SportsNation's Power Rankings -- not to mention 15 teams ranked somewhere in the top 10 at some point. And as good as Drew Brees has been, his Saints have cracked the top 2 just once. Just imagine how messy this would be in the BCS.

mnryan55

NFC East is a hugely overrated conference at the moment. The Redskins and Cowboys appear to be actively bad teams; and both the Eagles and Giants have question marks as to the health of key players.

-- MNRyan55
madmax1018

The fact is, the Jets won't even be a part of the play-off picture, so why are we even bothering with them now. The AFC will come down to the Colts, Patriots, Steelers, Ravens and probably the Chargers and the NFC will most likely come down to the Saints, Giants, Vikings, Bears, Eagles and Packers.

-- MadMax1018

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