3 FanDuel Defenses to Target in Week 4
Selecting a defense is never the most glamorous part of fantasy football. It often goes overlooked for the more fun positions that people want to watch and root for during the game. The good news is that if our opponents aren’t putting too much thought into their defense, we can gain an advantage with some research. So let’s dig in and try to identify some defenses that could be in a good position to score fantasy points this week.
Last week, we were able to identify some good performances from defenses, especially the Tampa Bay D/ST, which scored 18 FanDuel points at a salary of $3,800. Let's see if we can pick out a similar defense this week.
Update: The Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots game has been postponed and is expected to be played on Monday or Tuesday. Cam Newton has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not play this week.
Los Angeles Rams
FanDuel Salary: $ 4,800
When thinking of what defense to roster, it's always a positive to choose the one that has Aaron Donald on it. Donald caused problems for Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills in Week 3 with two sacks and a forced fumble. This week, the opportunity is there for him to do a lot of damage against his opponent.
The Los Angeles Rams D/ST will face the New York Giants, and they are 12.5 favorites, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. The Los Angeles Rams can benefit from the loose play of Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. In 16 career starts, Jones has thrown 16 interceptions and fumbled 20 times. Behind a poor offensive line, Jones will have to deal with a Rams pass rush that had 50 sacks last season. The Giants will also be without Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard, both of whom are on injured reserve.
The Rams' defense projects well, ranking second in numberFire's projections for this week. The Giants have an implied team total of just 18.0 points. The potential for turnovers from a quarterback who has struggled with that throughout his career makes the Rams' defense a solid play in all formats this week.
Kansas City Chiefs
FanDuel Salary: $3,800
The Kansas City D/ST impressed on national TV on Monday when they shut down a potent Baltimore Ravens offense that had previously had their way with nearly every team they faced. That performance from the defense perhaps went overlooked with Patrick Mahomes doing his thing, but the KC defense has been good in all three games this season, even against some dangerous offenses. This week, the matchup isn't ideal, but there are signs pointing in their favor for another good game.
The Kansas City Chiefs will fahostce the New England Patriots. We can think back to recent meetings between these teams that turned into shootouts, but the outlook for both teams is different now. The Chiefs have really shored up their defense, especially on the passing front. They currently have the fifth best schedule-adjusted pass defense, according to our metrics.
They'll take on new Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, who has been good to start the season. However, Newton has yet to be tested by a good D and has been forced to throw a lot in only one game. That game was against a poor Seattle Seahawks defense that lost two defensive backs during the game. If Newton is forced to drop back a lot against a solid pass defense, including a pass rush that ranks seventh in adjusted sack rate, it could result in sacks and turnovers.
The Chiefs are 7.0-point favorites in this game, and the Patriots' implied team total is one of the lower ones on the slate at 22.75. The Chiefs are the third-highest projected defense by our model, and for just $3,800, they make a good value play at the position.
FanDuel Salary: $3,300
Through three weeks, the Minnesota D/ST does not seem like one you would want to roster. They are 0-3 on the season and have allowed at least 26 points in each game. They did have two sacks and an interception in each of their last two games, though, and this week are facing a team that we like to use defenses against.
The Minnesota Vikings are on the road against the Houston Texans. Why do we like to target defenses against the Texans? Well, it's a combination of a poor offensive line and Deshaun Watson holding onto the ball too long, leading to lots of sacks. The Texans' offensive line has the worst adjusted sack rate in the NFL this season, allowing 13 sacks thus far. Watson has also thrown an interception in each of his three games this season.
The Vikings have a defensive-minded head coach in Mike Zimmer, so he should be able to fix some of their scheme even if the talent is no longer on the roster. They are projected for 5.7 FanDuel points, and at $3,300, they are a viable punt option that allows you to spend up at the other positions.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.