3 FanDuel Defenses to Target in Week 14
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.
Week 14 sees some standout defense plays, with some obvious offenses we can target. Let's look at three units we can look to roster at three different salary tiers.
New Orleans Saints
FanDuel Salary: $4,900
The New Orleans D/ST has been one of the best units in football, especially over the past five weeks. They've allowed 16 or fewer in the last five games and average 13.2 FanDuel points. They've been great at getting pressure on the quarterback, as they have the best adjusted sack rate in the NFL. This has led to lots of takeaways, at least one in six straight games. This week, they should have opportunities to extend that streak.
The New Orleans Saints will take on the Philadelphia Eagles on the road. The Eagles are turning to rookie quarterback, Jalen Hurts in an effort to get their offense going. Hurts was drafted in the second round more for his ability with his legs than on the ground. He will play behind a banged-up offensive line that has allowed the most sacks and the highest adjusted sack rate in the league. The Saints are 7.0-point favorites and the Eagles have the second-lowest implied team total, according to our daily fantasy matchup heat map.
The Saints are the second-highest projected defense in our model and given the unknown that they are facing at quarterback with a player making his first career start, they definitely have the upside to dominate an offense that has struggled for most of the season.
Kansas City Chiefs
FanDuel Salary: $4,200
People don't think of the Kansas City D/ST when they think about the defending Super Bowl champs, but they have been solid this year. They scheme to stop the pass more than the run, as they are 12th in our schedule-adjusted pass defense metrics but dead last against the run. The coaching staff smartly recognizes that no team can compete with Patrick Mahomes and the offense by running the ball. The opponents have not been very successful against the Chiefs throwing the ball, and they are tied for second in the league with 14 interceptions.
The Kansas City Chiefs are playing against the Miami Dolphins and are seven favorites on the road. They'll face off against rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Tua has not made too many rookie mistakes, with only one turnover so far in five starts. However, in most of those games, the Dolphins had positive game scripts in which they didn't need big plays in the passing game. In the one game where they got behind, Tagovailoa was 11 for 20 for just 83 yards and took 6 sacks against the Denver Broncos. It's likely that the Dolphins will need to pass a lot in this game, and it could lead to Tua throwing his first career interception.
The Chiefs are set up nicely as a fairly high floor play, as the Dolphins with their new quarterback haven't shown any potential to erupt. If Kansas City gets out to a big lead, the negative game script could be bad for a young quarterback.
FanDuel Salary: $3,500
If you are looking for a value defense, the Dallas D/ST at least has to be considered. You may remember how bad they were at the beginning of the season, but that is baked into the low salary of just $3,500. Their 32 sacks on the season are more than defenses like the Baltimore D/ST, the Chicago D/ST, and the Miami D/ST, which are teams with much better reputations around the league. This week, Dallas is in a great spot.
The Dallas Cowboys will play the Cincinnati Bengals as road favorites. The Bengals have played two games since Joe Burrow went down, and it hasn't been pretty. Fill in quarterback Brandon Allen has taken seven sacks, thrown two interceptions, and lost a fumble in his two starts. The Bengals' offensive line has been one of the worst in the league all season long, allowing the second-most sacks with 44. Facing Cincinnati has been great for defenses because they love to throw the ball, with the fourth-highest pass/run ratio in the league. Passing can lead to sacks and interceptions, especially with a quarterback who isn't a start and a bad offensive line.
The Cowboys' defense is projecting well for us, as they are far and away rated as our best value defense. If you like to spend down at this position, the Cowboys are certainly one of the best choices on the board.
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.