3 FanDuel Defenses to Target in Week 10
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.
There are many injuries and struggling offenses that we can exploit by rostering a defense against them, so let's take a look at three of them.
FanDuel Salary: $4,800
Many people thought the Arizona Cardinals were going to be all about offense this season. With the talent they have on that side of the ball, it's pretty understandable.
Well, they've proven to have some talent and a good scheme on the defensive side of the ball, as well.
The most impressive part of the Arizona D/ST has been their pass rush. They made headlines in the first game of the season, mainly through the performance of Chandler Jones. However, Markus Golden has been playing well, too, and ranks third in the league with nine sacks and is tied for first in forced fumbles with four. Overall, the Cardinals are fourth in adjusted sack rate on the season.
The Cardinals will play the Carolina Panthers, who have been a sinking ship ever since their 3-0 start to the season. Their offense seems to be broken, with just 28 points total in their last three games. Now, they are dealing with some new injuries.
Sam Darnold is now on injured reserve and will be replaced by P.J. Walker, who hasn't had much success in limited NFL playing time (Cam Newton isn't expected to start until next week). Center Matt Paradis will also miss this game after tearing his ACL, which certainly will not help against Arizona's pass rush. The Panthers' offensive line was already allowing an 8% adjusted sack rate.
Arizona is leading numberFire's projections for points by a defense this week with 9.5. The fact that they are $200 less than the Buffalo Bills actually makes them a good value, and they rank first in that category in the projections, as well. If you have the salary to allocate, the Cardinals' defense is a good option.
FanDuel Salary: $4,100
Last week's national TV game might have been something of a coming out party for the Tennessee D/ST.
They completely neutralized an explosive Los Angeles Rams offense that had been on a roll. They produced five sacks, two interceptions, and scored a touchdown. Over their last five games, they have 15 sacks, 11 takeaways, and 3 touchdowns. In this stretch, they've scored fewer than 12 FanDuel points once.
It's been night and day for the Tennessee Titans this season compared to last. They're already at 23 sacks in 2021 and had just 19 total all of last season. This week, they are at home in a matchup that looks much better than it did a few weeks ago.
The Titans will play the New Orleans Saints and are currently favored by 2.5 points. The Saints lost Jameis Winston two weeks ago and now could be without Alvin Kamara, who hasn't been practicing this week. For a team that lacks playmakers on offense, missing their one true difference-maker at a skill position would be a huge blow.
The Saints will be starting Trevor Siemian at quarterback again. Siemian wasn't awful in his start last week but has a career 2.6% interception rate and 6.9% sack rate, so he can be prone to mistakes. The Titans should be able to generate more pressure than the Atlanta Falcons did last week, which could force those mistakes.
The Titans' defense is a perfectly suitable option in the mid-range this week.
FanDuel Salary: $3,100
The punt option of the week is the Detroit D/ST. They haven't performed too well this season, obviously, with the team still being winless. They do have some things going in their favor, however, putting them in play for this week.
Detroit's pass rush hasn't been awful this season. Their adjusted sack rate is actually above league average. They also average 0.9 takeaways per game, which is more than the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, two teams we think of as solid defensively.
This week, the Detroit Lions face the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers' offense hasn't exactly been explosive or efficient this season. They rank 20th in total offensive efficiency, according to numberFire's metrics. Pittsburgh is also going to be without Chase Claypool, as he's been dealing with a toe injury. Claypool is the only true big-play threat in the offense, so missing him will really hurt.
For just $3,100, the Lions fall into "how bad could it be" territory. They get to face 39-year-old Ben Roethlisberger on a short week, and should be able to limit the Steelers offense. If you can get a few sacks or a turnover, you'll take it as a bonus for this low salary.
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.