3 FanDuel Defenses to Target in Week 17
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 17 sees 14 games on the main slate, and with the way things have been going of late, there certainly have to be some struggling offenses we can use defenses against. Let's look at three at different salary tiers.
FanDuel Salary: $4,800
This is a Chicago Bears team with a strong defense and a questionable offense. How many times in Bears' history has that been said? It's been the identity of the team for years, and it certainly applies this season. The good news is we can choose to roster only their defense and not worry about the offense, especially this week.
The Chicago D/ST has done a great job getting to the quarterback this season. They rank first in adjusted sack rate, with an impressive 8.8%. Robert Quinn, in particular, has been excellent, with his 17 sacks ranking second in the league. Unfortunately, this hasn't led to much fantasy success, as they have just two games with double-digit FanDuel points this season. That could easily change this week.
The Bears will face the struggling New York Giants at home. New York will once again use a combination of Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm at quarterback, and the results have been disastrous so far. Over the last two weeks using this duo, the offense has scored only one touchdown and turned the ball over six times. They had just 286 passing yards across those two games.
We'd prefer Fromm in the game, as he has been taking more sacks than Glennon. But either way, the Giants have an implied team total of a measly 15.75 points, and that even seems difficult for them to reach given the state of their offense.
Los Angeles Chargers
FanDuel Salary: $4,000
Last week was not a banner week for the Los Angeles Chargers in any respect. They lost 41-29 to the Houston Texans in a game that did some damage to their playoff hopes. They need to get back on track this week, especially on defense. They'll have a great chance of doing that in this matchup.
The Los Angeles Chargers D/ST can be classified as a disappointment. They have lots of talent at different positions but rank just 26th in overall defense, according to our schedule-adjusted metrics. There are some positives, though, as they have a sack in every game this season. They also have recorded nine takeaways over their last five games.
The Chargers get a divisional matchup at home against the Denver Broncos this week. The Broncos are likely to have to start Drew Lock once again. Lock was very mistake-prone in his time starting last season, as he had the second-highest interception rate and the eighth-highest sack rate. To make matters worse, Lock was on the Denver injury report with an ankle injury. If he is playing on a bad ankle, he could take even more sacks than normal.
The Chargers' D/ST is one of the best point-per-dollar values in our projections this week, and they are a great option if you're looking in the mid-tier.
FanDuel Salary: $3,600
The Miami D/ST has been one of the best fantasy performers in the league since Week 9. They are the number-one fantasy defense in that time, averaging 15.1 fantasy points. Now they go on the road to face a good team, but they still can have success in this game.
The Miami Dolphins are third in adjusted sack rate this season but first in overall sacks. That includes their eight sacks last week. They've also forced 14 turnovers in their last seven games, including three that went for touchdowns.
Miami's salary has fallen to $3,600 because they are road underdogs to the Tennessee Titans. However, we've seen the Titans' offense struggle in plenty of games this campaign, including just two weeks ago when they turned the ball over four times. Overall, only the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars have turned the ball over more than Tennessee this season. The offensive line has also come into question for Tennessee, as they've allowed the second-worst adjusted sack rate in the league.
It's understandable why the salary for the Dolphins' defense would fall, but this seems to be a bit too much in a matchup that isn't all that bad. The salary was released before their dominant performance on Monday night, and it likely would be higher if that game was taken into account. They are the best value at the position, and the clear best option if you are looking under $4,000 for a defense this week.
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.