3 FanDuel Defenses to Target in Week 2
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.
It is an interesting slate for defense, as one play clearly stands out above the rest. Making lineups while keeping that in mind is a key to roster construction this week, especially in tournaments.
Los Angeles Rams
FanDuel Salary: $4,600
The Los Angeles Rams did not kick off their Super Bowl defense the way they wanted. Getting beat 31-10 in the season opener doesn't reflect well on the defensive side. However, the matchup greatly improves for their Week 2 game.
The Rams were not able to slow down Josh Allen much in Week 1, but they did get two sacks and record four takeaways. This week, they'll take on an offense that is definitely less of a well-oiled machine than the Buffalo Bills. The Atlanta Falcons travel out west in what should be a difficult game for them.
Atlanta performed better than expected last week, but they'll have to keep it up for them to change public perception. They are currently 10.5-point underdogs and have an implied team total of just 18 points. They did a good job of keeping Marcus Mariota upright in the season opener but will have a tougher time doing that in Week 2.
The Rams finished third in the NFL in sacks last season. Their matchup will go from facing the offensive line that finished second in adjusted sack rate to facing Atlanta's 20th-ranked unit. They should be able to wreak havoc in Atlanta's backfield.
Getting the team defense that is the biggest favorite is hardly ever a bad option. It's especially true when the unit is slightly under-salaried, as the Los Angeles Rams D/ST is just $4,600. They come in as our second-highest projected option this week.
FanDuel Salary: $3,900
We liked the Cincinnati D/ST last week, and it didn't really work out. They were put in bad positions because the offense kept turning the ball over, and they weren't able to overcome that. This week, the situation should set them up for success.
An offense is an obvious one to target with defenses when they are using an inexperienced, backup quarterback. That is what the Cincinnati Bengals will face this week when they play the Dallas Cowboys. Cooper Rush will take over for an injured Dak Prescott, and he will be making his second career start.
The Cowboys' offense was already struggling last week, and they could be in for a tough time again this week.
They were without Tyron Smith on the offensive line, and the line allowed pressure on 34.8% of drop backs. This week, Connor McGovern has not practiced, so they could be without two starters on the line. That doesn't bode well for them against Trey Hendrickson, who can rush the passer effectively.
This information won't be overlooked by fantasy players. The Bengals are clearly the best option in cash games, as they are the best value in our projections. They also need to be handled thoughtfully in tournaments. We don't want to play them with popular position players in our lineups because most of our opponents will likely be doing the same thing.
The New England D/ST is an interesting pivot option for $200 less if you are concerned with how much the Bengals will be utilized by the field.
FanDuel Salary: $3,100
If you want to save even more money than playing the Bengals, you can go all the way down to the Seattle D/ST. They aren't the most inspiring unit, but they have a few things going for them this week.
This isn't the Seattle Seahawks of the Legion of Boom days, but they weren't too bad in Week 1. They got pressure on 35.6% of drop backs and sacked Russell Wilson twice. They also caused two fumbles and were lucky enough to recover both of them.
This week, they will go up against a quarterback who could be prone to mistakes. Trey Lance has made just three career starts and has a career interception rate of 3%, which would have been in the league's top five last season. The San Francisco 49ers are also starting three new offensive linemen and allowed pressure at a 23.5% clip last week.
Seattle is a way to save money at the position and will likely be an unpopular play in tournaments, as fantasy managers are unlikely to be willing to play a big underdog away from home. They do rank as the fifth-best value in numberFire's model, though, so they are definitely a viable option 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.