3 FanDuel Defenses to Target in Week 5
Sadly, we're almost a quarter of the way through the NFL regular season.
Throughout the year, I'll attempt to pinpoint three fantasy defenses at various price points that deserve consideration on FanDuel, with specific options for both cash and GPP lineups. The idea will be to highlight lesser-known plays. It's not worth anyone's time to tell you the Philadelphia D/ST are a good cash play against the New York Jets this week, assuming Sam Darnold is out. The hope is to find you cheaper plays to fill out your cash lineup or under-owned home run swings for tournament rosters.
Given the lack of data we still have on the season, this week's article will lean heavier on the Vegas lines and numberFire projections until we have more Net Expected Points (NEP) data to help inform our decisions down the line.
I'll spare you the lengthy intro. It might not be the most important part of your lineup, but there is still a ton of strategy involved when choosing your defense in DFS. And it can be the difference between losing and winning big.
With that in mind, let's take a look at three fantasy defenses that provide great value in Week 5.
numberFire Projection: 8.5 FanDuel Points
FanDuel's defense menu is annoyingly well-priced this week, which puts more emphasis on not getting too cute and therefore playing it safe in cash lineups. That leads us to Tennessee D/ST, a three-point home favorite against the Buffalo Bills. The Tennessee Titans' defense has the fifth-highest numberFire projection, while Buffalo has the third-lowest implied point total on the slate.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen is currently in the concussion protocol, though he did do individual drills in Wednesday's practice. Allen is a fun young player, but he's given up eight interceptions across four starts and had two more fumbles last week that didn't count as turnovers due to a penalty and one rolling out of bounds.
If Allen starts, turnovers are likely. And if he's out, journeyman backup Matt Barkley will get the nod. Per Pro-Football-Reference, Barkley's career interception percentage is 6.2%. For reference, Allen, who is notorious for turning the ball over, has a career rate of 4.0%.
It helps that Tennessee's defense impressively ranks second-best, according to our schedule-adjusted numbers. The Bills' passing offense, meanwhile, ranks 26th. Tennessee is a high-floor, high-ceiling option this week that may go under-owned if Allen suits up.
numberFire Projection: 9.7 FanDuel Points
One positive aspect of the elevated pricing is that the New England D/ST ($5,500, at Washington) and Philadelphia D/ST ($4,900, vs. New York Jets) project for massive ownership given their ideal matchups. While both are obviously great plays, it opens up differentiation opportunities in GPP lineups. Enter the Minnesota D/ST, a 5.5-point road favorite against a rookie quarterback.
The Vikings have numberFire's third-highest projection on the slate, and they check in as the strongest point-per-dollar value, too. While the public is understandably enamored with Daniel Jones, namely because he is not Eli Manning, Jones did throw two interceptions against a bad Washington defense at home last week. This is a great opportunity to fade the public excitement and trust in a nasty defense capable of multiple sacks and turnovers.
Green Bay Packers
numberFire Projection: 6.2 FanDuel Points
Remember when I told you not to get cute? Well, this is me getting cute.
Still, there are reasons to give Green Bay a thought as part of GPP roster construction. For one, the price is absurdly cheap, and really, only one of a handful of sub $4,000 options even on the table this week. That alone could allow you to jam in some high-priced running backs you need.
An important factor with this recommendation is the health of All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith, who is reportedly unlikely to play due to an ankle injury. Smith's absence could force a lot of pressure on Dak Prescott, especially against a Packers front that ranks sixth in Adjusted Sack Rate, per Football Outsiders.
While Dallas' passing offense does rank fourth-best, per our metrics, they have feasted against the Giants, Miami Dolphins and Washington -- all three of which rank as bottom-10 pass defenses by our numbers. Green Bay, meanwhile, ranks as the best pass defense in the league by the same metrics.
Super cheap with projected low ownership and serious sack potential, Green Bay is a worthy GPP punt this weekend.
Eli Weiner is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Eli Weiner also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Eweiner2. 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.