3 FanDuel Defenses to Target in Week 4
Hello. Thank you for coming to Week 4. It's nice to have you.
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 Los Angeles Chargers D/ST are a good cash play against the pitiful Miami Dolphins this week. 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 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 fantasy defense. 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 4.
Los Angeles Rams
numberFire Projection: 8.9 FanDuel Points
The Los Angeles Rams D/ST check all the same boxes as the Minnesota D/ST did last week. The Rams enter Week 4 as massive 10-point home favorites, and the offense has the third-highest implied point total on the slate. That formula is ideal for picking a defense, as it should lead to plenty of passing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense. More passing for the Bucs should lead to sacks and turnovers, two things which Jameis Winston is happy to provide
Per TeamRankings.com, Tampa Bay currently ranks sixth-worst in the league by allowing sacks on 9.26% of Winston's dropbacks. It's a small sample, but so far Winston is averaging 36.5 pass attempts in losses, and he's taken at least three sacks in every game this season. If Winston drops back for another 36+ passes in this projected negative game script, three sacks is likely the floor for the Rams defense, with upside for several more.
According to Pro-Football-Reference, Jameis has also ranked top-three in the league in interception percentage in two of the last three seasons. Here's betting that he has one or two turnovers Sunday in catch-up mode.
The Buccaneers also have the seventh-lowest implied offensive point total on the week. Giddy up. At $4,300, the Rams defense is an affordable cash staple.
numberFire Projection: 8.0 FanDuel Points
Back to the well here. Seattle was a recommended play in this column last week, but got off to a flukily bad start thanks to a punt return touchdown and a defensive touchdown. Those high-variance plays cost the unit crucial positive game script, which is what we're chasing, so it's fair to count the Seahawks as a good process play last week despite the result.
According to numberFire's projections, the Seattle D/ST checks in as the second-best Week 4 play just based on raw points-per-dollar value. Digging into the specifics of the matchup, it makes a ton of sense. Despite playing on the road, the Seattle Seahawks are five-point favorites. Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals passing offense ranks sixth-worst according to numberFire's Net Expected Points model.
Notably, this game should feature elevated pace (which is good to know for all of your DFS lineup decisions this week). According to Pat Thorman of EstablishTheRun.com, Seattle's offense ranks eighth-fastest in terms of seconds-per-snap, while Arizona continues to pass at league-high rates in its fast-paced offense.
While there will be plenty of points scored in this game, more plays also means more opportunity for sacks, interceptions, and fumbles. Seattle makes for a great GPP or cash option at this price, and make for an intriguing stack with punt return ace Tyler Lockett ($6,600).
numberFire Projection: 8.6 FanDuel Points
Given the affordable price and tasty matchup, the Atlanta D/ST is numberFire's number-one points-per-dollar value of the week based on projections. Tennesse has a bottom-ten implied point total on the week, which is helpful, but more importantly, Marcus Mariota is taking sacks like it's his job (it's not).
Per TeamRankings.com, Tennessee is giving up a sack on 15.6% of Mariota's drop backs, easily the highest rate in the league. For reference, the worst team in 2018 was Houston at 10.36%. As four-point home favorites, Atlanta makes a ton of sense in all formats.
Bonus: Denver Broncos
numberFire Projection: 8.4 FanDuel Points
Admittedly, this is not a play for the faint of heart -- but that's why it's an awesome GPP option! It's become well-publicized by now that Denver D/ST hasn't forced one measly sack or turnover yet this year. While that's absurd, it's also a stat due for regression, especially with Von Miller and Bradley Chubb rushing the quarterback. Denver actually ranks strongly with numberFire's fifth-highest projected score on the week, and more importantly, no one is going to feel comfortable putting the Broncos in their lineups.
While everyone is rightfully in love with Gardner Minshew, he's still a sixth-round rookie making just his second career road start. It's easy to forget after last week's performance, but Minshew absorbed four sacks and had three fumbles (losing one) in his first road start. Jacksonville has the fourth-lowest implied point total on the week. This is an enticing spot to fade the public and recency bias and put your trust in Denver's defensive talent.
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.