3 FanDuel Defenses to Target in Week 6
It's already Week 6? It's OK -- we're in this together.
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 New England D/ST are a good play every 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 (NEP) data to help inform our decisions down the line.
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 6.
numberFire Projection: 9.3 FanDuel Points
This doesn't feel comfortable, but the Washington D/ST has the highest numberFire projection on the main slate. That alone makes the unit an option in all game forms, considering the price is fine. I'm not totally convinced Washington is that much better than the Miami Dolphins, but they do enter as 3.5-point road favorites. And the numbers help paint a picture as to why.
For one, Miami's offense ranks 31st by our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric and likely would rank dead last if not for Sam Darnold contracting mononucleosis. Per Football Outsiders, the Dolphins offensive line is 30th in adjusted sack rate. Washington's defense, meanwhile, ranks a more respectable 19th in adjusted sack rate.
Facing a bottom-three offensive line as road favorites, Washington makes for a compelling if low-floor GPP play this week.
numberFire Projection: 7.3 FanDuel Points
This one is pretty simple. The Minnesota D/ST is eighth in our projections, yet is priced as the 13th-most expensive defense on the slate. This seems like an egregious matchup-based adjustment by FanDuel considering the Minnesota Vikings are 3,0-point home favorites and also rank as the fifth-best defense in the league by our schedule-adjusted numbers.
So that's really it. Minnesota is just far too cheap for a defense this good and favored at home. In fact, the Philadelphia Eagles' offense ranks just 23rd, per our metrics, this year. The Vikings' defense should be a cash lock at this price.
San Francisco 49ers
numberFire Projection: 5.6 FanDuel Points
Similar to last week's call with the Green Bay D/ST, I'm fading our projections to dive deeper into the on-field matchup and uncover some low-owned upside. The San Francisco D/ST is in a similar spot to what the Green Bay Packers were in Week 5. They are also 3.5-point road underdogs, but with a huge matchup to exploit on defense.
San Francisco's pass rush ranks third in adjusted sack rate per Football Outsiders, while Jared Goff's passer rating drops from 97 to 62 when under pressure this season. In fact, per our metrics, the Niners' D ranks as the number one overall defense in the league. On the road as underdogs, not many people are going to click the Niners D/ST in lineups. And that makes them an exciting (and cheap) GPP option this week.