3 FanDuel Defenses to Target in Week 1
Selecting a defense is never the most glamorous part of fantasy football. It often goes overlooked in favor of 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 1 will tell us a decent amount about these teams that we didn't know before, given the lack of preseason this year. Let's see if we can get ahead of the field and pick three defenses to help us win on Sunday.
FanDuel Salary: $4,700
The Buffalo D/ST checks a lot of boxes that we're going to look for when considering a defense. They are at home and favored over the New York Jets by 6.5 points currently. The Bills held the Jets to 17 and 13 points, respectively, in their two meetings last season. That's right in line with where the Jets implied team total sits in this game, coming in at 16.5, the lowest on the main slate.
Buffalo should have a big advantage at the line of scrimmage. New York's offensive line had the second-worst adjusted sack rate last season, and while they have made improvements on that front, they lack the continuity that is key in offensive line play. The Bills had an above-average adjusted sack rate on defense last year and could get better if second-year defensive lineman Ed Oliver builds on an impressive rookie season.
Buffalo is numberFire's third-highest projected scoring defense, and given the matchup, they could be in for a big day in Week 1.
FanDuel Salary: $4,500
Another defense that sets up nicely in a divisional matchup is the Philadelphia D/ST. They'll be on the road against the Washington Football Team, but are still 5.5 point favorites in this game. Washington's implied point total is only 18.5, the third-lowest on this slate.
The matchup is the big reason behind playing the Eagles' defense. Washington had the second-worst adjusted sack rate last season and haven't made any significant additions to their offensive line. We want to play defenses that will disrupt the passer often, causing sacks, fumbles, and interceptions. Philadelphia's ferocious defensive front includes star players like Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson, who can wreak havoc on Dwayne Haskins. The Eagles also improved their secondary, which had been a weakness in previous seasons, when they traded for cornerback Darius Slay in the offseason.
Philly's defense is projected for the most points this week according to our projections and is a fine option in all formats.
FanDuel Salary: $3,700
A salary relief option at defense would be the Indianapolis D/ST. The Colts have flown under the radar this offseason, but they have a lot of good players on the defensive side of the ball. They will face the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team with the lowest win total on Fanduel Sportsbook. The Colts are favored by 7.5 points, which makes them tied for the biggest favorites with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Jaguars implied point total is down at 19 points. They ranked 27th Adjusted Net Expected Points (NEP) last season, according to numberFire's metrics. Indy made a major addition to their defensive line when they traded a first-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers for DeForest Buckner. He is added to a defense that also has stud linebacker Darius Leonard -- this unit could be one of the more underrated defenses in the league.
Our projections like the Colts defense a lot, as they have them as the best value play at the position. If you're looking to spend down and get some studs at other positions, Indy's defense is a play that isn't a total punt and gives you some room to work with for the rest of your lineup.
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.