NFL

3 FanDuel Defenses to Target in Week 5

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.

Scoring is up this season in the NFL, but that doesn't mean we can't find defenses that will help us win on FanDuel this week. Let's see which three are standing out at different salary ranges.

Baltimore Ravens

FanDuel Salary: $4,900

The Baltimore D/ST got back on track in Week 4 against the Washington Football Team after a poor performance on Monday Night Football in Week 3. They were able to put pressure on a young quarterback who was behind a poor offensive line. This week, they are in the same situation.

The Baltimore Ravens are at home against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Ravens are big favorites. FanDuel Sportsbook has them as 12.5-point favorite, the second biggest on the slate. This should lead to the Bengals playing in a negative game script, which would lead to a lot of pass attempts for Cincy. Cincinnati is third in pass-to-run ratio, and behind a weak offensive line, that has led to 15 sacks on Joe Burrow. While Burrow has been impressive as a rookie, the Ravens will be the toughest test he has seen yet in his career.

The Bengals have an implied team total of just 19.5 points. Baltimore's defense is projected for 8.5 points in this game, and they have the upside for more if they are able to pressure the rookie into mistakes.

Pittsburgh Steelers

FanDuel Salary: $4,400

The Pittsburgh D/ST has been one of the best units in the league to start the season. They got an unexpected bye last week and should be fresh and ready to go for Week 5. They'll go up against a team that is certainly not well-rested. In fact they are one of the most banged-up offenses in the league.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will return to action against the Philadelphia Eagles, who are coming off their first win of the season. The Steelers' pass rush has been as good as advertised this year, as they are second in sacks and second in adjusted sack rate, according to Football Outsiders. The Eagles' offensive line has suffered many injuries and has allowed the third most sacks in the league. They are also short-handed at wide receiver.

Pittsburgh's defense is projected for the second most points on the slate. The Eagles also have the lowest implied team total on the slate (18.5). The Steelers' D is one of the better values on the slate and is a play you can rely on in all formats this week.

Dallas Cowboys

FanDuel Salary: $3,500

Here's a play that no one will want to make but actually has some merit. The talk this season is all about just how bad the Dallas D/ST has been and rightfully so. They have faced some pretty good offenses to this point, but this week they'll get their best matchup of the season.

The Dallas Cowboys are taking on the New York Giants. The Giants are a perfect team for a get-right spot for any defense. They haven't scored a touchdown in their last two games without Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard, and they have just three touchdowns all season. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has thrown five interceptions and fumbled three times across four games this season. He has also taken 14 sacks behind a porous offensive line.

As bad as the Cowboys' defense has been, this matchup sets up nicely for them. They also have a 6.4% adjusted sack rate, which is barely below the league average of 6.6%. This is the kind of play that feels gross when you click on it, but it could be a nice contrarian play and is a decent salary saver, as well. Our projections have Dallas as the best point-per-dollar value at the position, so if you can stomach it, using this unit can pay off.



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.