3 FanDuel Defenses to Target in Week 4
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.
Week 4 has some intriguing options at defense. Let’s check out three from different salary tiers.
FanDuel Salary: $5,000
The Buffalo D/ST has been performing very well to start the season.
They’ve allowed only 12.66 points through three games, when you account for the special teams touchdown allowed in Week 1. They’ve been forcing turnovers over the past two weeks, with three interceptions and three fumbles recovered. The argument against them would be they faced an easy schedule of opposing offenses, but that continues in Week 4.
The Buffalo Bills will see the Houston Texans at home on Sunday. The Texans are starting rookie quarterback Davis Mills in what will be his first career road start. Mills has not been terrible to start his NFL career, but he will not have an easy task against the Buffalo pass rush.
The Bills have an adjusted sack rate of 9.2%, well above the league average of 6.8%. There were many concerns about the Texans' offensive line heading into the season, and there are still many concerns. While the mobile Tyrod Taylor was able to stay relatively clean, Mills has not been able to do the same. He's been sacked on 9.8% of his drop backs, the sixth-worst rate in the league.
Buffalo is currently the biggest favorite (-15.0) we've seen on the season. The Texans' have an implied team total of just 15.75 points in this game. If Houston is forced to have Mills drop back around 40 times to try to compete in this game, that should provide opportunities for sacks and turnovers for the Bills. Buffalo is our highest-projected defense, making them deserving of their lofty salary.
FanDuel Salary: $4,000
The Miami D/ST surprised many people last year with their success.
They've continued that play this season, aside from Week 2 against Buffalo where the offense put them in bad positions. The Miami Dolphins intercepted Derek Carr in the first quarter of their last game, extending their streak to 25 straight games with a takeaway. That's the longest streak in the NFL since the New England Patriots from 2011 to 2013.
The Dolphins' defense gets a matchup against an Indianapolis Colts' offense that has not been good. They rank as the 23rd-best offense so far, according to our schedule-adjusted metrics. It doesn't help that Carson Wentz is playing on two sprained ankles, and Indy's top offensive lineman, Quenton Nelson, is looking unlikely to play in this game.
Wentz had the highest sack rate in the NFL last season and also had the second-highest interception rate. The opportunistic Miami defense should be able to take advantage of that. Miami coach Brian Flores is known as one of the best defensive coaches in the game, and he should cause havoc for Wentz.
The Dolphins check the boxes of being a home favorite, something we tend to look for when rostering a defense. They are second in point-per-dollar value, per our projections, and the salary fits in all lineup builds.
New York Jets
FanDuel Salary: $3,000
You may have read the New York Jets D/ST and decided to stop reading any further.
However, there is a case to be made for them in this game. They have not been the main problem for the New York Jets to start the season. They've been able to get pressure on the quarterback, with an adjusted sack rate of 7.6%. In this matchup, they should be able to keep up the pressure.
The Jets go up against the Tennessee Titans in Week 4, and that matchup looks better now than it did before the season. The Titans have allowed an adjusted sack rate of 8.7% and 10 total sacks -- only the Jets and the Chicago Bears have allowed more. Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been prone to turnovers this year, with three interceptions and three fumbles.
Perhaps the most encouraging thing for the Jets in this game is the status of the Titans' two star receivers. Both Julio Jones and A.J. Brown missed the first two days of practice this week, leaving serious doubts that they will play. It will be hard for the Titans' passing game to be dangerous without their top two receivers, leaving just Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Chester Rogers to take their place.
Using a minimum-salary option at fantasy football's most high-variance position is a viable strategy, especially when you can use a defense that plays at home and might be able to get pressure on the quarterback. Derrick Henry is a concern, of course, but the Jets have been solid against the run, ranking seventh by numberFire's metrics.
The Jets' D/ST isn't a bad dart throw.
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.