3 FanDuel Defenses to Target for Week 13

The Miami Dolphins' have been rejuvenated by their defense, and they are in a great spot on Sunday. What other defenses should we target in Week 13?

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.

There's a lot of teams with low implied team totals this week, so that should mean there are a few defenses we'll want to roster.

Minnesota Vikings

FanDuel Salary: $4,600

It's been a crazy season for the Minnesota Vikings. Nearly every week, they are in a game that is coming down to the wire. The matchup this week could change that and could put the defense in a good position to score fantasy points.

While the Minnesota D/ST hasn't been too stellar for real football, they've been pretty good in fantasy. Their adjusted sack rate ranks as the third-best in the league, and they've recorded at least two sacks in every game. They weren't generating many turnovers to start the season, but they've forced 11 takeaways in their past seven games. The game script on Sunday should set up nicely for them to get more sacks and takeaways.

The Vikings will face the winless Detroit Lions as seven-point favorites. Minnesota had four sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery in the first meeting between these two teams. Detroit's offensive line has allowed an above-average adjusted sack rate against this season, but now, star running back D'Andre Swift will miss this game. He was often a safety valve for Jared Goff when under pressure.

The Lions have an implied team total of just 19.75 points, and it's easy to see them not reaching that. An added bonus to playing the Vikings, Kene Nwangwu has emerged as one of the best kick returners in the league. The lightning-fast rookie already has two kickoff return touchdowns this season. Obviously, we can't rely on that, but it's nice to know it's a possibility.

Minnesota's defense is in a great spot and can be considered in all formats.

Miami Dolphins

FanDuel Salary: $4,000

The Miami Dolphins were basically left dead after a 1-7 start to the season. They've shown a lot of life lately, winning four straight games to re-enter the playoff hunt. They've done so on the strength of their defense.

Many expected the Miami D/ST to be strong after it nearly led the team to a playoff berth last season. They struggled mightily out of the gate, but Miami has really turned things around during the winning streak. They have 16 sacks, 10 takeaways and two touchdowns in the last four games. This has resulted in over 17 FanDuel points in three of the last four games. This week, there's no reason why that can't continue.

The Dolphins will play the struggling New York Giants in Week 13. The Giants offense continues to be a black hole; only the Houston Texans have scored fewer touchdowns than them. Their skill position players have been banged up all season, and it's really hampering the offense. Daniel Jones hasn't been turning the ball over as much as in his first two seasons, but we know he is capable of doing that -- especially against an opportunistic Miami defense.

The Dolphins check the boxes of being at home and favored in this game. With New York having just an 18-point implied team total, the Dolphins should be a fairly safe option for $4,000. Our projections put them as the top value at the position, making them potentially the best play on the slate.

Los Angeles Chargers

FanDuel Salary: $3,600

The Los Angeles Chargers could be the best play at defense under $4,000. We know they have a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball, but unfortunately, that hasn't led to much fantasy success. That has kept their salary low for this game. That could be great for us in this game.

The Chargers D/ST has only had double-digit fantasy points once this season. They really haven't been able to generate many turnovers (just 12 in 11 games). They do have an above-average adjusted sack rate this season, so they should be able to get more turnovers if they keep getting pressure. That is especially true in this game.

The Chargers are taking on the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The Bengals have been impressive on offense, but there are still some holes you can poke in them. They've allowed the sixth-highest adjusted sack rate in the NFL, and their pass protection remains shaky at best. While Joe Burrow has been fairly solid overall, he has thrown the second-most interceptions in the league this season.

We've seen games where the Bengals' offense gets behind and crumbles, such as against the Cleveland Browns in Week 9. If the Chargers can get the lead and force Cincinnati to throw, that would set up well for the defense.

The Chargers defense isn't the best play we've seen for a low salary this season, but you could do worse than rostering them for $3,600.

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.