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.
It's becoming clear to this point in the season which teams we'll want to target with defenses. Let's try to find three we can take advantage of this week.
FanDuel Salary: $5,000
The Buffalo D/ST goes somewhat underappreciated because of their high-flying offense. The defense deserves a ton of credit for Buffalo's recent success. They finished last season as the best defense in the league and are once again first in numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics.
This defense does everything we want a fantasy defense to do. They are opportunistic with turnovers, recording nine in the first four games this season. They've been good at getting pressure and turning it into sacks, as they have the fourth-best adjusted sack rate in the NFL.
The Buffalo Bills are at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5. The Steelers had to make a change at quarterback last week, and rookie Kenny Pickett will make his first career start this week. It wasn't all bad for him, but he did throw three interceptions in one half of action. Now, he will get his first road action in Buffalo in a hostile atmosphere. He will also play behind an offensive line that ranks 16th in adjusted-sack rate allowed.
With the Bills being 14.0-point home favorites against a rookie signal-caller, the spot doesn't get much better. They are a perfect option if you have enough salary.
FanDuel Salary: $4,300
The Minnesota Vikings have started off the season 3-1 and are charging to win the NFC North. The defense has held up to this point in the season and has a great matchup this week.
The Minnesota D/ST has played well against some good offenses. They've forced six turnovers, including two last game. Even going up against some top offensive lines like the Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles, the Vikings have been able to get nine sacks in four games. They will certainly have an easier offensive line matchup this week.
The Vikings will play the Chicago Bears. The Bears' passing offense is something of yesteryear, as their pass-to-run ratio is 0.61. When they do attempt to pass, it has been disastrous. They have allowed an adjusted sack rate of 18.4%, and Justin Fields has thrown four interceptions.
Minnesota is a 7.0-point favorite at home, and that could force Fields into more passing attempts than we've seen in previous games. The Vikings' defense is our highest-projected defense regardless of salary, so getting them at just $4,300 is a good bargain.
New England Patriots
FanDuel Salary: $3,600
It hasn't been a banner start to the season for the New England Patriots. They certainly aren't used to opening the season 1-3. The defense isn't to blame though, and they come in as a good value this week.
The New England D/ST has been opportunistic in the past three games. They've recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass in each of those outings. They also have an adjusted sack rate of 8.4%, good for seventh-best this season.
The reason the Pats' D has this low of a salary is because of how well the Detroit Lions, the Pats' Week 5 opposition, have played this season. The Lions have scored the most points in the NFL. The Lions still have D'Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown not practicing, though, and they are two of the most explosive players in Detroit's offense. The Lions did well last week without those two, but facing New England on the road is much different than playing at home -- indoors -- versus the Seattle Seahawks.
We can roster a D/ST that's a home favorite for just $3,600, so we should take advantage of that. New England's D should have a high floor and is playable in all formats.
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.