3 FanDuel Defenses to Target in Week 8

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.

With the combination of some of the best offenses not on the main slate and defenses thriving, we should be able to find at least three good ones to roster this week.

Dallas Cowboys

FanDuel Salary: $5,000

We liked the Dallas D/ST last week, and they delivered. They had five sacks and forced five turnovers while allowing just six points. They have an even better matchup this week.

This defense is impressive in many metrics, both in fantasy and in real life. They rank as numberFire's best defense, according to our schedule-adjusted metrics. They have been great at getting after the quarterback, ranking first in both pressure rate and adjusted sack rate. This has resulted in the defense ranking second in fantasy points per game.

The Dallas Cowboys will face the Chicago Bears at home this week. Chicago's offensive line has allowed an adjusted sack rate of 15.9% -- no other team has allowed a mark higher than 9.9%. Justin Fields is partially responsible for those sacks, and he also has six interceptions and 11 fumbles in seven games this season.

The Cowboys are 9.5-point favorites in this game and really should dominate at the line of scrimmage. That could result in a fantasy performance above 20 points, which we've seen from Dallas twice already this season.

Carolina Panthers

FanDuel Salary: $4,200

The Carolina Panthers have not had a season to write home about. They are 2-5, and their offense has been a disaster. However, the defense has played reasonably well and was a reason for their win last week.

The Carolina D/ST was able to hold the mighty Tampa Bay Buccaneers to just three points last week. They've recorded one sack in every game this season and have scored three touchdowns. Their matchup is an interesting one this week, which should give them a high floor.

The Panthers play a division game against the Atlanta Falcons this week. The Falcons' approach to offense has been strange of late, with Marcus Mariota only attempting 13 passes last week despite trailing the entire game. When they have allowed him to pass, Mariota has taken sacks at the second-highest adjusted rate. He's also thrown four interceptions and fumbled eight times.

Atlanta may try to run the ball against the Panthers, but Carolina's defense has been stellar against any ground game. They rank second in schedule-adjusted rush defense. If this forces Atlanta to pass more, that could lead to mistakes, meaning sacks and turnovers.

Carolina's D is definitely in play in the middle salary tier.

Washington Commanders

FanDuel Salary: $3,400

The Washington D/ST looks to be the best value on the slate this week. They have some decent underlying numbers despite little fantasy success this season. The matchup will draw fantasy managers to roster them this week, and they might wind up being chalky.

The Washington Commanders' D/ST has just one game with more than five fantasy points. They do have two games with more than five sacks, and pressuring the quarterback has been something they've been doing well. They are sixth in pressure rate and first in quarterback knockdown percentage.

The Commanders are on the road this week but have the advantage of facing a quarterback in his first career start. Sam Ehlinger will be under center for the Indianapolis Colts, taking over for a struggling Matt Ryan. The Colts' offensive line hasn't been the same dominant unit we've seen them be in the past, as they've allowed the third-most sacks in the NFL.

It makes a lot of sense to take a shot on a solid defense that is facing a sixth-round second-year quarterback who is making his first start -- especially when the D/ST is $3,400. The Commanders' defense is in play 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.