FanDuel Defenses to Target in Week 3

With numerous injuries to the Bears, the return of Kam Chancellor, and a home matchup, are the Seahawks a lock on FanDuel?

Last week was rough. 

It was full of upsets, and a lot of predictions were sent straight into a dumpster fire. The great thing about daily fantasy formats is that last week’s games don’t matter anymore, and we’re starting from scratch each week.

Heading into Week 3, we now have a better idea of how each defense will perform this season, and we can only hope to avoid another week as crazy as Week 2. 

I don’t mind spending up on some of the high priced defenses on this week as there are some great options to save money elsewhere.

Seattle Seahawks (vs. Chicago)

FanDuel Price: $5,300 
numberFire Projected Points: 14.30

After a slow start to the season for the Seahawks defense, things are tilting in their favor this week. Kam Chancellor has ended his holdout, they're playing at home, and Jimmy Clausen is starting for the Bears.

The Seahawks defense clearly missed their starting strong safety, as they are one of four teams without an interception through the first two games. However, even without Chancellor, they are second in the league with four fumble recoveries this year, including one returned for a touchdown. They’re also averaging two sacks per game, which is even with the amount Chicago is allowing.

According to Yahoo scoring, Chicago has given up the eighth most fantasy points to opposing defenses this season and the 11th most last season. With Clausen starting for an injured Jay Cutler things don’t look to get any better. 

Of the 56 quarterbacks to attempt at least 25 passes last season, only seven had a worse Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back than Clausen’s -0.17 mark. NEP, by the way, is our in-house metric that measures the value added or lost, relative to expectation-level, on a given play.

After replacing Cutler last week, Clausen actually performed even worse than he did in 2014. He completed 14 of 23 passes for 121 yards and an interception, and his -0.37 Passing NEP per drop back ranks dead last among quarterbacks who have attempted a pass this season. To make matters worse, Alshon Jeffery is not playing this week as he continues to battle a hamstring injury.

Consider stacking the Seahawks defense with Tyler Lockett. Chicago gave up a touchdown on the opening kickoff last week, and Lockett returned a punt to the end zone in Week 1. At only $5,000, Lockett will allow room to spend up on the max-priced Seahawks defense.

New England Patriots (vs. Jacksonville)

FanDuel Price: $4,700
numberFire Projected Points: 13.22

The Patriots defense was all over Tyrod Taylor last week, sacking him eight times and adding three interceptions.

After getting sacked five times in Week 2, Blake Bortles could be in for another rough day against a Patriots defense that leads the league in sacks this year.

Jacksonville ranks 28th in terms of Adjusted NEP per play, and only four quarterbacks this year have a worse Passing NEP per drop back than Bortles.

The Jaguars are 13.5-point underdogs, so they should be throwing a lot toward the end of the game. This will give guys like Allen Robinson the opportunity for garbage time points but will also present a lot of chances for the Patriots to increase their sack total.

At $600 cheaper than Seattle, and projected to put up only one fewer point, the Patriots are a great play.

New York Jets (vs. Philadelphia)

FanDuel Price: $4,500 
numberFire Projected Points: 8.76

The Jets have allowed only 17 points through two games this season and are returning home this week to face an Eagles offense that put up 10 points last week.

This looks like a dream matchup, as the Jets defense is performing among the league’s best in the same categories that the Eagles offense is struggling. New York intercepted Andrew Luck 3 times last week and has forced 10 turnovers on the year, while Sam Bradford has thrown 4 interceptions through two games for the Eagles. The Jets have also scored the second most fantasy points among defenses this season, while the Eagles have allowed the fifth highest total to opposing defenses. And according to our power rankings, the Jets defense ranks third, and the Eagles offense is third to last.

The Jets are the cheapest option on my list this week and will allow you to spend a little more on other positions.