FanDuel Defenses to Target in Week 4

Is it worth spending up on a defense again this week, or should you be looking to save salary?

Last week I recommended paying up for a defense, and it paid off.

The Seahawks, who were the highest-priced defense on the week and who had our highest-projected fantasy point total, led to some fantasy football success to say the least.

Because the goal is to win and because some of the expensive defensive units have great matchups in Week 4, I recommend doing it again this week.

Here are four defenses to consider for your Week 4 FanDuel lineups.

Seattle Seahawks (vs. Detroit)

FanDuel Price: $5,300 
numberFire Projected Points: 10.48

Once again the Seahawks are the most expensive defense on the board, and once again it’s worth spending less elsewhere to fit them in.

Seattle is the biggest favorite on the board against the Lions, who own the lowest projected points total on the week. We project the Seahawks to have to the second most fantasy points among defenses this week.

Boosted by the return of Kam Chancellor, the Seahawks shut out the Bears in Week 3 and continued their streak of two sacks in every game this season, while Detroit gave up four sacks to Denver.

The Broncos defense also intercepted Matthew Stafford twice and racked up 16 fantasy points last week. That was Stafford’s second multi-interception game of the season, and he has thrown at least one pass to the other team in all three games. 

In terms of Passing Net Expected Points (NEP), which is our signature metric that measures the value added or lost through passing, only 3 quarterbacks with 50 or more drop backs this season have a worse rating than Stafford.

Tyler Lockett ran back another punt for a touchdown last week to make it two on the year, and Richard Sherman came pretty close to joining him with a return touchdown of his own. The Lions defense hasn’t given up a return touchdown so far this year, so the matchup in that respect isn’t as good as it was last week, but at only $5,100 it’s worth stacking Lockett with the Seahawks defense again in some GPP lineups.

Seattle will be highly owned each week, but as long as they keep producing, it really doesn’t matter. They were owned on 22.6% of lineups in FanDuel’s Sunday Million contest last week, and as I mentioned in the intro, one of those lineups won.

Arizona Cardinals (vs. St. Louis)

FanDuel Price: $5,000 
numberFire Projected Points: 11.09

Arizona is the top defense in our power rankings and the only team that we project to put up more fantasy points than Seattle, which makes sense after they scored 28 points in Week 3. They have scored 18 fantasy points the previous week and have scored more points in the past two games than 30 teams have the whole season.

The Cardinals are 6.5-point favorites at home this week against the Rams, who have only scored 16 points total in the past two games. They have a good chance to continue their streak of two sacks in every game this against the Rams, who have allowed two sacks twice this season and at least one in every game.

Nick Foles threw his first interception of the year last week and will have a tough time avoiding another one against the Cardinals defense that has at least one in every game so far this year. Of the 31 quarterbacks with at least 50 drop backs, his -0.99 Passing NEP ranks 25th.

Arizona had one interception in Week 1, two in Week 2, and four in Week 3. I think we’ve all seen a question like this on a math test, and the pattern shows that they should have eight interceptions this week, right? 

One or two seems more likely to happen, but don’t tell that to your math teacher.

The Cardinals have a better matchup than Seattle, and at $300 cheaper, allow you to spend a little more money in other areas of your lineup.

Denver Broncos (vs. Minnesota)

FanDuel Price: $4,700 
numberFire Projected Points: 9.86

The Broncos defense has scored at least 16 fantasy points in each game this season and has the most points through three weeks than any other defense.

This week they get a dream matchup at home against Minnesota.

Denver is ranked second overall in Adjusted Defensive NEP per play, and Teddy Bridgewater happens to have the worst Passing NEP in the league.

Bridgewater has been sacked 6 times this season, which is actually an improvement over the 3.2 sacks per game that Minnesota allowed last year. He should get used to being on the ground, as Denver already has 11 sacks this year. 

The offensive line hasn’t been the only unit hurting Bridgewater, as Mike Wallace (47th) is the only Vikings wide receiver with a Reception NEP in the top 50 among wide receivers this season. Now Wallace and Bridgewater are up against a Broncos defense that has had two interceptions in each game this season.

Minnesota has only allowed opposing defenses to score five total fantasy points in the past two games, but both of those were at home. This week they’re not, and in their only away game this season, they allowed the not-so-great 49ers defense (they are 31st in Adjusted Defensive NEP per play) to rack up 14 fantasy points.

Denver is at a very fair price this week and has a good chance to be the highest scoring fantasy defense.

San Diego Chargers (vs. Cleveland)

FanDuel Price: $4,400 
numberFire Projected Points: 8.86

If you’re looking for a cheap defense for Week 4, this is it.

The Chargers are nine-point favorites at home, and Josh McCown is still starting for the Browns. In the other two games that McCown has started this year, the Browns have given up 17 and 10 fantasy points to opposing defenses.

San Diego has forced at least one turnover in each game, and McCown has thrown one interception in each of his starts. He’s also been sacked a whopping eight times already.

The Browns running backs have only combined to reach the 100-yard mark once this season, and as big underdogs, Cleveland should be forced to rely on their passing attack for most of the game.

The Chargers have a lower projected fantasy total than the other teams on this list, but they are a great play if you need to save money at this position.