Welcome to the NFL DFS DST Coach, where we identify the best defenses for our DraftKings and FanDuel lineups!
What’s up y’all? Week 14 of the NFL season is upon us! The “cream usually rises to the top” at this point in the season, so look for teams to put their best foot forward as they jockey for playoff spots. I expect big performances, not only on offense, but also on the defensive side of the ball.
If you’re new to daily fantasy, you’ll soon realize defensive production is hard to predict on a week-to-week basis. Your best option is to come up with a process you follow week in and week out. In the long run, you’ll come out on top. Let’s take a look at the team defenses that make this week’s “wish list.” Here’s a list of the “boxes” you’re looking to “check off”:
• home favorites
• facing an opponent with an implied point total less than 18.0 (although points allowed shouldn’t deter you from choosing a team defense)
• facing a team with a bad offensive line (and preferably a poor run game)
• going up against an opposing quarterback that is turnover prone (facing a rookie/inexperienced quarterback also helps)
DFS DST Coach
Green Bay Packers (GB) $5000 on FanDuel / $4000 on DraftKings: The Packers “check off all the boxes” this weekend. They are -13.0 home favorites and take on the Washington Redskins, who have an implied team total of 14.5. The Packers are in the top third in the league when it comes to adjusted sack rate (7.4% as per Football Outsiders) and get to face Washington’s offensive line that has the league’s second-highest adjusted sack rate allowed (10.4% as per Football Outsiders). According to Pro Football Focus, Washington’s quarterback Dwayne Haskins (WAS) has the worst passer rating (58.5), interception percentage (4.5%) and sack rate (13.3%) among 36 qualified quarterbacks. Now, he has to travel to the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. I think I’ll side with the Packers in this one.
Pittsburgh Steelers (PIT) $4300 on FanDuel / $3500 on DraftKings: The Steelers are -2.5 road favorites and will take on the Arizona Cardinals, who have an implied team total of 20.5. Pittsburgh has the second-highest adjusted sack rate at 9.9% (as per Football Outsiders) and the third-most sacks in the league (43). The Cardinals have the seventh-highest adjusted sack rate allowed at 9.0% (as per Football Outsiders). That’s a strong mismatch if I’ve ever seen one. The Steelers defense has put up double-digit fantasy points in nine of the last 10 games. Let that sink in for a second before you lock them into your lineup.
Baltimore Ravens (BAL) $4200 on FanDuel / $2900 on DraftKings: Don’t look now, but Baltimore’s defensive unit has been one of the best in fantasy lately. They have scored 13.0 or more fantasy points in five of their last six games. The Ravens are -5.5 road favorites and take on the Bills, who have an implied team total of 19.0. Baltimore’s adjusted sack rate is unimpressive on paper (6.8% as per Football Outsiders), however, the return of several injured players makes them a much more imposing defensive unit. Buffalo’s offensive line ranks within the bottom third of the league with regards to adjusted sack rate (7.8% as per Football Outsiders), giving Baltimore the advantage at a very affordable salary across the industry.
New York Jets (NYJ) $4100 on FanDuel / $3200 on DraftKings: If you’re tired of using defenses against the Miami Dolphins, then you’re not going to like the New York Jets defense this week. The Jets are -5.5 home favorites, while the Dolphins have an implied team total of 19.8. Miami has the fourth-highest adjusted sack rate allowed at 9.5% (as per Football Outsiders), while Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA) continues to be a reliable source of turnovers (three interceptions over his last two games). As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So, I’m going back to the well and pick on the Dolphins yet again this weekend.
Los Angeles Chargers (LAC) $4600 on FanDuel / $2800 on DraftKings: I love the Chargers as a sneaky team defense this weekend. They are -3.0 road favorites and take on the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have an implied team total of 20.0. If you saw this Friday’s Elite Fantasy NFL live stream, you heard Jeff Mans discuss how the once injury-riddled Chargers defense is back to full strength. The Chargers are ranked 25th in adjusted sack rate (6.5% as per Football Outsiders), and Jacksonville is ranked 14th with regards to adjusted sack rate allowed (7.0% as per Football Outsiders). This might be a situation where you overlook the overall season statistics and roll with a defensive unit that is finally healthy.
Other defenses worthy of consideration include the Minnesota Vikings (MIN) and the Cleveland Browns (CLE).
Miss any of our NFL DFS Coaching Articles? Here’s the full list:
NFL DFS QB Coach – by Vlad Sedler
NFL DFS RB Coach – by Ted Schuster
NFL DFS WR Coach – by Tyler Buecher
NFL DFS TE Coach – by Benny Ricciardi