This is a list of the top Defense targets for NFL games based on potential production and price. The teams are split into three tiers based on likelihood of success. Remember that these rankings take potential production and price into account, so some teams may be higher up on the list despite having a lower projected score if the price point is favorable. Here are some options to consider.
Looking for a different position? Check out the rest of the positional targets:
CREAM OF THE CROP
Carolina Panthers ($3400) – The Undefeated Carolina Panthers are favored by 7 in a matchup at home against the Washington Redskins. I know everyone loves Kirk Cousins after last week, but the Panthers Pass defense is not the same as facing the Saints pass D. The saints have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing QBs, while the Panthers have allowed the fifth fewest. It is much easier to run on Carolina, but even there they are in the bottom half of the league for fantasy points allowed. Carolina has averaged about 3 sacks and 2 takeaways per game while allowing only 19 points to the opposition. They should get some bonus points for keeping the score low and add a few positive scoring events to that number. Carolina is not that expensive and probably has a safe floor of 7-10 fantasy points. We know cousins has been interception prone in the past and he will likely have to throw is the Panthers have a lead. Add the potential upside of that to the floor and you can see why we like them for cash game safety and tournament upside this week.
New England Patriots ($3200) – Buffalo put up a big number against the Pats last time these two met, but that was in Buffalo and with the Bills playing well. I do not think they keep it as close this time around with the game up in Gillette Stadium this time. The Pats are favored and at home in this one. They face a Bills offense that has struggled. They will likely have a lead and force Buffalo into a one dimensional passing team. Tyrod could have a good game with his legs on the ground, but I do not foresee the Pats getting beat deep by Sammie Watkins in this one. It will more likely be a gameplan of short passes to guys like Clay and McCoy, which means a lot of passing attempts for the Bills. The Pats are not a great defense, but they can rack up fantasy points if they get a lead and are able to just sell out and rush the passer. I think we will see that here and they could add to the 30 sacks already this season if that is the case.
Philadelphia Eagles ($3100) – After some early struggles, the Eagles defense has been very solid the last few games. They are favored and at home in a good matchup against Tampa Bay. The Eagles are a tough team to run on, so the Bucs will likely take to the air against them. Winston has been better, but I’d still like my chances if I was the Eagles. That is especially true with Evans being the only healthy WR they have. If Austin Sefarian-Jenkins is out too, the weapons Winston has to use are pretty non-existent. The Eagles have also been averaging between 7-16 points in their last five games. They have been pretty solid and are in another good spot as a home favorite here. They come in at a slight discount to some of the defenses mentioned as well and if you needed to save a few hundred bucks to make something fit, would not feel bad about dropping down to them.
OTHER OPTIONS TO CONSIDER
Atlanta Falcons ($3400) – The Falcons defense is not one we usually consider a top defense for fantasy, but they are in a perfect spot here. They are favored and at home. Andrew Luck is out, so they will be facing a back up QB. The game script and Vegas lines point to the Falcons having a lead and forcing the Colts to throw the ball and play catch up. They have been in that situation often during their home games and that is why they average close to 10 points per game at home. It’s always scary, because this defense really is not good, but anytime a team can force the opposition to be one dimensional it ticks up their passing attempts which creates more opportunity for sacks and interceptions to be had.
New York Jets ($3000) – Brian Hoyer left the last game with a concussion and is still in doubt for this weekend. If he is out, the Jets will get to tee off on TJ Yates. Yates has thrown 11 passes so far this season, although he did lead the Texans on a game winning drive last week and has all his WRs healthy. That is the good news, because they will find little running room against a solid Jets defensive front. The Jets secondary is good too, but that is how teams have found success against them this year. The question is how comfortable are you in think TJ Yates can do that to them? The Jets are not playing great football, but Vegas expects them to have a lead here in a lower scoring game. Houston likes to throw anyway, so we should see a lot of attempts for the Texans. The more attempts, the more chances for positive scoring plays, so I think the Jets can get a few sacks and interceptions against an inexperienced QB getting his first start of the season.
Denver Broncos ($3900) – The Broncos did not play well last week, but they were missing a few big pieces on defense. DeMarcus Ware may still be out, but Aqib Talib will be back from his one game suspension for trying to re-enact a three stooges episode. Denver faces a Chicago team with Jay Cutler at QB. Cutler was tied for the most interceptions in the league last year, so he has that bad side in him. If Denver can get a lead and protect the ball, they could keep Chicago in long fields and long 3rd situations. that is where this defense excels as the coverage is amazing and the line can get to the QB. If Denver gets a lead, we could see bad Cutler make an appearance and wind up with multiple picks on the day.
BEST OF THE REST
Seattle Seahawks ($4000) – Everyone is pointing to this game as a slam dunk defense play, but I’m not so sure. San Fran looked good in their last game and Seattle’s defense has not looked that great most of the season. Sure I can not name one guy on the San Fran offense outside of Torrey Smith who would make most other rosters, but that does not matter. If they keep the ball on the ground, they will not give Seattle many scoring opportunities. If Seattle can not score and run up a lead, they will not force San Fran to pass. Everyone loves the low total games, but for fantasy they are fool’s gold. Low total games feature a ton of running, a ton of clock moving, and very little scoring. That also means very few passes and you really only score fantasy points by racking up sacks and turnovers. If each team runs 25 times, how many chances to get a QB do either of them have. I think Seattle plays well and finishes with an OK floor, but I do not see them having a ton of upside in this one, especially at the top price.
Oakland Raiders ($2600) – Oakland is on the road which is not ideal, but they play the Lions which is somewhat ideal. Stafford has been better lately, but that offense has struggled this year. The Lions matchup nicely on paper, but I’m not sure that matters. Calvin is banged up and has not been the beast he had been in past seasons. Stafford has struggled, Tate has been banged up all year, and the running game in non-existent. None of that makes me think this offense is going to have a big day. Sure they are at home and Oakland is not a lock down pass D, but if they do not have the weapons healthy enough to perform, they can be stopped. I think Detroit will yield a lot of points to Oakland in this one and have to play catch up. When teams play catch up, we get more scoring chances from our fantasy defenses and that creates a lot of fantasy points.