The delta between the highest and lowest scoring D/ST from Week 2 was 27 points. The Patriots D/ST led the way with 26 points while the Jaguars lost a point. Out of the 16 games played last week, 20 D/ST’s scored less than 6 fantasy points.
As I mentioned last week, “excluding the highest priced Seahawks at $4,100, the spread between the next highest (Houston) and lowest (Dallas) is $1,100.” Both of those D/ST’s were included in the list of 12 teams that awarded owners with more than 6 fantasy points in Week 2. Despite the price difference, the Cowboys outscored the Texans 10 to 9. This is worth calling out because every week you typically see 2 or 3 D/ST’s priced in the bottom 20% score in the 80th percentile.
Selecting the right D/ST can make or break your rosters overall performance in a given week. So who will you go with this week? Let’s run through some Week 3 D/ST’s to consider from top to bottom. I’ll also include each highlighted teams’ primary punt and kick returner, based on 2014 attempts, if you’re chasing that additional return TD bonus.
$3,500 – Patriots (vs. OAK) – New England has been listed as the highest priced D/ST on DraftKings for Week 3 following their 26 point fantasy performance on the road against the Vikings last week. Stacked with All-Pro talent, the Patriots may be in for a repeat performance during their home opener against Oakland and rookie QB Derek Carr. If you have enough budget, spend it on the Pats.
Punt Returner = Julian Edelman
Kick Returner = Patrick Chung
$3,300 – Bengals (vs. TEN) – Off to a 2-0 start, the Bengals are playing well. Last week they dominated the Falcons at home, picking Matt Ryan off 3 times and sacking him twice. That performance became more impressive after seeing the Falcons embarrass the Bucs 56-14 in the Week 3 opener on Thursday Night Football. Cincinnati stays home this week against Jake Locker and the Titans. Without the emergence of an offensive weapon in Tennessee, the Bengals defense looks poised for another strong performance.
Punt Returner = Adam Jones
Kick Returner = Brandon Tate
$3,300 – Panthers (vs. PIT) – When you shut down a high powered offense the prior week, your price the following week usually reflects that. Carolina held the Lions to just 7 points despite 48 pass attempts by Matthew Stafford. This week the 2-0 Panthers face Big Ben at home and will look to extend their 10+ fantasy point streak to 3 consecutive games.
Punt Returner = Philly Brown
Kick Returner = No attempts in 2014
$3,000 – Seahawks (vs. DEN) – The Seahawks were the top priced D/ST in Week 2 at a DraftKings’ season high $4,100. After losing to the Chargers, they have dropped a whopping $1,100 in price. It must be because of their Week 3 match-up against Broncos, but why? Isn’t this (almost) the same team that embarrassed the Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII at a neutral site? For a team that is supposed to be the best defense in the NFL at home, their price is very tempting.
Punt Returner = Earl Thomas
Kick Returner = Percy Harvin
$2,900 – Eagles (vs. WAS) AND $2,700 – Redskins (@ PHI) – NFC East rivals Washington and Philadelphia square off for this week’s 2-for-1 special. In match-ups like these, the favorite tends to be the home team, which is reflected by Philly’s $200 higher price tag. The intensity always seems to rise on every single play during rivalry games, which is why both of these D/ST are strong picks for Week 3. If you have enough to spend, go with the home team, but otherwise, the Redskins are a solid play.
Punt Returner (PHI) = Darren Sproles
Kick Returner (PHI) = Nolan Carroll
Punt Returner (WAS) = Andre Roberts
Kick Returner (WAS) = Andre Roberts
$2,500 – Jets (vs. CHI) – This week’s bottom of the barrel pick is the New York Jets. Drafting them over the Patriots will save you $1,000. Their match-up at home against the Bears offers solid upside as the Jets return home where they surrendered just 158 total yards against Oakland Week 1. Which Chicago team will show up, the one that lost to the Bills at home or the one that beat the 49ers on the road?
Punt Returner = Jalen Saunders
Kick Returner = Saalim Hakim