The Atlanta Falcons led all Week 3 D/ST’s in scoring with 29 points last week thanks to 5 turnovers, a pick 6, and a record breaking performance by Devin Hester. Overall it was a pretty solid week for D/ST’s at all price points as 11 other teams scored more than 10 points. A total of 250.5 points were scored in Week 3 compared to 214 and 216.5 in Week 1 and 2, respectively.There are 24 teams to choose from for the Sunday/Monday set of contests on DraftKings as bye weeks are officially underway. Let’s take a look at some teams at various salaries with favorable match-ups this weekend. Also included is each teams’ primary punt and kick returner, based on 2014 attempts.
$3,300 – Texans (vs. BUF) – Houston returns home for the first time since the season opener where they scored 24 fantasy points against RG3 and the Redskins. On Sunday they face EJ Manuel and the AFC East leading Bills. Buffalo has allowed 6 sacks through 3 games. That statistic is slightly misleading though, as EJ has only attempted 87 passes, tied for 24th most, or should I say fewest in the league. If Houston gets out to an early lead, EJ will be forced to pass, increasing Houston’s opportunity for sacks and turnovers.
Punt Returner = Demaris Johnson, WR
Kick Returner = Demaris Johnson, WR
$3,200 – Falcons (@ MIN) – It’s not always the best strategy to chase last week’s performance, which might end up being the season outlier for the Falcons. Through the first 3 weeks of the season, they scored 3, 0, then 29 fantasy points which ballooned their season average to just over 11.5 fantasy points. This Sunday might be the right time to chase those points as they face rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater. Personally I’m a fan of Teddy’s, but he is a rookie in his first career start playing arguably the toughest position in sports. He will be tested early and often.
Punt Returner = Devin Hester, WR
Kick Returner = Devin Hester, WR
$3,100 – Chargers (vs. JAX) – San Diego has been a surprise defense this year, allowing just 16.3 points per game to the Cardinals, Seahawks, and Bills. That’s good for 4th in the league. Surprisingly they’re in the middle of the pack with 7 sacks and are 1 of 6 teams in the league without an interception. If they continue to play sound defense, opportunity will come for more turnovers, and it should on Sunday against the Jaguars who have allowed 15 sacks this year. Good luck to QB Blake Bortles who will also experience his first career NFL start.
Punt Returner = Eddie Royal, WR
Kick Returner = No attempts in 2014
$2,900 – Steelers (vs. TB) – If you haven’t noticed, the theme of this D/ST preview has been teams playing new or inexperienced QBs, and it continues here as the Bucs will send out Mike Glennon against Pittsburgh. Glennon has an 84.6 QB rating in 14 career appearances, throwing for 20 TDs with 9 interceptions. The numbers are respectable, but numbers don’t matter when you play a top caliber defense on the road. The Steelers are affordable this week at their $2,900 price tag. Draft them and hope for a repeat of last week where they sacked Cam Newtan 3 times.
Punt Returner = Antonio Brown, WR
Kick Returner = Dri Archer, RB
$2,700 – Raiders (@ MIA) – The only 2 D/ST’s priced lower than the winless Raiders this week are the Jaguars ($2,300) and the Titans ($2,200). Both are on the road against the Chargers and Colts, respectively. For just a few hundred more, you can draft the Raiders who will look to knock Ryan Tannehill out of the starting job. There is a ton of pressure on Tannehill who has really struggled in his 3rd NFL season. Oakland is accurately priced towards the bottom as they’ve averaged only 3.7 fantasy points. However, they should have a ton of confidence coming off of a road game against New England where they allowed just 16 points.
Punt Returner = TJ Carrie, CB
Kick Returner = Latavius Murray, RB