Another week is in the books. Can you believe it? Before writing this article, it hit me, I’m doing research for Week 6. Week 6! Talk about the time flying. As you often hear me say, every week we learn something new. Whether it’s by trial and error, something you’ve read, or talking strategy with someone that points something out that you could have been overlooking.

In season long leagues I’m a big believer in not wasting a draft pick on a defense if it’s not forced on you. I consider selecting a defense on draft day as losing on possible potential, and yes I wouldn’t even take the Seahawks. My strategy is simply streaming defenses. In DFS I somewhat feel the same as I usually don’t pay up for defenses. As my cohost says, I’m frugal. The way I approach it was starting from the cheapest defense and moving my way up until I found a defense that I was comfortable with. Then choose that defense. I also place emphasis on the over/under of games. However, speaking to one of my guests on my podcast last week, Benny Ricciardi, I got an entirely different perspective as Benny gave his take on how he approaches defenses. Like myself, he contributes to the Playbook and has a great deal of passion for DFS. He’s also a great DFS mind and I highly recommend you give him a follow on twitter (@bennyr11), if you don’t already do so. That being said, he pointed out something that I took into consideration, but sometimes overlooked. When selecting defenses it’s very important that you look at potential sacks, turnovers, and teams that can score on special teams. A team like the Eagles is a great example of this. The Eagles have forced eight fumbles and recovered seven, average nearly three sacks per game, have intercepted six passes, scored a special teams touchdown, and are averaging 9.2 fantasy points per game. Even though they have allowed 17 or more points in each game, they have scored five or more fantasy points in four of their five games. They have been cheaper than $3000 in all but one game. It’s good to consider everything the defense and special teams offers. That being said, I’m still not one to pay up for a defense, but I now consider more things when selecting my defense than I originally did.

Vegas lines are also important to use when creating lineups. Spreads, player props, and team totals are all things I keep a close eye on when choosing my players. When a team is a favorite and at home, it’s a good idea to take the running back from that team as the numbers show that they have a greater chance at scoring a touchdown in that spot. Team totals are relevant as it gives you an idea of how many points a team is expected to score. That would be a good indicator as to the scoring and touchdown upside an offense has. Player props is a good way to determine what experts, who study these things thoroughly, think a specific player will do stat-wise. There are over/unders on catches, there’s touchdown props, and yard props. These are all things that can help you make a calculated decision. Granted, these are not always accurate and sometimes players and teams exceed expectations or sometimes fall short. Nevertheless, it’s an added piece of information that solidifies your final roster. All the information that you can collect prior to choosing your players puts you one step ahead of your opponents. Investing time in doing research is a key element to separating yourself from the pack.

Best of luck to all this upcoming week!

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