Selecting a defense is never the most glamorous part of fantasy football. It often goes overlooked for the more fun positions that people want to watch and root for during the game. The good news is that if our opponents aren’t putting too much thought into their defense, we can gain an advantage with some research. So let’s dig in and try to identify some defenses that could be in a good position to score fantasy points this week.
Week 3's choices for defense and special teams doesn't have any obvious standout plays like last week, but let's dig in and find three that make sense this week.
FanDuel Salary: $4,600
It's hard to find many flaws in the Buffalo Bills in their first two games of the season.
They ravaged the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams on opening night, and then put an even bigger beatdown on the Tennessee Titans in Week 2. The offense has been getting most of the attention, but the defense has been great as well.
The Buffalo D/ST has allowed 17 points in the first two games of the season. They have forced a whopping seven turnovers and scored one defensive touchdown in those two games. They have done this by absolutely dominating at the line of scrimmage, ranking first in adjusted sack rate. The matchup they have this week is intriguing in a number of ways.
The Bills will head south to face the division-rival Miami Dolphins. The lasting image of the Dolphins was Tua Tagovailoa and company exploding on offense to come back and win. Tua did still throw two interceptions in that game before going nuts in the second half.
Miami also has injury concerns on the offensive line, as right tackle Austin Jackson is on injured reserve and left tackle Terron Armstead missed practice on Wednesday. If they are without their two starting tackles, it doesn't bode well against Von Miller and the rest of Buffalo's past rush.
Buffalo's D might go overlooked in this game because of how well Miami's offense played last week and the fact that this game has a high total. However, rostering defenses in high-scoring games often works out, because the game has more pass attempts and more possibilities for sacks and interceptions. If we are wanting to bet on one of the best units in the league that might be underutilized, the Bills are a great play.
FanDuel Salary: $4,000
If the Bills have been the most impressive team in the AFC, the Philadelphia Eagles might be the most impressive in the NFC.
They've won their first two games and put up a combined 62 points. The defense hasn't been as dominant as Buffalo's but they do get a good matchup this week.
The Philadelphia D/ST played very well on Monday night. They limited a good Minnesota Vikings offense to just seven points, while also getting two sacks and three interceptions. In their first outing of the season, they capitulated a bit and allowed 35 points, but also had a defensive touchdown. They will see an old friend in Week 3.
The Eagles travel to face the Washington Commanders on Sunday. The Commanders are of course now led by former Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. Wentz is not exactly known for being careful with the football, as he has three interceptions and a fumble that went for a safety so far this season. Washington and Wentz have allowed an adjusted sack rate of 7.9% so far this season, which sits 22nd in the league.
Philly is currently 6.5-point favorites over Washington, who have an implied team total barely above 20 points. If they are able to get pressure on Wentz, it will likely result in a good day for them as a fantasy defense.
Las Vegas Raiders
FanDuel Salary: $3,400
The Las Vegas Raiders are off to an 0-2 start, which is not exactly ideal after they spent an offseason trying to mold themselves into a true contender. They still have talent on the defensive side of the ball and should play better in this matchup.
The Las Vegas D/ST added Chandler Jones to help rush the passer alongside Maxx Crosby. It hasn't resulted in many sacks yet, but they are in the top half of the league in terms of hurrying the quarterback. This could be the week that they turn around their performance.
The Raiders are playing the Tennessee Titans in Week 3. Tennessee's offense has been fairly anemic so far, scoring just 27 points. On Monday night, they likely lost left tackle Taylor Lewan for the season, after also losing left guard Rodger Saffold in free agency. Their offensive line was 26th in adjusted sack rate allowed last season, and these injuries could spell trouble for them in this game.
The Titans don't have enough playmakers in the passing game to really scare the Raiders' defense. That might make it more difficult for Ryan Tannehill to find open targets and could lead to him being under more pressure in this game. This play requires a bit of a leap of faith that the Raiders will actually improve, but for $3,400, they are the lowest salaried defense that you can realistically roster with any hope for some kind of decent return.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.