The key to a great fantasy defense is oftentimes the matchup. In most cases, a weak offense leads to plenty of points and a safe play. However, a good defense up against a mid-tier offense can sometimes be even better. This is because better offenses might try to take a risk, or keep up by increasing the number of total plays. This leads to more sacks, more turnovers, and more opportunity to score points on defense. So while these plays lose their safety of 1-4 points in the points allowed category, they give you big play possibilities with defensive turnovers and touchdowns.
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|Rank||Team DST||Opp||Proj. Pts|
|1||Baltimore (BAL)||at HOU||9.1|
|2||Buffalo (BUF)||at MIA||8.7|
|3||San Francisco (SF)||at NYJ||8.7|
|4||Pittsburgh (PIT)||vs. DEN||8.2|
|5||Kansas City (KC)||at LAC||8.2|
|6||Chicago (CHI)||vs. NYG||7.8|
|7||Tennessee (TEN)||vs. JAC||7.6|
|8||Los Angeles (LAR)||at PHI||7.5|
|9||New Orleans (NO)||at LV||7.5|
The Ravens’ defense is coming off a solid performance and they are exactly what I was talking about in this intro. The high-powered Ravens’ offense will force Watson and company to try and come back in this game with lots of plays and a lot of passing. This will give the Ravens’ opportunity for multiple sacks, interceptions, and for your sake hopefully a defensive TD. Do not fear playing Baltimore’s defense this week because they have huge upside.
At Miami Dolphins
The Bills have a good defense and Ryan Fitzpatrick is a loose cannon who loves to sling the ball around. Fitzpatrick collected 13 interceptions and 40 sacks in his 13 games started last season. This is a matchup that not only has the potential to stay low-scoring but also has the upside of tons of possible turnovers. I expect this game to be closer than most people think, but I still like Buffalo’s defense in the matchup.
San Francisco 49ers
At New York Jets
The 49ers will be missing Richard Sherman; however, on the bright side, the Jets literally have no offensive weapons, besides a mediocre and beat-up Breshad Perriman and TE Chris Herndon. I do not think that the Jets really score in this matchup and I am sure Darnold will take more than a few hits against this tough front four. An extremely safe play with upside potential.
Vs Denver Broncos
The Steelers’ defense absolutely smothered the Giants on the ground, not allowing Saquan Barkley to rush for over 10 yards. Daniel Jones did find some success through the air, but in the red zone the Steelers’ D tightened up and looked to be every bit as good as advertised. Drew Lock will surely have his work cut out for him and as a young QB can be prone to errors. The Steelers’ D is another play that is more on the safe side than upside but is a good play regardless.
Vs New York Giants
Daniel Jones made a few silly mistakes last week and that is a big reason to like the Bears’ play. The Chicago defense can put a ton of pressure on a QB and you are hoping that those pressures turn into interceptions. The Giants’ offense will probably be able to score on the Bears, but it will be not enough to lose you a week. While this play will be extremely turnover dependent, it is still a top 5 play.
Vs Jacksonville Jaguars
The Titans do have some injuries in the secondary but their explosive front 7 should make some plays either in the way of sacks or fumbles. The Jaguars are a decent offense, but with the Titans most likely controlling the clock with Henry, this will be a low scoring game. I see this as a very safe play with limited upside. The Titans are a great option if you just want to make sure your defense does not cost you the week with a goose egg or negative points.
New Orleans Saints
Vs Las Vegas
The Saints’ defense did extremely well against Tom Brady, and Dereck Carr is in an extremely similar circumstance. I think that the Saints’ defense probably has the same exact week as they did against Tampa, barring a pick-6 as those are simply not predictable. The matchup will come down to how well Jacobs can run the ball and relieve pressure for the passing game.
Kansas City Chiefs
At Los Angeles Chargers
The Chiefs played surprisingly well against Watson and looked like an upper-echelon defense. They will have a much easier task against the pathetic QB situation in LA with Tyrod Taylor at the helm. If this team could not score more than 16 points on the Bengals’ atrocious defense, then they become a must-play for pretty much any defense they go up against. I expect KC to dominate this game in every facet and their defense could be a great pickup heading into Week 2 as a streaming option.
Los Angeles Rams
Carson Wentz had literally no chance against the elite front of the Washington Football Team. He ended the game with 8 sacks, 2 fumbles, and 2 interceptions. I think that the Rams’ front is a bit worse off but they are surely better than Washington in the other areas of defense. This is again, not a safe matchup but has the opportunity to be a huge week for the Rams with sacks, fumbles, and interceptions. I love this play if you are projected to lose your matchup as the Rams could add a TD and end with a 20 point week on defense.
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