Hopefully, you have a spot in the fantasy playoffs this season and are still in need of putting together the most optimal lineups. As always, there is the importance of starting a good defense as they can easily play the big difference-maker in the outcome. We saw the Patriots dominate last week with two special teams touchdowns. Paired with a shutout, two turnovers, and three sacks make for a stellar week. The Dolphins were all over the Bengals with six sacks on the day and two interceptions forced with the immense pressure. Without Joe Burrow, the Bengals are collapsing. The Rams have now had back-to-back games with a touchdown as turnovers have become a specialty for their defense. It will be interesting to see how they match up next week against the Patriots who scored 45 points last week but have struggled before that. For those of you who are not locked in with a defense, there are still options out there on the waiver wire. Here are some of your best options that are owned in less than 50% of leagues.
New England Patriots
Opponent: Los Angeles Rams
Own %: 46.4
The Patriots’ ownership dipped below 50% for the first time in a long time, so now is your best chance to be able to grab them. After a crazy game last week with two special teams touchdowns including a punt return and blocked kick, they look to continue their hot streak against the Rams. The Rams are a middle-of-the-road type of offense, averaging a touch over 25 points per game. The Patriots, on the other hand, have always been a top defense and after a fallout during the middle of the season, seem to be back to their old ways with the type of performances seen last week. There has been just one week where they did not have a turnover. Given how high their ceiling is, the upside is very attractive to go with the Pats.
Opponent: New York Giants
Own %: 21.2
After a poor performance last week against the Rams, the Cardinals will have to rebound with a much easier game against the Giants. With Colt McCoy at the helm, the Giants have looked even worse than where they were at. Even the Seahawks who have struggled defensively looked great last week which included a safety. The Giants are a clear team to target when given the opportunity and there will most likely be that opportunity for most of you this week with the Cardinals’ low ownership. The Cardinals have given positive results in most weeks this season and this week is gearing up to be another one in the books for them.
San Francisco 49ers
Opponent: Washington Football Team
Own %: 41.9
The 49ers play on Monday Night Football which the outcome will be later known, but judging of their past performances, the 49ers are trending in the right direction with big games against the Saints and Rams in their past two games. The Bills tonight will be a challenge for them, but if they manage to score positively, that will make all the more case for picking them up this week. Washington provides a great matchup and opportunity for the 49ers to bring great returns for fantasy owners. They have struggled offensively with their messy quarterback situation with Antonio Gibson being the only real staple in the offense. Shutting him down will lead to high points.
Opponent: Denver Broncos
Own %: 4.1
The Panthers have been ravaging teams like the Lions and the Vikings. Two touchdowns against the Vikings lead into their bye week this week which leaves them on a hot note going into what is one of the best matchups available. The Broncos lead the league in turning the ball over with 28 on the season. The next closest team is the Cowboys with 23. Even with giving the Chiefs a scare last week, the Broncos’ offense is nothing to fear as injuries have plagued them and Drew Lock’s return did not provide much boost other than having an actual quarterback behind center. If Christian McCaffrey returns for the Panthers as expected, they should be running their offense for the majority of the game.
Opponent: Cincinnati Bengals
Own %: 9.7
Cowboys’ ownership is noticeably high for no reason currently, but it makes sense for this coming week. A matchup against the Bengals is one of the best matchups seeing how poorly they played last week. The Dolphins managed six sacks and two interceptions when facing the Bengals last week. Now the Cowboys are not a good defense at all, but what has shown to be consistent is that they score favorably when they face a bad offense. They scored a touchdown against the Giants and collected four turnovers and four sacks against the Eagles. Against any other team, it has been miserable to be a Cowboys’ fan, but there is hope this week with a solid matchup.
Washington Football Team
Opponent: San Francisco 49ers
Own %: 40.9
The trend for the Washington Football Team has been in a positive direction with two straight games of great performances. Against the Bengals, they had two turnovers, four sacks, and nine points against. Against the Cowboys last week, they had two turnovers, four sacks, a touchdown, and 16 points against. Those are some impressive numbers, especially with how dominant some offenses have become. Granted, they played against two of the lowest-ranked offenses in the league, but that does not dismiss their outcomes. The 49ers have been up and down with how their offense shows up. Their Monday night game against the Bills can be a great tell for what to expect next week but given their recent games, Washington is in a good place.
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