Week 5 Defense (DEF/DST) Waiver Wire Pickups: Only A Few Good Options

I had the Rams’ defense as the number one waiver wire add last week for defenses and they made me look smart last week. They dominated the Giants as I expected with five sacks, an interception, and only nine points against. As they stay inside the NFC East that only has three combined wins among the four teams, the Rams might be worth keeping for week 5 in a matchup that will be relatively easy compared to the rest of the league. The Eagles took home the best defense of the week award with their dominance over the injury-laden 49ers. With three turnovers, five sacks, and a touchdown, it was difficult to top their performance. The only other defensive touchdown came from the Jets this week who also took advantage of a banged-up Broncos’ quarterback situation. This week has very few good options, so you will want to see if you can snag one of the better defenses out there that will hopefully be available for you. As we move into the fifth week of NFL football, here are the defense waiver wire adds you should be targeting that are under 50% owned.

TeamOpponentOwn %
Arizona CardinalsNew York Jets41.3
Kansas City ChiefsLas Vegas Raiders28.6
Washington Football TeamLos Angeles Rams7.3
New York JetsArizona Cardinals18.6
Dallas CowboysNew York Giants20.0
Philadelphia EaglesPittsburgh Steelers19.1

Arizona Cardinals

Opponent: New York Jets
Own %: 41.3

Arizona CardinalsThe Cardinals’ defense has had some success up until last week. Excluding last week, they have averaged just below four sacks per game. Where they have struggled is picking up turnovers which they did manage to get last week. Why they are the best pickup this week is because of their pending matchup for week 5. The Jets are arguably the worst offense in the league this season and have given opposing teams’ defenses plenty of points. The Cardinals were solid options through the first three weeks and should return as a great start again with a great matchup. What they will need to focus more on is creating turnover possibilities to not only give fantasy owners a boost but also just help out their offense.

Kansas City Chiefs

Opponent: Las Vegas Raiders
Own %: 28.6

Kansas City ChiefsI am writing this before the Monday night game, so that will be a better judge to see how great of a pickup the Chiefs will be, but after shutting down the Ravens in week 3, the Chiefs might be a top defense. The Patriots will be another tough matchup for them, so if they do well, the Chiefs are no doubt a great pickup for week 5. The Raiders will be a breather after their last two weeks. They have been consistently getting one turnover per game while piling on sacks with four in weeks 1 and 3. They have also allowed just 20 points in each of the first three games which adds to their value. The Raiders have gone up and down with how their offense performs but they are coming off two straight losses where they scored just 20 and 23 points. As long as they do not get blown up on Monday Night Football, they will have the momentum going into week 5.

Washington Football Team

Opponent: Los Angeles Rams
Own %: 7.3

washington football team 1The Washington Football Team started the season hot by dominating the Eagles early on. Since then, it has been a regression each week by allowing 30+ points each week and not picking up the sacks or turnovers that they managed to get in week 1. Week 5 appears to be more promising as they are matched up against the Rams. The Rams have shown they can blow up defenses with two 30+ weeks, but they reached a low point last week with just 17 points against a poor Giants’ defense. The Giants had just two sacks and one fumble recovery, but the lack of Rams’ offense helped boost their point total. Washington has proven that they can dominate an offense as shown in week 1, and it could just take a matchup against a struggling offense like the Rams to get them back to where they started.

New York Jets

Opponent: Arizona Cardinals
Own %: 18.6

New York JetsThe Jets are coming off a great performance against the Broncos which may have been more because of how injury-laden the Broncos are, but nonetheless, they got it done. They have been fairly good at creating turnovers, but their pass rush needs to do a better job at getting to the quarterback. The big difference-maker that will either make or break the Jets’ defense is containing Kyler Murray. The Cardinals have been held to the low 20s in most of their games thus far. While there will probably be a better option out there for you to target, the Jets could emerge as a top-scoring defense again. This is not the best matchup for them, but they are coming off a great week and anything is possible.

Dallas Cowboys

Opponent: New York Giants
Own %: 20.0

Dallas CowboysThis is the point where the defenses begin to fall off in terms of whether they are actually startable or not. The Cowboys has been one of the worst defenses in the league as shown in the point totals of their games. Going week by week, they have given up 20, 39, 36, and 49 points respectively. The only reason they remotely make this list is because of their matchup against the Giants. The Giants have been the worst offense this year and the Saquon Barkley season-ending injury only made their situation worse. It was shown last week in their performance against the Rams. Normally, any defense playing the Giants would be a great option, but the Cowboys may be the only team that I would be hesitant with as they have been abysmal so far.

Philadelphia Eagles

Opponent: Pittsburgh Steelers
Own %: 19.1

Philadelphia EaglesThe situation for the Eagles is the complete reversal of the Cowboys listed above. Unlike the Cowboys, the Eagles are one of the hottest defenses in the league after two solid performances. They got five sacks last week and eight sacks the week before. They also picked up three turnovers last week with a touchdown which only added to their success. The only reason why they are not a great pickup this coming week is their matchup as the two previous matchups were against worse offenses than what they have coming. The Steelers have been one of the best producing offenses in the league. They are coming off a bye week which could affect their momentum. It will be a guessing game to see which team shows up stronger, although I would lean towards the Steelers. The Eagles are definitely a last resort type of defense this week.

I am a student at the University of Michigan studying Sport Management. I have been involved in sports as long as I can remember, playing football, baseball, and basketball. I also love learning how to play songs on the piano and ukulele.

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