3 FanDuel Defenses to Target in Week 11
Picking a defense can be an overlooked part of playing daily fantasy football on FanDuel. It makes sense, too, as D/STs rarely produce huge outputs.
However, we still need to give a lot of thought to which defense we roster, and there's definitely an edge to be had if you hit on a D/ST.
With that in mind, here are three defenses to have on your radar for this week's main slate.
All betting odds come from the NFL odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.
FanDuel Salary: $5,200
Taking the Dallas Cowboys' defense weekly may get boring for some, but if the fantasy points are there, count me in. Dallas' D/ST leads all units in fantasy points this season. Plus, the Cowboys' favorable schedule only aids the selection.
After facing the New York Giants, who have numberFire's worst unit in its adjusted offense rankings, Dallas will battle the Carolina Panthers in Week 11. Carolina has also been a mess with the fourth-worst mark in adjusted offense.
Once again, the Cowboys' defense is licking their chops and seems poised for another dominant outing, hence the $5,200 FanDuel salary.
Dallas' D finished as the 10th-best unit last week thanks to five sacks and one interception. Carolina's Bryce Young has dealt with some interception issues. For example, he threw three in Week 9 against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Cowboys' 10 interceptions is the fourth-highest total in the league. The Panthers are also 19th in ESPN's pass block win rate while Dallas leads the league in pass rush win rate. This defense could erupt with another big outing, led by takeaways and sacks.
FanDuel Salary: $4,000
The Pittsburgh Steelers' D/ST boast the fourth-most fantasy points this season and will face a vulnerable offense on Sunday. The Cleveland Browns seem to be in a world of hurt once again following the news of Deshaun Watson's season-ending injury. Rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson is expected to get the start on Sunday. He has -0.70 expected points added per dropback (EPA/DB) -- the worst mark among Cleveland's QBs.
With a shaky rookie signal-caller, one would assume the Browns could be totally reliant on the run game. This isn't a big change, though, for Cleveland has numberFire's fourth-worst schedule-adjusted passing game. The run game has not been nearly as dominant without Nick Chubb, too, holding the 15th-worst mark in adjusted rush offense.
Meanwhile, the Steelers have numberFire's ninth-best overall defense and eighth-best pass defense. Slowing the run will be the challenge, as they rank 26th with 4.5 yards allowed per carry.
With Pittsburgh's ability to generate turnovers (first in takeaways per game), this still feels like a good play -- especially with a rookie quarterback starting for the Browns. Keep in mind, Cleveland already ranks last in giveaways per game (2.1).
San Francisco D/ST
FanDuel Salary: $4,000
When does the San Francisco 49ers' defense ever have a salary this low? This week's opponent is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay's offense has made strides over the last three contests with 25.0 points per game (PPG). They now boast numberFire's 12th-best schedule-adjusted offense and 11th-best passing game.
The Niners' weakness on defense has been their secondary, for they rank 4th in rushing yards allowed per game compared to 15th in passing yards allowed per game. The Buccaneers' passing offense has enjoyed success with Baker Mayfield totaling 0.10 EPA/DB over the previous three games compared to his season average of 0.03. Mike Evans also has 20.9 receiving yards over expectation (RecYOE) across the last three games compared to his season total of 12.8.
In short, Tampa Bay's passing game has been dangerous. But after struggling in Weeks 7 and 8, San Francisco's defense bounced back last week, holding the Jacksonville Jaguars' Trevor Lawrence to only 185 passing yards.
The 49ers still boast numberFire's fifth-best overall defense. Getting a unit of this caliber with a FanDuel salary of $4,000 is rare. I'm willing to take the risk. San Francisco's pass rush could also feast, as it ranks 7th in pass block win rate while the Bucs are 16th in pass block win rate.
The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.