We’re already into Week 3 of the NFL season meaning fantasy football should have gotten heated either in your league or in daily fantasy.
Something that could and should set your team apart is your defense and special teams unit. There’s an opportunity to get big point values should you choose the right team and even some available on waivers that have exceeded expectations so far.
So to put your team into position for success, which defense should you grab for this week?
If you play in DraftKings, FanDuel, or another daily fantasy league, picking a cost-effective yet talented defense can be tricky. But in doing so to save some of your budgets, it allows more wiggle room on other positions.
Here are the top-five daily defenses to go with.
5. Dallas Cowboys — The Cowboys host the struggling Miami Dolphins this week so while they should be able to put up a fair amount of points, it will come with a cost. DraftKings is already pricing the Cowboys defense at $4,300 and for good reason. Miami was shut out last week and mustered just 10 points against Baltimore in Week 1.
4. San Francisco 49ers — This one is a bit more of a risk, but don’t sleep on the 49ers defense. San Francisco has a strong pass rush which could make life difficult for Steelers’ QB Mason Rudolph who will be making his first NFL start at Levi’s Stadium. With a solid secondary covering not so solid Pittsburgh receivers, this game has all the makings of a slog.
3. Los Angeles Chargers — A budget pick at home against the Texans, the Chargers pass rush could make life difficult for Deshaun Watson and his gaping offensive line. Despite picking up Laremy Tunsil, the Texans o-line still struggled to protect Watson against the Jaguars last weekend. And with a secondary filled with bruisers over the middle, it won’t be easy to find open targets either.
2. Green Bay Packers — The Pack Attack is 2-0 and has allowed just 19 points on the season. Hosting an 0-2 Broncos team only managing to score 30 total points so far means another strong defensive performance could be coming for Green Bay. Despite key losses of Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix and Clay Matthews, the Packers have remained strong defensively.
1. New England Patriots — Arguably the easiest matchup of the week, the Patriots face a Jets team that has only put up 19 points this season and will be on their third-string quarterback. Not to mention New England has allowed just 3 points and no touchdowns since the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship last season. It looks like that streak could be extended.
Waiver Wire Pickups
It’s always a struggle to find talented defenses/special teams that are still unclaimed by Week 3. But there are a few out there that could help boost your team. Here’s a list of some that might be available, but step on those claims if you haven’t yet.
San Francisco 49ers — Don’t rely on them to be your primary defense, especially considering they’re in a division with the LA Rams. But they also face the Arizona Cardinals twice, and have matchups with the Redskins and Panthers coming up too.
Tennessee Titans — Despite the 1-1 record, it hasn’t been for lack of defense. The Titans still play the Jaguars twice, including in Week 3, along with Denver, Buffalo, and Tampa Bay before October ends.
Buffalo Bills — Never thought you’d see this team here? Well, think again. Just 30 points have been scored against the Bills all season making them one of the top defenses in the league so far. And with a pair of games against Miami along with other games against Cincinnati and Denver, it might be worth the pickup.
Carolina Panthers — Tough to justify an 0-2 team being on this list but if you look at Carolina’s next four games it’s a no-brainer. Arizona (A), Houston (A), Jacksonville (H), and Tampa Bay (A) means three of the next four matchups are against bottom-tier offensive teams. Not a bad temporary pickup to roll with.
Green Bay Packers — No one has really caught on to this trend yet, surprisingly. The Packers are only owned in about 30 percent of leagues so they should be pretty available. They’ve got the Lions, Redskins, Giants, and Broncos on the slate in the near future and if they keep performing like they did in the opening two games it shouldn’t matter who the opponent is.