As I glance out the window noticing how the snow continues to fall, it feels like I should warm things up with a warmer sports analogy to begin this week’s article. We didn’t exactly knock the ball out of the park in Week 13 (see what I did there?). On a brighter note, we didn’t go 0-5 either. One of our bargain Defense/Special Teams did manage to reach double-digit scoring and we’ll take that single.
One of the nice things about Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is that we start out fresh this week and do not bring that .200 batting average with us. Enough of the baseball references as it’s time to focus on the Week 14 selections that make up our DraftKings Sleeper Defenses.
A couple of these feel like batting practice fastballs right down the middle that we are going to take downtown. Now I’m really done with the baseball references. Sorry about that but trying to think warm thoughts as the temps drop here in Michigan.
CAROLINA vs. San Diego- cost $2900. We love to chase offenses that turn the ball over and the Chargers certainly fit the bill. We also love to chase offenses that allow opposing defenses to score on them and the Chargers oblige opponents there as well. San Diego has turned the ball over 25 times and given up four defensive touchdowns in 12 games. A closer look reveals that in the last four games, Philip Rivers has thrown seven interceptions and the Chargers have allowed a pair of defensive scores. The Carolina defense/special teams (D/ST) is putting up top-10 fantasy totals on the season with 35 sacks, 17 turnovers and three defensive touchdowns. This is one of those games between a couple of teams with nothing to lose that could get very messy.
TAMPA BAY vs. New Orleans- cost $2400. This matchup is a tale of two units trending in opposite directions that heavily favors the Buccaneers defense. Over their past four games, the Saints have been very sloppy with the football committing 10 turnovers while allowing seven sacks. Just last week, Drew Brees threw three interceptions in a loss to the Detroit Lions. On the flip side, the Tampa Bay defense has been red hot during their four game winning streak. In that time, they have racked up 12 sacks along with 11 turnovers and two defensive touchdowns. The Bucs have been particularly tough at home in their last two outings having posted 10 sacks with seven takeaways and a defensive score.
PITTSBURGH at Buffalo- cost $2800. The Steelers will come into this game with one thing in mind. Stop LeSean McCoy and the Buffalo rushing attack. They should be able to do that as over the last three weeks they are holding running backs to just 54 rushing yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry. Once they put the game in the hands of quarterback Tyrod Taylor, the Steelers will look to pin their ears back and bring consistent pressure. Led by Stephon Tuitt, this unit has put up 13 sacks over the last three games with Tuitt accounting for 2 ½ of the takedowns. They have also intercepted five passes and scored a defensive touchdown in that time. Putting the game on Taylor’s shoulders will benefit the Steelers greatly as in the last three games he has posted just three total touchdowns and turned the ball over three times. Look for the ‘Steel Curtain’ to return this week and for a big day for the Pittsburgh defense.
SAN DIEGO at Carolina- $2600. The Week 14 showdown between the Chargers and Panthers is a matchup that has us excited for both of the D/ST units. Despite stumbling a bit last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Chargers remain a top-5 fantasy D/ST producer for the season. They’ve done this mainly by relying on big plays as opposed to sacks having amassed only 21 through 12 games. The Chargers have posted a league-high 15 interceptions with cornerback Casey Hayward hauling in seven picks to date and they’ve scored four defensive touchdowns. The Panthers have suffered the post Super Bowl blues and are staggering to the finish line in 2016. Over their last five games, they have allowed 11 sacks while turning the ball over six times and given up two D/ST scores. Both defenses will post numerous big plays in what looks to be a sloppy affair.
MIAMI vs. Arizona- $2600. The Dolphins took a beating last week at Baltimore seeing their six-game winning streak come to an end. Luckily they get to head back home this week and have a matchup against an offense that has been generous in handing out fantasy points to defenses. On the season, the Cardinals remain a top-5 team in giving it up to opposing D/STs allowing numbers in every facet of the game. They are tied for fourth in sacks allowed with 35 and have turned the ball over 19 times in 12 games. Quarterback Carson Palmer has struggled to find a groove all season long, having thrown just 18 touchdowns and turning the ball over 14 times. Despite the loss last week, the Dolphins did manage a pair of takeaways and will get back on track at home. Over their last five games, Miami has totaled nine sacks with 11 turnovers and two D/ST touchdowns. Look for Ndamukong Suh along with Cameron Wake to be in Palmer’s face all day long leading to another sack and turnover filled day for the Cardinals offense.
There they are folks. These discount beauties will enable owners to go out there and stock up on Cincinnati Bengals players as they head to Cleveland. The Bengals may not be heading to the playoffs this year but they are heading into a huge Week 14 for fantasy production.
As always…have fun and good luck!