As we head into Week 5 of the NFL season with the inaugural edition of the DraftKings Sleeper Defenses in the books, let’s take a quick look at how we did last week.
Green Bay at San Francisco
6 sacks, 1 interception, 1-6 points against = 15 points
Chasing the San Francisco inept offense paid off nicely.
Oakland at Chicago
3 sacks, 1 interception, 2 fumbles recovered, 1 block = 11 points
Not bad but the return of Jay Cutler made this matchup less favorable.
Cincinnati vs. Kansas City
5 sacks, 1 fumble recovered = 7 points
Meh. We like the sack total but expected Alex Smith to toss an interception or two.
Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville
1 sack, 7-13 points against = 5 points.
Cleveland at San Diego
2 sacks, 28-34 points against = 1 point
Ugh. The Cleveland Browns being the Cleveland Browns.
Now that we have gotten our hands dirty and have a feel for the landscape it’s time to do better than 2-of-5 teams with double-digit points.
Let’s do this!!
NEW ORLEANS at Philadelphia – cost $2,200: This is the cheapest defense at DraftKings this week and worth taking a shot at starting. The New Orleans secondary is getting healthier with the return of ball-hawking free safety Jairus Byrd (he should see an uptick from the 36 snaps he played last week) and should finally snag their first interception of the season. New Orleans racked up three sacks last week while Philadelphia surrendered five and turned the ball over twice. The Philadelphia offense is still not firing on all cylinders and Sam Bradford is averaging an interception per game. Look for embattled defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to draw up plenty of blitz packages to try and confuse Bradford, creating plenty of big play opportunities.
DETROIT vs. Arizona – cost $2,500: The Detroit defense finally had a big week last Monday night, posting six sacks along with a pair of fumble recoveries with one of those being returned for a score. All-Pro linebacker DeAndre Levy is on track to play this week and defensive end Ziggy Ansah continues to bring consistent pressure off the edge and notched two sacks in Week 4. The Arizona offensive line showed some cracks last week, giving up four sacks and the team also lost a pair of fumbles. Carson Palmer has played very well to date but has still tossed three interceptions and the Detroit secondary has intercepted three passes, returning one for a touchdown. There will be big plays to be had in Detroit this week.
JACKSONVILLE at Tampa Bay – cost $2,700: The name of the game is sacks along with turnovers, and Tampa Bay has been supplying plenty of both. Rookie quarterback Jameis Winston has tossed seven interceptions and lost one fumble through four games. Tampa Bay has allowed nine sacks and a pair of defensive touchdowns. The Jacksonville defense has averaged 2.25 sacks per game and has been credited with 41 quarterback hurries and 12 hits according to Pro Football Focus. Look for that pressure to force Winston into another turnover or two or three.
CINCINNATI vs. Seattle – cost $2,800: The Cincinnati defense has yet to have a really big week but is coming off its highest sack output of the season with five registered against Kansas City last week. Cincinnati has forced seven turnovers and has a very nice matchup this week to add to both its sacks and turnover totals. The Seattle offensive line continues to struggle mightily. Seattle may be without Marshawn Lynch again and be forced to pass a lot, which creates trouble for this offense. Through four weeks, Seattle has given up 18 sacks and Russell Wilson has turned the ball over four times. Look for a big week from the Bengals defense in Week 5.
KANSAS CITY vs. Chicago – cost $2,800: Kansas City has played three of its first four games away from home and finally returns there for a tilt with Chicago. In the only home game they’ve played, Kansas City sacked Peyton Manning three times and intercepted him once, returning the interception for a score. The Chicago offense has been very generous to team defenses, having given up an average of two sacks per game. In his return to action last week, Jay Cutler tossed a pair of interceptions and has three for the season. Chicago has also allowed three touchdowns to opposing defenses. Look for Justin Houston and company to harass Cutler into some bad throws and lots of big plays for this unit.
There we have it folks.
Go out and spend the big bucks on some flashy skill position players while buying these defenses on the cheap and reap the benefits.
As always … have fun and good luck this week!