As a tried and true movie buff I will often use quotes or scenes from some of my favorite films in articles to help clarify points or explain outcomes and what not.
After last weeks games unfolded the way they did, I immediately thought of ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail.’
The scene where King Arthur (Graham Chapman) encounters the Black Knight (John Cleese) is a fine example of the performances of the sleeper defenses for Week 5.
I would be the Black Knight in this scenario.
Yes, I took a sword slash or two but in the immortal words of the aforementioned Black Knight, “Tis but a scratch.”
He just had his arm sliced off.
Let’s look at last week’s results that we will refer to as “Merely a flesh wound.”
Detroit vs. Arizona-
2 sacks, 35 + points against = -2 points
Ouch! I obviously underestimated just how quickly this defense would toss in the towel.
New Orleans @ Philadelphia-
2 interceptions, 35+ points allowed = 0 points
How does Rob Ryan keep his job on a weekly basis? He is the worst defensive coordinator in the league.
Jacksonville @ Tampa Bay-
2 sacks, 28-34 points allowed = 1 point
Of course, Jamies Winston picks this week to not throw an interception.
Cincinnati vs. Seattle-
4 sacks, 1 interception, 14-20 points against = 7 points
Still racking up sacks but didn’t create enough big plays to reach double-digit points.
Kansas City vs. Chicago-
2 sacks, 1 DFR, 1 defensive touchdown, 14-20 points against = 11 points
Hey! We had a team break that double-digit points barrier. Thank you Bears offense!
Just as the Black Knight kept on fighting (or at least wanting to fight) despite the loss of a few limbs we charge headlong into week 6.
CHICAGO at Detroit, cost $2,400: It’s not often we will suggest playing a team defense that has only two turnovers through five weeks but we’ll make an exception this once. The Bears come into Detroit riding a two-game winning streak and have racked up 9 sacks in their last three games. Oh yeah, they also get to face a stumbling bumbling Lions offense that turned the ball over 6 times last week. For the season, Detroit has 15 turnovers and has allowed 7 sacks. With no running game at all, the Lions will have to rely on Matthew Stafford to move the offense and he was benched in favor of Dan Orlovsky last week. In the two matchups against the Bears last season, Stafford threw a pair of touchdowns and turned the ball over three times. This could get ugly for the Lions offense again in Week 6.
DETROIT vs. Chicago, cost $2,500: I know. I know. The Lions just burned us badly but stay with me here. This is an embarrassed team right now that has a very juicy matchup. The Bears are a top-three team in allowing fantasy points to defenses having turned the ball over 7 times and allowed 7 sacks through five games. They have also had a pair of kickoffs returned for touchdowns against them. The Lions defense did start strong last week and were actually buried by the 6 turnovers the offense put up constantly playing on a short field. They have racked up 12 sacks along with 9 turnovers and a pair of defensive touchdowns scored. In his last three games against the Lions, Jay Cutler has turned the ball over 7 times. We like that.
TENNESSEE vs. Miami, cost $2,900: It remains to be seen how the Dolphins respond to the new coaching staff, but what we have seen from them over the first four weeks (they were on a bye last week) was a very sloppy offense. In weeks three and four, Ryan Tannehill was sacked 5 times and threw 5 interceptions and the offense allowed a defensive score. The Titans have been a solid team defense that averages 3 sacks per game and has forced 5 turnovers while scoring one defensive touchdown. More importantly is that they are playing their best defense coming out of their week four bye as they racked up 4 sacks and a fumble recovery last week in a loss to the Bills. Until we see that Miami has straightened out a sputtering offense it’s a good idea to roll out a defense that is bringing pressure on 17.4% of opponents drop backs (according to FootBallGuys.com). The league average for bringing pressure is 13.1% and Tannehill will be forced into some untimely turnovers this week.
MINNESOTA vs. Kansas City, cost $2,900: The Chiefs lost All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles for the season last week with a torn ACL. They will move forward with Charcandrick West and Knile Davis as the primary ball carriers, which may mean more passing attempts for Alex Smith. That will likely lead to a boatload of sacks behind a dismal offensive line that has given up 21 already. The Vikings defense is averaging a pair of sacks per game and two turnovers. Look for Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer and defensive coordinator George Edwards to bring pressure from all over the field this week forcing Smith to throw the ball quicker than he’d like. So far this season Smith has thrown three interceptions which is already half as many as he threw in all of 2014. There are fantasy points to be had against a ‘Charles-less’ Kansas City offense this week.
PHILADELPHIA vs. New York Giants, cost $2,900: Through five games the Giants have actually been a pretty tough matchup for team defenses as Eli Manning has protected the ball well. He is still Eli though and has the weekly potential to toss a boneheaded pick six or two. The Eagles defense has been playing better as of late having notched 7 sacks and 9 turnovers with a defensive touchdown scored in their last three games. Since Chip Kelly took over as head coach in 2013, Eli has thrown only three touchdowns and turned the ball over four times against the Eagles. With both Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle battling hamstring injuries the Giants offense could be severely limited this week making the Philly defense a good play.
There we have it folks.
The Black Knight would be proud of the perseverance shown this week and here’s hoping that all the money saved by utilizing these defenses pays off.
Go grab some Patriots with that extra loot as I suspect a beat down of epic proportions awaits the Colts this week.
As always…Have fun and good luck!