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DRAFTKINGS SLEEPER DEFENSES: Week 8

Now that we are solidly past the halfway point of the fantasy football season…wait. My bad. That is the opening I’ve been putting on my other articles this week but we are talking Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) here. We don’t care what week it is as every week is a brand new week! How’s that for some Friday morning enthusiasm? What can I say. We are feeling good these days.

To quote the deliciously evil Negan from ‘The Walking Dead premier, “I am a man of my word.” I promised we would bounce back after none of our selections hit double- digits in scoring in Week 6 and we did just that. OK. It’s not quite as dramatic as what Negan did (no spoilers here) but we’ll take what we can get.

Once again, we had not one but TWO of our bargain basement D/STs hit the magical double-digit plateau. So we have that going for us. Let’s keep that positive momentum going with these gems for Week 8.

 

KANSAS CITY at Indianapolis –cost $2800. This game figures to be a shot in the arm for a struggling Kansas City pass rush. While OLB Justin Houston appears to be a week or two away from returning, Dee Ford has shown some signs of life putting up 2 ½ sacks in the past three games. The Colts offensive line continues to struggle in pass protection having given up at least two sacks in every game this year. In fact, QB Andrew Luck has been sacked a league high 25 times in 2016. While the Chiefs haven’t been able to get to the QB with any regularity, they are still a top-10 fantasy D/ST due to their knack for producing big plays. Led by CB Marcus Peters, the Chiefs are tops in the league with 10 interceptions and Peters leads all defenders with five picks. They have also scored three defensive touchdowns so big plays will be a factor in this game. Against a shaky offensive line, we like the Chiefs to be able garner enough pressure to force Luck into a turnover or two this week.

 

CAROLINA vs. Arizona – cost $2900. The 2016 season has been a nightmare for the Panthers as they’ve staggered to a 1-5 start. Their defense hasn’t been all that bad from a fantasy perspective having racked up 12 sacks along with eight turnovers and a pair of defensive touchdowns. Coming off of their bye week, one would assume the Panthers are in do-or-die mode to make a last stand to salvage this season. Luckily for them they face a Cardinals offense that outside of RB David Johnson seems a bit out of sync. Through six games, QB Carson Palmer has thrown just seven TDs while turning the ball over six times. That brings me to the main reason we like Carolina this week, there are certain players that just do not play well against certain teams. Since joining Arizona back in 2013, Palmer has faced Carolina twice. In those two games he has been sacked six times, thrown seven interceptions and lost two fumbles while throwing for only two TDs. We like the Panthers to own Palmer once again this week.

 

CLEVELAND vs. NY Jets – cost $2500. We chased the sloppy Jets offense last week with Baltimore and it paid off to the tune of five sacks with a pair of fumble recoveries and a D/ST touchdown. With Geno Smith (ACL) now out for the season, New York is turning back to Ryan “Nobody believes in me” Fitzpatrick. Don’t be sad Ryan. We believe in you. Well, more to the point, we believe that you’ll continue to turn the ball over and offer up opportunities for big plays. The Browns D/ST isn’t anything real special but has racked up five sacks and a pair of turnovers in the last two weeks. They may get DB Joe Haden (groin) back this week which would be a nice boost for the secondary. The bottom line is that Fitzpatrick has been a turnover machine having tossed 11 interceptions and we look for more this week.

 

SAN DIEGO at Denver – cost $2400. The Broncos offense took a hit this week with the news that C.J. Anderson will miss extended time due to a knee injury and has been placed on IR. While rookie RB Devontae Booker has looked very good while splitting time with Anderson, we don’t know if he’s ready to assume the every down role. What we do know is that DE Joey Bosa has four sacks in the last three weeks and the Chargers D/ST has quietly been a top-10 fantasy producer this season. They have been an opportunistic unit having amassed eight interceptions along with four fumble recoveries, a safety and one D/ST score. They are expected to get DB Brandon Flowers back this week and that’s good news for a secondary without their top player Jason Verrett. Look for Bosa and company to pressure Trevor Siemian relentlessly this week producing a few sacks. The pressure will also force Siemian into an untimely turnover or two.

 

TAMPA BAY vs. Oakland – cost $2300. Since reverting to a run-heavy offense led by the surprisingly effective Jacquizz Rodgers, the Tampa Bay defense has actually been coming on of late. Perhaps less time on the field due to untimely Jameis Winston picks has this unit a bit more rested and ready to rumble. Whatever it is, it is leading to a barrage of big plays over the last two games. On the road against the Panthers in Week 5 and the 49ers last week, the Buccaneers have put up four sacks along with three fumble recoveries as well as four interceptions. Those are the type of big-play numbers that can pay off in this DFS format. The Raiders will be crossing time zones for this game and that can sometimes work in the home team’s favor. With DT Gerald McCoy getting healthier and rookie edge rusher Noah Spence seeing an expanded role, we see another big week on tap for the Tampa Bay D/ST in Week 8. At a price of only $2300, this unit is too good to pass up.

 

There you have it folks. Grab these teams on the cheap and then grab Brock Osweiler on the cheap as he faces a Lions secondary that’s likely to be without CB Darius Slay. You are welcome.

As always…good luck and have fun!

About Wally Spurlin

Wally Spurlin is a Fantasy Football Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer Association (FSWA). Spurlin’s work has appeared in print publications, including the FSWA award winning 2014 USA Today Fantasy Football magazine as well as the 2015 edition. Wally is also a weekly co-host on the Fantasy Football Feeding Frenzy pod cast on Fantasy Sharks Radio at Blog Talk Radio.Follow him on Twitter @WaltonSpurlin